What is the first place you should visit when you go to Chicago? Moody Bible Institute!
I don’t remember imagining or thinking I would get the chance to see Moody Bible Institute once in my life. I probably did, but whenever I heard about it, and whenever people talked of “Moody” it seemed like one of those faraway places of great wonder that I might not ever see. Yet, we unexpectedly got the chance by coming to Chicago! It was a very exciting day!
Moody Bible Institute was practically in the heart of downtown Chicago- amidst all that hustle and bustle. We walked into the campus looking around trying to absorb as many details as possible and store it in our memories. The campus had some older brick buildings, and gothic style architecture here and there.
It was thrilling to think we were walking around where the great evangelist Moody had once been! Yet at the same time it was saddening to think that so much had changed at the Institute. Instead of the beautiful hymns that Ira Sankey used to sing, now MBI has rock music blasting out of it’s speakers on the campus, a dishonor to the work that Moody and Ira had done by God’s grace. And you could sense that it had become a liberal campus…sigh. But let’s continue with our story.
Once inside the college campus, visitors could enter a little room that was like a museum of Moody’s ministry. They had his old Bible, and other papers he had signed, and letters he had sent. It was interesting to see a wax statue of Moody standing there as if in his office, reading the Bible. After wandering around through there and taking pictures, we meandered into the cafeteria. It was not very crowded because I think the semester was already over- but still, there were students sitting at the tables, chatting and eating.
The cafeteria had that old victorian era feel to it- with dark wooden benches and tables and such. After sharing a slice of pizza we wandered out and stopped at the Moody bookstore. It was filled to the brim with things you would find at a Christian bookstore, but we just looked and Jessica found a nice birthday card for Mom’s birthday which was coming up in a few days.
Below you can get a glimpse of downtown Chicago during the day! There were quite a lot of bridges and it was all very clean. We even got the chance to see Lake Michigan! The water was a light blue, with some sailboats in the distance. There were several bridges crossing over some kind of rivers passing through. I’m not sure if they were just branches off of Lake Michigan or not, but ferry boats were passing by below, to add to the picture.
And to get the whole picture of Chicago, you must see some photos of suburban Chicago, right?
We even saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Yes, they moved it in Chicago!
Just kidding. But we did see a replica of the tower somewhere in the city, and whipped out our camera to get pictures of it.
We pictured some of the typical houses there. We also got to visit a family in a beautiful neighborhood with colonial style houses and wide green lawns that were impecably kept. And what would you know- we saw Canadian geese flying about too! We would see them land in the church parking lot, or walking on the lawn there. People said they had nests nearby, and they flew around the city. It was funny to watch them feeling so comfortable in a place with people and cars! They were beautiful birds.
There were lilac bushes blooming everywhere too! We came during the peak season, so we got to see all the beauty!
Finally, below are some pictures of the Sears Tower. Now it is re-named as Willis Tower. It used to be one of the tallest buildings in the world at one point (at least that’s what I’ve been told). On our second to last day in Chicago, we went up in the tower to look at the city from up there. The elevator took us up 103 floors in just 60 seconds! That was quite the ride! The pressure building up as you ascended was quite intense, but it didn’t last long. Once at the top, everyone streamed out. What an experience! The 360 degree sights were breathtaking! And again, I felt so small and insignificant seeing the magnitude of the city and how far it expanded. Cars seemed like ants crawling on little pathways which were actually freeways. People were practically invisible!
And when I think that God knows each and every one of us, what we think, where we go, and how we feel- I can say our God is a marvelous God! From the tower you could see four different states: Illinois (obviously), Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana. You could also see Lake Michigan. One main attraction up there were the glass balconies. They were practially glass boxes extending out of the building. When you stepped out into the balcony, you were standing on glass 103 stories high above the city!
Yes, I did step out on the glass- but I confess it was dizzying. You had the sensation that the building was moving. I couldn’t stay for long, nor look too much below me. Nor could you spend too much time because people waited in line to get in there too! But it was worth the adrenaline. 🙂
The last part of this series will conclude with a special post on Texas and a nice museum in Oklahoma that we got to visit- the ‘real’ wild west experience!