About Jessica

I grew up and live in north-east Kimberley, Western Australia. I was homeschooled by my two parents with my three siblings. Currently, my interests include playing piano, reading books (okay so more like increasing my 'to-read' pile), digital scrapbooking (three generations are hooked and counting), cooking, movies, swimming, history, social justice, board games, writing, and being with people!

The Cultures of the Ephesians

Today {Thursday 26th} was a very culturally interesting day.  Turkey is known as the crossroads of East and West, with a culmination of eastern traditions and more modern, western ways, rapidly taking the lead.  Today was no exception.  We discovered:

Impressive Roman ruins of Ephesus (see gallery below)

African monkeys

The British Beatles crossing the road

 

Ancient Greek philosophers thinking way too hard, (some obviously had no ideas at all! and

 

Australian larrikins singing their folklore of rebellion and suicide (Waltzing Matilda) in an acoustically-tested theatre!

 

 

Before we left the city we stayed in last night, we drove past Laodicea, one of the seven Churches mentioned in Revelations.  There wasn’t much to see from the gate, but it was still interesting to think that real people and Christians actually lived there.

We drove on to Ephesus, stopping in a nearby town for a tasty lunch of meatballs and a Turksh shave.  For Dad, that is!  That’s another story to be told in another time.

When we arrived in Ephesus we walked down the main streets.  Everytime one street ended and another one began, a pillar with a god or hero etched in would be there to symbolise it.  We saw the pulic toilets  – which are a work of guinus.  You can thank the Romans that we don’t chuck our sewage out the window like the middle ages’ did; the Romans invented the plumbing system where fresh water would run underneath the toilets and carry the waste away, stopping plagues and diseases from breaking out.  There was a ‘parliament house’ there, which looked like a little amphitheatre.  It could hold up to 170 shire members, which is a lot compared to how many Kununurra would have show up!

The library was beautiful and at least from what I could tell today, it would have beenthe site that made all Ephesians proud, back in the day.  Opposite it was the brothel, and apparently, there is a secret tunnel underneath leading to the library.  Husbands would give an excuse of going to the library to their wives, only to sneak out the secret tunnel to visit the brothel.  It was also a place of escape if the wives caught on and made a visit to the brothel.

The streets were originally marble.  Parts of the marble left still have their grip grooves, which is a good idea, because the marble is slippery to walk on!  I think Ephesus would have been a beautiful city, with the houses climbing up the sides of the fortress-looking hills (they are still unexcavated), looking over the marble streets, bustling with people.  Either side of the streets, in between the pillars, were the markets, which I imagine would have added quite a lot of colour and noise to the area.  They were a thriving town, with a magnificent theatre, plenty of rich houses, a bath and gymnasium, a smaller theatre-looking building for the government, and with the natural hot springs nearby.

The temple of Artemis wasn’t too far off either.  It was obviously a religious place, what with its own goddess, and it made the book of Ephesians, and the ministry of Paul (Acts 19) that much more real.  To think of the Christians that actually walked those streets, to see the same theatre that Paul addressed the angry crowd, to think of Paul and Epapharus who gave so much of themselves to these people – it was exciting to be in the same place.  And to remember parts of Ephesians, where Paul exhorted them to get rid of sexual immorality (aka the trips through that tunnel) and showed them how husbands and wives were to treat each other; or where Paul wrote in Colossians, which was nearby and would have circulated to the Ephesians; to not just accept any old philosophy, and how that would have applied to what and how they read the scrolls in their library.  Christianity would have flown in the face of that place, the city where Artemis was their god.  People actually took that risk.

I don’t have an Artemis outside my bedroom window.   I don’t live in a time and place where it could be dangerous to believe in a different God to theirs, when the whole city worships it. But there are other battles to fight –a biblical worldview, a just and honest government, for families to thrive together, for people to live with integrity and character in their job and personal lives, and for a rebuilding of the culture for good.  Will we take the risks?

17 Do’s and Don’ts of Overseas Travel

A guest post by our friend, Hayley Wilson

To the Adventurous Letchford family,

 Some handy dos and don’ts when travelling overseas:

  1. Bring books – to read on those looooooooooong aeroplane flights and airport stopovers.
  2. Bring card games – and/or a pack of playing cards and learn how to play games like Canasta, 500, May I?, Scramble, etc. (also for the long airport stopovers/times you are waiting). Be sure to keep something handy for recording scores to. See who can get the highest score over the whole trip.
  3. Always drink bottled water (and make sure the seal isn’t broken before you buy it).
  4. Learn a few words of the languages you will encounter (i.e. “Hello,” “Thankyou,” etc). People really appreciate it, and it may even get you out of a sticky situation.
  5. When travelling in third world countries, take toilet paper and be prepared for the worst when using public toilets (Trust me – I know).
  6. Be aware of the basic manners of the country. For example, in Muslim countries it is often not appropriate for women to look men in the eyes. In Thailand it is the height of disrespect to point the sole of your foot at anybody.
  7. Eat lots of Turkish bread (or whatever other yummy cuisine you can find).
  8. Drink lots of Turkish apple tea.
  9. In Muslim countries, don’t wear clothes that show a lot of skin if you are a girl – they see it as immodest (aka. Short shorts & sleeveless or ‘strappy’ tops would probably be seen as inappropriate)
  10. Be prepared for absolutely anything!
  11. Don’t get the flu (it’s no fun to be sick when you are on holidays).
  12. Bring band-aids, pain-killers, safety pins, rubber bands, and a good, long bit of string (they really come in handy sometimes, you know).
  13. Be willing to try new things (but not stupid things!).
  14. Bring spare camera batteries that are charged up (something I often forget to do).
  15. Take lots of photos
  16. Write lots in your journals (and don’t give up after a week or so if the going gets hard).
  17. … And tell us all about it when you get home!

Have a great time!!!!!!

Your friend,

Hayley

Hi, I’m Hayley. I’m 18 years old and I love history, photography, sewing, music, and reading excellent books. I blog about my life, thoughts, and photos over at thinkybits.