Dear Folks -
Two years ago Sherry and I were fortunate to tour Turkey for two weeks.
We went with Dick and Diane Schenke. They are members of St. Paul's and
both sing regularly in the choir. Diane has also served St. Paul's as
chair of the Church Council. We were accompanied on this trip with the
Schenkes' two adult children - Jonathan and Joanna. My faith in
America's future was incredibly strengthened by being in the presence of
these two young people.
Joanna spent last summer in Damascus, Syria. She was there to take
Arabic language courses. (She speaks six languages. Impressive, huh?)
Joanna spent a lot of time exploring Damascus and the surrounding area.
I asked her when she returned if she would come sometime and tell the
story of her experience to Ordinary Life. She has agreed to do so this
Her presentation has lots and lots of photos and focuses largely on the
religious make-up of Syria, with special attention to its Christian
Joanna says, "I visited many biblical, significant sites around Damascus
and will give a photo re-telling of Paul's conversion. My presentation
will close with some tips and tricks for visiting majority-Muslim
countries (how to dress, visit a mosque, etc.) I'll also leave plenty of
time for Q & A."
Joanna has been a member of St. Paul's since 1991. She is currently a
graduate student at UT Austin, pursuing a dual degree in Middle Eastern
Studies and Public Policy. She hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy
after graduating in May 2011. She is off to Tunis this summer for an
internship with the State Department.
As I said, this is a most remarkable young woman. I look forward to
introducing you to her in Ordinary Life this week.
(Unfortunately, the audio is not available for this speaker. And I am quite ticked about that too.)