The Anzac Resource Kit, ‘Kiwi’s and Diggers’ has been researched and assembled by the Army Museum, and is a really fantastic addition to our NZ history resources.
The Kit is made up of a number of Paks (not all pictured as there’s tons more inside envelopes – I only pictured the loose stuff). I would gauge the level as aimed at children between 8 and 12 years of age.
I’ve found the content to be an appropriate introduction to the subject of war. I like how it is honouring of a generation that paid a high price for freedom.
Here are just some of the things the Kit contains:
A teacher’s guide
10 photocards (with biographies, and various snapshots of history)
5 actions cards (with ideas on how to use the photocards),
Cassette tape with stories
A diary of the Anzac’s in Gallipoli
The story of one NZ soldier, including a scrapbook, certificate, name card and activity cards.
The subjects covered range from the Anzac history of Gallipoli itself, to a personal look at one soldier’s life in the Great War.
With your younger ones (between ages 6 and 8), you may like to keep it simple and focus on what life was like 100 years ago in New Zealand, or use one of the photocards as a story starter. If they can cope with a little more writing (doing themselves or dictating to you as you type), you could write journal entries together or get your child to write a news article.
If you’re outside NZ, you might still like to look at World War I from the perspective of another country, and what life was life for both soldiers that fought and those left back home.
“When we teach our children about the world outside their doorstep, we widen their awareness and understanding to different worldviews and ways of life beside their own. This awareness will be a springboard into equipping them in reaching out purposefully with love and compassion to people of other nations. [Read more]“
I’d love for you to take a look and consider doing this mini study with your children this season.
Coming up this week is an anniversary in our nation that I’ve come to hold dear to my heart. Anzac Day commemorates the day that thousands of young men poured onto the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, on 25 April 1915, in an eventual failed attempt to take the peninsula for the Allied side during World War I.
Ironically, what was arguably our greatest military defeat, has now come to be something which has formed the basis of friendship between our nations. The famous Turkish hospitality continues to be bestowed on Kiwi travellers and the mutual honour and understanding that passes between us is something quite unique.
Shawn and I visited Gallipoli 13 years ago while serving on the mission field in Europe and spent the entire day visiting the large sprawled site and soaking in the story told on that soil. Our Australian tour guide told the story with such obvious knowledge and passion. We contemplated the relevance to our own lives and that of our nation with the place. The following year, since we were only 5 hours drive away, we simply couldn’t miss the opportunity so returned for the Anzac Day commemorations and joined with thousands of other mostly young travellers. Many of these young pilgrims, like ourselves, were hungry to know how this story formed part of their own identity as New Zealanders, and in knowing this part of our identity, what difference would it make in how we now live?
So why would the story of the Anzac hold such significance for me and many others?
Quick history lesson: In 1915, our relatively young nation was still considered part of the British Empire. The army corps, serving in Egypt in 1915 prior to Gallipoli, were nicknamed the ‘Bronze Giants of the south pacific’. Despite our obvious difference in physical stature to citizens from the mother country, and about one generation had passed since our nation had been ‘officially’ started at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (1840), our identity was that of British subjects. By the end of the 8-month long campaign, and the end of the Great War itself, our nations people emerged with an identity of their own – that of New Zealanders. The worthy qualities still known about us to this day were forged and made famous in the trenches – that of mateship, courage, sacrifice, valour, good humour, and endurance. These values have become known as the ‘Anzac spirit’ or ‘Anzac legend’.
Anzac cove on the Gallipoli peninsula, the beach where the Anzacs landed 25 April 1915.
The most significant part in my own journey is that of God’s redemptive story currently unfolding, and what my/our part is in partnering with this. He takes what was meant for death and destruction, and brings life and healing. He brings forth beauty from ashes. He takes what appears lost and downtrodden, and crafts something significant and beautiful.
Years ago in our old hometown, we met up with a friend who had been at a prayer gathering that weekend. He passionately shared how the Lord had moved on his heart with the words ‘redeem 1915’. He asked the question ‘what would 1915 look like redeemed?’ Our faithful friend has shared this message for years now across our nation, and many have been inspired to investigate what it might look like for them to be part of writing HIStory. (Listen to a great message on this here).
