Well, the news we received that our embassy had been hit by a suicide bomber certainly shook us up. We have had a couple of small explosives thrown into our church, but not when anyone was there. We also had a bomb set off in Ulus (the old town in Ankara), but it was not directed at Americans. This was a first for us. As the Lord would have it, our school had already dismissed as a 1/2 day, so all the students were safely at home when the news broke. We continued to work, but alterted all our staff and locked up the school for the afternoon for extra security.
I keep thinking, though, about this place that was bombed, and how I've been there so many times. When my two little Turks were born, we took them there to receive their official US citizenship and consular report of birth abroad. Anytime we need more passport pages or to update the kids' passports, this is where we go. I know exactly where it happened, it's where I've turned in my cell phone and received a card so I could retrieve it later.
I keep thinking about how when we arrive at the embassy, there are so many lined up outside, wanting visas to the US, hoping for a chance to explain their cause. The guards always escort us to the front, ask if we are citizens, then usher us into this room, this very room where the bomb exploded.
I keep thinking about the guard who died. To have a position at the US Embassy, he must have been a grand guy, someone with leadership, someone who had proven himself all of his life, someone who was kind and helpful and sympathetic to Americans and trustworthy. And his life is over in an instant.
I think this incident has been the catalyst to show me this weekend how very much we are loved and prayed for. The emails/facebook messages just poured in. People from all walks of my life...Indiana, Tennessee, Ouachita, Singapore, Turkey....all reminding me that they pray for us. It was almost like I got a tiny glimpse of the supernatural world to see behind the scenes.
I think it shook up my oldest daughter, too. She wanted to have the "What if...?" discussion. We had told them long ago that Uncle Troy and Aunt Jen would escort them home to the US should anything ever happen to us. She said, "They've moved back to America now. What would we do?" I assured her that there were families here who would take care of them and get them home. I even promised to ask my friend T to be my designated person. She wanted to know what if something happened to me. (They'd most likely still live in Turkey...?). What if something happened to Papa? (We'd most likely move back to the US, and I'd need to teach in public schools to make enough money to support us...?) Would Papa have to remarry? (No, he would not have to. "Whew!" she replied.) There were a lot of questions buzzing in her 13-year-old mind, but things like this make you think. I felt the best thing I could do was to just answer every question in a straightforward way, reminding her that God is in control.
And He is in control. Praise God. Please let it remind you to pray for Turkey. That light would shine.