Theologian Karl Barth once said, “Gratitude follows grace like thunder follows lightning.”

It is Monday, July 05, and we are preparing to return to the States tomorrow. It was exactly one month ago when we flew into Istanbul so excited to begin this month of walking in the land where the Word was written. How can it already have come to an end? A day has not passed without our hearts swelling with gratitude to God for this opportunity, our church family and Tyndale for granting us the time away to accept it, and the Lilly Foundation for providing the funding through Mike’s Clergy Renewal grant.

We’ll be back home in Wheaton for several days this week before heading southeast on a road trip to spend time with our families: a week celebrating a milestone birthday for my mom with the Wallem siblings in TN, our annual Rowe “Family Camp” in WV with Mike’s parents and six sibs and their kids and grandkids, and then a final week in NC with just our own kids and their spouses.

We have many more Greek and Turkish stories to tell, but for now Mike’s photos again bear witness to some of the beautiful places we’ve seen.

Soli Deo Gloria – glory to God alone.