My first encounter with one of the largest mosques in the Middle East, began in September of last year, just months after we arrived in Turkey. We attended an Iftar dinner overlooking the mosque and had the opportunity to receive education about Islam and their holidays. This dinner holds special memories for me. Not only for what I learned. But for the fact that I attended this evening out with Deborah. In November, we would get word that Deborah had a very advanced stage of cancer. She went home to the Lord in July of this year.
In March, we returned to the mosque on a cool spring day to enjoy a day out with newly arrived Veronica. Now, we are getting ready to say good bye to her as well as she will be leaving in a few weeks to be reuinited with her family in Minnesota.
In April, my friend Becky came into town, and we spent a beautiful morning letting the boys play in the shadows of minarets. Becky has just moved from DC to Tucson, Arizona and is dealing with having had to say a lot of good byes as well.
And just a few weeks ago, we spent a beautiful cool day at the park with great friends. I think often of how I will soon have to say good bye to these wonderful ladies as well.
Joni was only here for 10 days so we weren't able to do a ton of stuff. But I definitely wanted to make sure that I took her to the big mosque in Adana. As I write this post, Joni is on her way back to America. Yet another good bye.
But instead of dwelling on the good byes, I want to dwell on some of the beautiful times we had while she was here. I have so many blogs of her time here yet to write. You'll be seeing them in the coming days.
And here's some photos from our beautiful day with beautiful friends.
The park is HUGE. There are tons of places to play. This slide was SUPER FAST!
Elijah had to be snuck up on to get a picture in. The blue hat hasn't been as mandatory as it was in the past, but it continues to be worn on special days.
What a great picture of our big boy.
He loves playing in one of the little houses with Joni.
Angelica joined us with her little Rowan (pictured) and Noah. What a cutie!
I beieve Veronica jumped out from behind a hill to get this pic.
Noah (Angelica's son) Brenden (Brianna's son), Elijah and Isaac. In addition to Brianna and Angelica, Rana and her kids joined us as well. Afterwards, we went to the McDonalds for a fun lunch and playtime.
Stay tuned for pictures of the mosque itself tomorrow.