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SURPRISE! SURPRISE! (Chania Chatter 3)

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We have been here in Chania Old Town for just over a week now … and this holiday seems to be lasting forever. We know that this second week will go much more quickly than the first, but that is how it is with holidays. We wondered when we decided to come on holiday here for two whole weeks, without hiring a car, if we would get bored – I mean there is only a certain amount of walking around the same place day after day that you can do without seeing the same things again and again? But … we just love it here! And as for getting bored being in the one place for two weeks … it is proving impossible. As one of our guide books informs us, ‘No matter how many times you walk round the old town there seems to be yet another delightful surprise around every corner.’

Everything about this holiday so far has been full of pleasant surprises. Our wonderful well-appointed fifth floor apartment with its spacious balcony, sun terrace, and delightful views over the harbour, the Mediterranean, and the mountains. Our first walk into the old town on our first evening when we suddenly turned the corner and saw the stunning old Venetian harbour bathed in glorious evening sunlight. The wonderful restaurants and shops along the harbour itself and in the maze of side streets leading inland from the harbour. The amazing architecture, houses, museums, archeological sites and places of interest. There is so much to do and see here … and you don’t have to drive, catch a bus, take a taxi to see it all. The old synagogue, the Cretan house, the Minoan excavations, the Venetian lighthouse, and so much more. As dear Cilla would have said, ‘Surprise! Surprise!’ There are wonderful surprises everywhere.

We love the small local shops – everything from crafts to clothes – and the cafes and restaurants – with wonderful musicians playing traditional Greek music live. We love the people – locals and tourists alike – and we have enjoyed some great conversations. We love the little evangelical, charismatic church we discovered (just down the road from our apartment) doing genuine salt and light and leaven stuff amongst the locals and the north African migrants.

When we were back in Knaphill the Lord recently spoke to Julia and myself in prayer one day and told us that the future for us would be full of twists and turns but not to worry about this because every twist and turn would be good and beneficial for us. We were reminded of Paul’s words to the church in Rome (and for Christians of every age and generation) that ‘In everything God is working for the good of those who love him, the good of those who are seeking to walk in his plans and purposes’ (Romans 8:28). Being here in Chania Old Town is a constant visible reminder of God’s word to us. The place is full of twists and turns but, as the guide book said, ‘No matter how many times you walk round the old town there seems to be yet another delightful surprise around every corner.’ And if this is true for us here in Chania, it will certainly be true for us in the future as we seek to live in the centre stream of God’s will for our lives.

Jim Binney

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