Thursday, May 24, 2007

Simply, Ancona

As we drove home from Verona yesterday evening at 80 mph down the windy Italian superstrada, windows down to get some respite from the 90+ degree weather, we came up over a hill and there it was...Ancona. Hugging the 'elbow' of land that juts out into the Adriatic, it spread out before me and made my heart skip a beat.

We had just spent two days visiting Verona (pictured here), about 4 hours north, which is the destination of the new team being put together by Team Expansion in conjunction with Shively Christian Church's vision. Verona is, put simply, beautiful. No wonder Shakespeare set his most famous tragedy there, walking its streets alone is inspiration enough to write of love and beauty. It is nestled at the base of the mighty Alps, minutes away from Italy's largest lake, full of Roman and Medieval relics and monuments, housing its own amphitheater and divided Venice-style by the Adige river...beautiful, modern, clean, safe and sophisticated.

Driving home, while I processed everything, I came back to think of "plain, old Ancona". It doesn't attract the tourists and most travel guides skip right over it. It is small, provincial, a seaport town. And yet, it is where God has placed us. When you are where He calls you, it serves as a spiritual anchor that the world doesn't understand. I love watching the expressions of the anconetani when they ask 'why Ancona?' I can say it is because of the sea or because of its tranquility, but in the end, it is simply, Ancona.