last tuesday, 11:30 am
Jediah, Jongil and myself roll downhill to the Findikli Tram Station. The air is very cold and Jediah can't help think of Tomo who only owns a pair of hand-made flipflops for shoes. We're going to see him today for lunch and we'll offer to buy him a pair of warm shoes. 15 mn later we get off the tram at the Sultan Ahmed stop. A few blocks up on the left we find the "Tree of Life" hotel, well... 'hotel' is a big word. We climb 3 flights of dirty stairs, books written in Japanese are piled up on the 2cnd floor, an old Japanese man opens his door and stares at us ignoring our Merhaba. Jongil silently prays his last hour will not be in this Japanese building. On the top floor we find our friend Tomo, waving excitedly through the blurry window of the old french door. We can't decide what's making it blurry, grease marks or smoke or both.
Tomo is half Swiss and half Japanese, about Jediah's age, he grew up literally around the world, and last May set out to WALK around the world with the goal of ending in Japan. He arrived in Istanbul at the begining of december and the very same day johnny the V met him in Karakoy, our outreach spot that day. They decided to meet again the next week at the same time which turned out to be an easy date for both to remember 12/12 at 12pm. Since then we've stayed in touch with him and invited him over our house for lunch and a lenghty conversation, going back and forth from the bible to his beliefs of God. He soon after met the owner of a japanese hotel in Istanbul needing a receptionist and saw it as an opportunity to make some money and to have a place to live.
When Tomo stepped out of his 'office', we were relieved to see a new pair of sneackers on his feet! At a nearby Turkish restaurant, we sat on the second and secluded floor and were able to open our bible; jediah shared beautiful principles from the first chapter of Genesis. "And God said let US make man in OUR image." God -1 God in 3 persons- was going to create a thrichotomous being 'in his likeness'. So here we are, BODY (the part of me that is world-conscious) SOUL (self-conscious) and SPIRIT (God-conscious). No wonder we are complex beings... :)
After a sweet time of much talking and eating some delicious meat Pide, we headed out to the area of the Grand Bazar, one tram stop away.