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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Friday, 31 January 2014

Turkey 2 - Gallipoli

So I’m sitting here somewhat exhausted, yet also feeling very blessed.

I have had a massive few days since returning from overseas, because as you know life does not stop…which is also a good thing.

I have not only had to readjust to a different time zone; I have needed to get my children back into school, nurse my eldest son from an accident he had while I was away and take him to his hospital appointment, churn through a massive amount of washing, cook, food shop, catch up with friends and family and adjust to our high summer temperatures…

However although I am tired, I am sitting here feeling blessed…I have just finished today’s chores (got them done early due to the heat) and my eldest son is finishing mowing the long lawns.  He has not yet returned to school from our summer break due to his accident. 

While I was away he went swimming with his cousin in a local irrigation channel and smashed his two front adult teeth on a submerged rock…his mouth was a horrific sight and he has been in a lot of pain.  Yesterday’s appointment saw the hospital’s dentist secure his teeth from moving with a temporary plaster like glue.  Although I did burst into tears when I found out about his accident, I am so grateful to God that my son is alive and did not hit his head.  I am also extremely thankful that his teethes nerves are still alive and that he is now feeling much better with his teeth firmly secured.

Being at home safe with my three boys takes my mind back to Gallipoli…while in Turkey we had an amazing visit there and reflective service.  I’m not going to try and say too much about my disgust of the politics involved in Gallipoli because I don’t want to argue with people over it.  As always I am writing from my experience...

A beautiful commemorative monument in Turkey visible from the ferry we took! 

But what I will say is that being at the beach front of Gallipoli as a mother of three beautiful sons, my heart broke.  My heart ached for all the mothers of both sides…I could imagine their heartbreak losing their beautiful sons and young husbands.

When I was a teenager I can remember racial discrimination against Turkish kids at school.  I can even recall the discrimination against Turkish people from the older generations…which is obviously where the kids got it from.  Australians are not always the most informed people.  There are many people who gain their opinions and perspectives from the uneducated racial slurs of others…and to be totally frank the humanities education I received in the state secondary school was not very broad.

Being in Turkey was a life-changing experience for me.  I was able to experience God’s love for this place and its people.  I looked into the faces of beautiful human beings made in God’s image, and experience their gracious hospitality and warmth.  I was blessed to see strong family and friendship bonds, and learn that the Turkish men’s humour is so crazily similar to us Aussies!  I was able to see that these beautiful people looked on us Aussies as brothers and sisters, and it humbled my heart!

The landscape at Gallipoli and along the west coast was absolutely stunning and I was so saddened by the thought that the young men sent there did not get to experience Turkey the way I was.  They call Gallipoli a gentlemen’s war, and it’s true that on both sides beautiful gentlemen were forced to endure…again I feel so blessed that I am not forced to lose my sons.

If I can leave you with one thought…it would be don’t listen to the racial slurs of others, or take flippant remarks as facts…seek wisdom yourself.  Don’t let fear enter your heart when it comes to people of other race or religion…ALL PEOPLE ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE…yes all! 

The world needs more humanitarians to proclaim the Gospel…and we need to remember that WE ALL have sinned and fallen short of God’s holy requirements…WE ALL NEED THE GOSPEL AND ARE NOT ABOVE OTHERS!

In love, Melanie. 

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