Monday, January 23, 2012

The 23 Year Love Affair that Pre-Dates my Marriage

A colorful look at Turkey.  English starts on the 12th second of the video.

I fell in love with the Turkish people when I was 24 years old.  I remember how I sobbed on the airplane when I had to return to America after a two year stint in Istanbul.  For reasons I could hardly understand, I felt that my heart would break over leaving Turkey.  I felt almost the same way three years ago when we had to leave for a one year furlough in America.

I love Turks for their hospitality, generosity, and their helpfulness.  Just today two men walking on the street saw me struggling to parallel park my car into a tight space.  They stopped, gave hand signals to direct me, and walked on, not even waiting to be thanked.  I love Turks for their human warmth, their respect for their elders, and their commitment to friendship.  It’s a lovely thing to have a friend you talk to almost daily. I love the fact that Turks always have time, time to stop and talk, time to sit and drink a glass of tea with a friend or business contact.

Of course serving here can be challenging.  Last week, for example, my husband and I got yelled at by an extremely loud, hateful man for sharing the message in a park with a travelling group. In 12 years here, I’d never encountered such a response, but God gave us special grace because it didn’t faze me. It must be a God thing because on most days I’d rather be here than any other place in the world, even with the obstacles and trials.

This video reminded me all over again how much I love Turks.  Katharine Branning, author of Yes, I Would Love another Glass of Tea, compares Turkish tea with the Turkish culture and people themselves. She obviously loves Turks as much as I do.

Question for you if you live abroad: What do you love about the people you live among?

Question for you if you’ve travelled abroad: What did you love about the people you visited?


Kris Thede said...

I love how they find joy among difficult lives. So much emphasis on relationships and they share the little they have with others. I love being included in the things that make them laugh [when it's at me-not so much]. I enjoy their songs of praise, the rhythms can come so naturally to them and the intensity of their prayers. They remind me that we may only have today, to put my faith in the Lord and always remember that while we have troubles in this life-the next will not include tears or suffering!

OliveTree said...

What a great list of things. It sounds like you've learned a lot from Haitians.

Linda said...

How interesting! Now I feel I know you better. :)

The lady in the video was so eloquent in the way she compared tea's attributes to the people and culture of Turkey. Bravo!


Alida said...

I loved the people we met in Istanbul too...I hope that God allows us to go back there someday.

here in Belize I love the warmth of the people, how they love their children, how they are so eager to help a friend or give a stranger a lift. I love how they are so willing to teach others about their country, their culture and their foods. I just love living here and when people think I am Belizean it truly warms my heart!!

Amy said...

great post!

I love how people oriented the culture is here. You spend time with people and it is not usually rushed. That is my favorite part of living here!

Amy @ Missional Mama

OliveTree said...

Interesting that you have been to Turkey, Alida. And people thinking you are one of them is a great compliment.

Amy, I'm all for being people oriented too!