What a surprise when we found out Risen was playing this weekend in Bamako’s only movie theater. On Friday & Saturday it’s in French and on Sunday in English with French subtitles. What an awesome outreach opportunity - plus (and this is a MAJOR plus), 2 hours of air-conditioned comfort.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Our stay at the El Mouradi Club El Kantaoui was perfect! A four star beachfront hotel that was all-inclusive including food and drinks for only $50/night. It doesn't get any better than this.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Yesterday we traveled to the town of El Djem, sight of the former Roman city of Thysdrus. Rome occupied much of Tunisia in the second century, and Thysdrus became an important center for olive oil production. Tunisia is host to some of the most impressive Roman ruins in Africa. El Djem in particular is home of the world famous Roman amphitheater of Thysdrus. It was capable of seating 35,000 spectators. It's the 3rd largest of the known Roman amphitheaters. It hosted events such as gladiator battles and chariot races.
Built around 238 AD, the surviving remains are quite impressive. It remained relatively intact until the 17th century when its stones were used to help construct the town of El Djem. It was amazing to explore the massive structure and marvel at the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the Roman Empire. It was also quite sobering to stand on the arena floor and imagine the early Christians that died as martyrs at the hands of the Romans all for the sake of entertainment.
Monday, May 09, 2016
Yesterday after church we walked to Medina - old town Sousse. It was built in 859 and is surrounded by over a mile of fortress walls built from stone blocks recycled from ancient Roman sights.
Inside the walled city is a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways straight out of Indiana Jones. It literally did serve as a filming location for Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's one of Tunisia's best examples of Arab architecture.
A charming little old man found us and showed us around and pointed out some of the highlights and hidden gems. He also shared some great stories - we're not sure how many were true, but he was enjoyable nonetheless.
Sunday, May 08, 2016
Today we attended services at the Sousse Church - the only Christian church in this city of 271,000 people. It was an intimate service of 25 people. It was wonderful to worship with fellow believers from many different countries and encourage them in their faith. The service was in English with translation available in French, Arabic, and German.
Tunisia is in North Africa and is considered a "closed access" nation. Although there is freedom of religion, there is no freedom to evangelize. Christians are definitely in the minority here. Only 0.0001% of the population identify themselves as Evangelical Christians. Much prayer is needed for this nation.
Friday, May 06, 2016
On Friday, we took the train from the airport in Tunis to our hotel in Port El Kantaoui. It is about 75 miles - 2 1/2 hours. The train tickets we're very inexpensive so we decided to splurge and travel first class for a total cost of only $5 each. Turns out, you get what you pay for. First class was far from luxurious. The car was 30-40 years old and really showing signs of wear. Many of the lights were broken, windows were shattered, graffiti on the seats, and the luggage racks were broken. Not sure what second class looked like. But nevertheless, we did make it from point A to point B without incident and for only five bucks - a far cry from the hotel airport shuttle which would have been $150