Footsteps of Paul Cruise
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Paul wrote these words in a Roman prison to the believers in Philippi. Over 2,000 years later, eighty travelers from East Los Angeles and surrounding regions traveled a similar journey which enabled them to gain a deeper understanding of Paul’s life and missionary journeys.
Unlike Paul and his companions, CCM travelers were able to travel comfortably on a luxury cruiseliner and enjoy fellowship with Pastor Pancho and other travelers. Throughout the 12-day cruise, Pancho taught bible studies about Paul’s life, transformation, theology, and missionary journeys. Though the lectures were for CCM travelers, several tourists found their way into the studies and stayed to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each lecture consisted of an explanation of specified texts and practical application for daily living.
On the itinerary were port stops on Paul’s first and second missionary journeys. Included were stops to Kusadasi (Ephesus), Corinth, Athens, Rome, and several stops in Turkey. Once on land, tour guides thoroughly explained the cultural structure, historical relevance and recreated a visual image of what the city once looked like through the piles of ruins. One of the favorite spots for the CCM travelers was the Areopagus, or Mars Hills, where Paul eloquently gave one of Christianity’s best apologetic dissertations. Pastor Pancho recreated this moment in an impromptu reading of Acts 17:22-32 and stirred the body of travelers with excitement. Upon hearing the reading, the group had enough strength to journey up to the Acropolis in 104-degree weather. Once at the top, the view was worth every step. “This is the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen,” said 76 year-old traveler, Helen Gutierrez. She shared her sentiment with the other travelers who were getting excited for the next group trip sponsored by CCM.
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