Exotic Trip Coming Up!

Those of you who know and love me (or at least like me) know that I fell in love with Europe in 2001 after my first visit with my mother and little sister. I've been back twice since. Now, I get to go again!

James and I have wanted to do a mission-type trip and our heart was set on something having to do with children. My heart was affected about six or seven years ago about the plight of unwanted children in the Eastern block of Europe: Russia, Romania, Kosovo; areas such as that. The people are so poor that many times they abandon their children. The children are in state run homes/orphanages and many times don't get much attention, and even less love. So we researched several organizations for a few years and we finally zeroed in on one facilitated by an older couple in Romania. She ministers to over 11 of these homes (some hospice-type institutions too since many children battle disabilities or illnesses) and even more on a more peripheral basis. She packs packages full of goodies, treats, and just visits too. At Christmas and on Children's Day, which is June 1st, she supplies gift boxes for each child. Needless to say this is a LOT of work.

We will be heading over there to work with her to prepare for Children's Day. We'll be there for about 6 days helping put together the packages as well as deliver them and spend time with the children. The average age is toddler through about age 12.

From there we'll fly over to the exotic Istanbul for a few days. We are very excited about visiting the bazaars and taking in the Byzantine architecture. We've been boning up on the history of Turkey so we can be somewhat informed as to what periods came when in history; like was the Ottoman empire before the or after the Byzantine?

From Istanbul we'll jet down the coast to Izmir and we'll explore a couple of the "seven churches" like Ephesus. Then we'll take ferries and head off to the Greek island of Naxos. We'll end our stay in Athens after taking in the Acropolis.

We're very jazzed about the trip and most of the planning and plotting are complete. I'll make sure to blog while we're gone too.

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