You are currently viewing articles written by Luis Lopez
About this courseTravel with our video team as we trace the footsteps of the Apostle Paul through Greece and Rome and explore how one of the most influential figures in the Christian Church dealt with overcoming boundaries.
Courses by Year
Attend Goshen College
Support our mission
To keep this unique community of faith and learning vital and affordable for students and to continue our efforts to promote greater understanding and peace among all God's people, Goshen College welcomes financial support from you.
» Won't you consider a donation?
Enjoying so much of the weather, the islands, the food and other things, I forgot to mention more about the video work. It was a great learning experience. I think at time is was hard work, mostly because of dragging he equipment around. At the same time that is part of the full experience of video work. I really enjoyed the film work and working with the team. It was true hands-on experience, and so much good learning came from that.
One of the things that we continually worked on was speed, to set up and get everything ready for the shot in 10 or 5 minutes. It seems like 5 minutes plenty of time, but when you are trying to get the shot “just right” it can be hard to do. In the past few days we’ve done a good job at setting up quickly. At the same time I am thankful to work under pressure because it helped sharpen my skills that I am sure are necessary in the job Place.
Overall I think that the experience helped me see how I things will be if I go and get a job in a production company. Once can read many books about video production and listen to many lectures, but the hands-on work experience I think brings a whole lot more learning.
The day we spent in Florence was such as beautiful day. We woke up a bit early but it was worth the 4 hours trip to Florence. In the morning we made a rest stop. The tour leader suggested for us to try the espresso, so I did, it was a very good italian espresso. Even though it was a very small cup of espresso it was very rich and flavorful. At the same time I don’t think that would work in America since most things come in big sizes.
Once we arrive in Florence we walked along the river. There was a beautiful view of the city of florence for the river and we also saw several artist painting from the port. The city of florence is a very old city were the renaissance started at. We saw the tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Donatello and a statue dedicated to Dante. The city is very pedestrian friendly, the center of city is all for pedestrian walk. Now it is easier for me to see how ideas spread in florence because it is so centralized and it also is built for social gatherings, such as lots of coffee shop, restaurants and most importantly during that time churches.
Lunch was very good. We ate original Italian pizza, it truly was the best pizza I’ve ever tried. The restaurant seemed to be old but at the same time the service was good and the food was amazing. After the lunch we visited the Acamedia, in there we saw the statue of David sculpted by Michel Angelo. The statue of David is truly a masterpiece, first because of its dimensions and seconds because of its details. To finish the day we enjoy the italian country side.
Today after we were done with the tour I went for my own personal tour through the shopping streets of Rome. As I was walking through Via del Corso I became more convince that fashion is facing big changes. One of the things I noticed was that men’s fashion is looking a lot more like women’s fashion. Today guys are wearing really tight pants, and purses are becoming very common for men. The point of the story is that what we perceived as beauty changes throughout history.
When we were visiting a museum in Athens we saw how males were portrayed in a more feminine manner, the god Apollo for example portrayed to what we would think today as feminine, but the god Athena is portrayed to what we would think today as manly. It is interesting to connect this idea to our current fashion. History repeats, and I think that it is interesting to think that the way we see what is “manly” might be changing.
The last days in Greece have been awesome. The one day cruise completely surpassed my expectations. I thought it was going to be a little boat, but it was a nice 3 story little cruise with a dance floor and 2 restaurants! Earlier in the morning it was a bit chili, but later the weather was just perfect. Riding on the boat was a good experience, it was very nice to just sit down and have a an espresso with a wonderful view of the Greek Islands, or it was fun to see some of the classmates dancing to the on-board live band we had.
The highlight for me was definitely the Island of Hydra. It is a small Island but it has a very beautiful port. The Island is mainly sustain from tourism, there are a lot of small shops and restaurants, you also many different languages in the Island. Once we docked in the Island most of us went swimming. The water was crystal clear, and it was very refreshing. There were some cliffs from which we dived. I think that if I look back on the trip, cliff-diving in the Island of Hydras will be a unforgettable memory.
Below is a video of me jumping from a cliff!
To me, there was no culture shock when coming to Greece, and the food, I love the food here! We have tried so much good food. I think one of the best things of this trip for is is staying away from fast food! One of the cultural aspects I really enjoy from Greece is that people here take their time to enjoy their meals. Apparently it is common for the waitress to bring the check 30min to 1 hour after you ask for the check, because people are not in a rush! I think if anything, after a crazy semester when my meals lasted 10min, this was a great way of reminding me to stop and enjoy food and conversation!
Another very interesting part of this trip was the Gellato, it is so good! Today I bought 1kg of strawberries for only 2 euros! they were the best strawberries I’ve ever tried! I enjoyed sharing it with the group and seeing their faces when they eat it! So far its been a great trip, hard work with the film crew, but lots of learning and fun!
The trip is going great! The scenery in Greece is truly breathtaking. At the same time this trip have allowed me to slow down, take in everything I am learning, and enjoy the how beautiful God’s creation is.
Today we visited the city of Delphi and we looked at archeological findings from different periods of the Roman empires. I started to think about what it means to be a follower of Christ in the modern society in light of ancient Rome.Going to the temple of Apollo (Greek god) in Athens sparked a new insight in my spiritual life.
Romans spent countless amounts of time and resources into the Temple of Apollo. Once the temple was finish it was filled with Gold and other luxury resources that people brought to the temple to please the Gods. As I was seeing this I though; what an incredible amount of determination and desire to please their Gods!
In my walk with God, I find myself having the same practices as the Romans had. Many times, we do things to please God. Although this is not bad, it is easy to think that maybe if I work harder trying to please God, somehow, I would be closer to God.
On the other hand, the group leader shared this verse with us, and it strongly spoke to me.
“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise”
I think this verse is a great reminder that YWH is not like the gods Romans prayed to. God does not required from us monumental endeavors such as the Temple of Apollo, but what God truly want from us, is a humble and contrite heart.
Next time I am tempted to do anything “great” for God, I will have to remind myself, am I acting with a humble and contrite heart? I think, that should be a good starting point.
Check out my video blog
t was a great experience to visit the church of Demetrius; it is an Orthodox church built in honor of the first martyr of Thessaloniki. Learning the traditions of the Orthodox Church helped get a better understanding of what God’s will is my life. Many times we asks ourselves, is it God’s will for me to go to this school, major on this, take this job, move to this place. Learning the Orthodox tradition helped me understand that these are meaningless in the bigger scheme of things. When Paul writes about God’s will he says:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” – 1 Thessalonians 3:16-18
When Paul says rejoice always, I think he truly meant to rejoice in all circumstances, because whatever you are going through, that is, God’s will for your life. It is easy to give thanks to God when times are good, but when we are busy, in pain, hurt, Paul says, give thanks to God and rejoice always because that is his will for your life.
The Orthodox Church takes this verse seriously, in their prayers the sometimes monks would pray the Jesus prayer 800 times, saying:
“Lord Jesus, son of God, have mercy on us”
Making this prayer over and over would help them reach the three levels of Prayer, first in the lips, second in mind, and third in the heart. Doing this prayer over and over opens our eyes to see God, and open our on how we see others, that we are all sinners and deserved the mercy of God.
To be holy, is to be set apart, to be different. A way that we can learn to be set apart, it does not mean to be clear of sin. The Orthodox Church believes in taking little steps at the time toward Holiness, towards being different. Paul calls us to be Holy, maybe we can do become Holy by taking trying to change our daily lives, little by little, to be different, to rejoice, to give thanks in all things, and like the Orthodox monks, to pray without ceasing. Knowing that we are fulfilling God’s will for our lives, all other things will be added to our lives.