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avondale school blog


The Power of the Mind

14 September 2018


During a private fly-in fishing excursion into the Alaskan wilderness, the chartered pilot and fishermen left a cooler full of bait in the plane. A bear smelled it, and this is what the bear did to the plane... The pilot used his radio and had another pilot bring him two new tyres, three cases of duct tape and a supply of sheet plastic. He then patched the plane together and FLEW IT HOME!


I want to reflect on another great escape that involved a whole country in World War II. There were 7,800 Jews in this country and the country refused to enforce the NAZI law for Jews to wear the yellow star. Then a German diplomat alerted a nearby country to the intended deadline of the Jewish round-up at 10pm, October 1, 1943. With two days to go, the country rallied and provided escape options for as many Jews as they could support.


There are some amazing stories of Jews being confronted on the streets with keys to strangers’ houses and being told – “go and hide in my house”. One ambulance driver simply looked up the phonebook and contacted every Jewish sounding name he could find and was part of a network who helped 2,000 Jews get across the narrow channel between the two countries, after hiding them in the hospital first.


Through the combined efforts of the German diplomat, Georg Duckwitz, who organised acceptance into Sweden, dry docked all the German patrol boats for the week of the operation so they were out of the way. Many of the citizens of this country, some 7,220 Jews, were rescued along with 684 non-Jewish spouses. Remarkably the death toll for Jews in this country was only 51 – of whom about 30 died trying to escape from concentration camps.


It is a country that has a strong Australian connection now, with Princess Mary – from Tasmania – now part of the royal family. As one young Danish student said, “We felt that the Jews were Danes like us, and we knew we had to help them. Everyone felt this way.”


What a remarkable reminder of the love of God that operates without prejudice and reveals unconditional acceptance. I wonder how we would respond if we had been placed in that situation. Like the pilot who was dependent on outside help to make the remarkable repairs, and the Jews dependent on their generous countrymen, we are totally dependent on God for our escape from sin.


Dr David McClintock

School Principal


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