Dan, the man that picked me up, is a friend of my host family. He took me first to the church that he works out here in Ankara, one of three in the city. So different than those in the states. Let me see if I can describe this building that was stuck right in an industrial park of Batikent, a region of Ankara. It was basically a three floor cement building with sparse furniture and a huge kitchen/tables on the second floor
. It was basically a factory building prior to the church moving in a few years ago. With around 40 regular members from all nationalities, this Turkish church pretty much accomidates the functions of what we think of as a typical church without all the frills and unnecessities. As you can see in one of my pictures, they even have a baptism, which is really just a huge plastic water container stuck in the kitchen... but it works for them! Turkey does not legally recognize nor allow churches throughout the country, so the church is very small and has no publicity methods, not even a sign to hang outside. This means that, on any given day, the Turkish government could come in and shut the church down. Don't let what you have heard prior to this fool you. Although I haven't attended this church, I have met a number of the members, all who have high spirits and lots of faith.
As soon as Dan dropped me off at Mathew and Diane's, the adventures began...
Finally after long hours in planes and airports (roughly 20 hours to be exact), I arrived in Ankara, Turkey. What a relief but of course my adventures and stress have just begun. Arriving at the (very small) airport of Ankara, I was so relieved to walk out of luggage and see a man holding a sign with my name on it! Knowing someone would be at the airport to pick me up but unsure who to expect as I knew no one, I think I literally breathed a deep LOUD sigh of relief.