A few days later, Paul said to Barnabas, “We should go back to all the towns where we told people the message of the Lord. We should visit the believers to see how they are doing.”
Barnabas wanted to bring John Mark with them too. But on their first trip John Mark did not continue with them in the work. He had left them at Pamphylia. So Paul did not think it was a good idea to take him this time. Paul and Barnabas had a big argument about this. It was so bad that they separated and went different ways. Barnabas sailed to Cyprus and took Mark with him.
Paul chose Silas to go with him. The believers in Antioch put Paul into the Lord’s care and sent him out. Paul and Silas went through the countries of Syria and Cilicia, helping the churches grow stronger.
Paul went to the city of Derbe and then to Lystra, where a follower of Jesus named Timothy lived. Timothy’s mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. The believers in the cities of Lystra and Iconium had only good things to say about him. Paul wanted Timothy to travel with him, but all the Jews living in that area knew that his father was a Greek. So Paul circumcised Timothy to please the Jews.
Then Paul and those with him traveled through other cities. They gave the believers the rules and decisions from the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. They told them to obey these rules. So the churches were becoming stronger in their faith, and the number of believers was growing every day.
Paul and those with him went through the areas of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit did not allow them to tell the Good News in the province of Asia. When they reached the border of Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not let them go there. So they passed by Mysia and went to the city of Troas.
That night Paul saw a vision. In it, a man from Macedonia came to Paul. The man stood there and begged, “Come across to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we immediately prepared to leave for Macedonia. We understood that God had called us to tell the Good News to those people.
We left Troas in a ship and sailed to the island of Samothrace. The next day we sailed to the city of Neapolis. Then we went to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city in that part of Macedonia. We stayed there for a few days.
On the Sabbath day we went out the city gate to the river. There we thought we might find a special place for prayer. Some women had gathered there, so we sat down and talked with them. There was a woman there named Lydia from the city of Thyatira. Her job was selling purple cloth. She was a worshiper of the true God. Lydia was listening to Paul, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. She and all the people living in her house were baptized. Then she invited us into her home. She said, “If you think I am a true believer in the Lord Jesus, come stay in my house.”
And she persuaded us to stay with her.