Syria – September 2011, Part 2

As I mentioned here & here, I was part of a delegation that traveled to Syria September 13 – 18th on a fact finding mission, especially regarding the 3 million Christians in that country.

Yes, we met with the President (but more on that later).

First, a little touristy stuff …

Day one in Damascus, Thursday 9/15, we headed toward the Eastern Gate — and the Street Called Straight — and into Old Town. Fr John Winfrey was the one who brought it up — but, he was right: We were seeing the shape of the ancient “house church”.

You never know what you’ll find tucked away in an ally or …

around a corner.

We made our way down this ally …

to enter a traditional home in Old Damascus that is being remodeled. Now, pause here a sec and think about St Paul and the various “house churches” mentioned in his writings. Was this the kind of floor plan he was used to? The courtyard serving as the Nave …

the “high place” an elevated salon …

And, in the center, a fountain or pool which could be used for …

Oh, you get the picture!

Speaking of St Paul, house churches, and baptism …

The home of Ananias.

Read about it here.

Fr Pat ponders.

Next up, thanks to some pics stolen from John Maddex, we’ll visit a woodworker’s shop, an antique dealer, and a famous artist’s studio — all in Old Town Damascus.

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