Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Greece Day 4 (or The Day I Got Proposed to on Mars Hill)

My fourth day in Greece was very special. Not only am I a huge history buff, but Greco-Roman history is my favorite time period. Everyone else on the team went to the Acropolis and toured the Parthenon and Mars Hill on Sunday but I didn't arrive until Monday night so I missed that adventure. On this glorious morning I was able to spend a few hours exploring one of the most amazing feats of architecture of the ancient world. I traveled with the prayer walking team and then got off at a later stop to begin my hike up to the Acropolis. At the base of the Acropolis I stopped to snap a quick picture or two of Lykavittos, the hill that we prayer walked the day before:

Lykavittos Hill

I finally found the entrance to the Acropolis and was thrilled to walk around and experience such an incredibly historic place.
Greek Amphitheater

Entrance through the Temple of Athena


Words cannot describe my wonder! I so loved walking around and exploring...and trust me, I took many more pictures! However, as I looked at this impressive buildings my heart became burdened for those that worshiped these idols and imaginary gods. As much as I enjoy the story of these myths and legends, they blinded so many from the One True God. I pondered this as I left the Acropolis and headed towards Mars Hill. This is where Paul the Apostle addressed the men of Athens in Acts 17.
Mars Hill

I spent the next 45 minutes on the far right corner of the hill, eating lunch and reading Acts 17. I just couldn't believe I was sitting where Paul had been! I spent some sweet time with Jesus on that hill. And then...

I got up to take more pictures. While I was snapping away I was approached by a Greek gentlemen who asked to take my picture for me. I politely declined and took a step to get a different angle for my next shot. In doing so I slipped on the rock and my new Greek friend caught me. We chatted for a bit, exchanging typical pleasantries, and then he proceeded to rejoice in my eye color and declare his love for me. He said, "This is love at first sight and I must propose marriage to you right now!"

Yes I am serious, no I am not making this up! He must have sensed my shock when I did not respond immediately due to my jaw hitting the floor. He then asked if I had a boyfriend...and that sounded good to me so I said, "Yes!" in hopes that would deter my would be suitor. However, it did not and many questions followed, "How long have you been dating?," "Why aren't you engaged yet?," and "Where is he?" I responded that he was waiting for me down the hill and I must go meet him...and my suitor hollered out, "Tell him he has competition!"

I don't know why strange things happen to me, but this one is for the books! I mean, how many Americans can say they've been proposed to on Mars Hill?

Here are the shots I took while I was talking to my new friend:
The Acropolis as seen from Mars Hill

Lykavittos Hill as seen from Mars Hill
The city of Athens as seen from Mars Hill

After my wonderful morning and early afternoon of exploration I met back up with my group and we went to the soccer field to watch the big soccer game! All week we had been inviting everyone we met to come play or watch and it was so much fun! The teams were both mixed with Greek and American players and everyone played hard and had a blast. For those of you that know me, both teams were thrilled that I declined to don a jersey. My athletic skills are greatly lacking!

After the game the Mayor of one of the local towns treated us to a wonderful dinner! It was a special night celebrating what the Lord had done that week and fellowshipping with our team. After dinner I had the privilege of meeting up with a new friend I'd made on the train for some coffee and hang time. She's an amazing young woman who had some great questions about my faith, reading the Bible and praying. She is a fellow actress so it was a neat connection and God truly prepared us for this sweet time together.

We concluded the night with a prayer experience. We prayed over the work God had been doing, did that week and would continue to do in Athens. It was such a sweet time on our knees and we ended with heartfelt, joyful worship to the King of Kings!

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