From that day visiting our friend’s motel room, the Anzac story took on a new purpose in my heart, and the impact of previous year’s visits to the land made even more sense. These years since, we have been holding this before the Lord in prayer and dreaming how this 98-year old story could look like redeemed. How can the believers in our land arise and pour out into modern land of Turkey, inviting His presence, His hope, and the living message of salvation found in Him alone?
A few years back I wrote down a stream of thoughts on what I believe this could look like, pages of it from memory. It’s the kind of dreaming that only God can do through us – the ridiculously impossible! I’m feeling today that I need to pull those notes up again and read what my soul-searching with Him produced. I could do with a freshened up dose of inspiration. 🙂
For those of you elsewhere in the world, can I encourage you to ask yourselves, what is it that the Lord has destined within your people that is meant for life? What is the unique expression that lies within your land that, when dedicated to Him, will give Him glory and draw many to His Light? Do you live in Los Angeles: the city destined to take His message into the world? Or New York: the gateway city to the rest of the nation. Or London: a hub of heritage, and of gathering and sending out. Is your people group drawn to a specific creative expression, or does it display an inventive or innovative spark?
See through the eyes of faith. His fingerprints are on His created world, even at times where they may seem tainted or covered. Uncover and rediscover a glimpse into your nation’s purpose. You’ll be amazed when you incline your ear to Him!
I pray He gives you eyes to see what partnering with a redemptive Father God can produce. And that you’ll be inspired to join with what He has on His heart!
And that my friends, is what I believe to be the heart of the Anzac story. Redemption. Life. Him.
For historical information on the story of the Anzac, here are some sites to look up:
Spoken by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1934 and now displayed on a memorial at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli:
“Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in our bosoms and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they become our sons as well.”
Can I tell you about a fantastic worship album that has blessed us tremendously? I can’t help but get excited when the sound of heaven collides with the sound of our nation. I love the indigenous sound that I’ve been hearing come from our beloved nation in the last couple of years. But this is one worship album has me doubly excited, as behind the talented name on the front, there is also somewhat of a collaborative effort that has gone into it from some of the best people ever.
‘On the Back Hills of Bethlehem’ by Hans Kraenzlin, was largely written in the stunning Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, but features musicians from around the world, including award-winning Polish producer Pawel Zareck. The result is a unique blend of sounds and melodies, and something within the music comes to life in a way that causes my own spirit to leap.
Like with any worship album such as this, Hans’ own journey comes through in his music, and you can’t help but respond to the invitation to draw nearer to the Father and enjoy His presence. Hans’ story of encountering the Father, woven with honesty and beauty through the music, is one available to us also. We too can yearn for Him in a way that fills us with unquenchable hope and joy.
There are so many amazing worship albums produced these days. So why do I love this one (besides the obvious fact that we love Hans and would pretty much cheer on anything he does)?
Well… I feel drawn to know the Father more intimately through these songs. I feel my heart becoming freer as I give myself over to the dance in my heart. I feel stirred to intercede and declare the goodness of God over the earth. Most of all, I feel the irresistible urge to drink in His JOY and release my own sound on the earth, the sound of worship within me. Simple really. Not only do I get to pour out my affections upon Him, but I also hear Him respond to me in a way that I feel like His beloved child. Thank you Hans for this incredible gift.
Here is a prayer that I wrote for Anzac Day a couple of years ago. It was read out aloud by our church congregation that we were part of at the time. It still reasonates in my heart. I hope it blesses you also.
Lord, we Your people lift up Your glorious name over New Zealand. Thank you for planting each one of us in this nation that is mighty in Your hands. We are called to be a people of great courage, humility, honour, and ones who serve alongside others.
We declare today that we will endeavour to walk in the calling You have placed upon us as a nation. We thank You Lord for our indigenous people, for the richness of their culture and how they are the foundation of our national identity. We value their voice and call forth the gift that You have placed within them to bless our nation as well as many others.
Let our nation of mixed cultures and heritage display your unity, as we advance Your Kingdom on the earth. Release us into our destiny as a Church, a City and a Nation. May we walk into what You have called us to.
Lead us as we work alongside other nations as they themselves forge forward into their destiny, and let us demonstrate a spirit of reconciliation. Forgive us where we have dishonoured our fellow countrymen, our leaders, and those whom You have brought here to be part of Your plan.
Raise up a missions nation that will do great exploits for their God – let everything we do be done unto the Lord. We unite our hearts with Yours and give ourselves to serve You and bring you glory.
Kiwi homeschooling Mums, this is a great resource to add to your New Zealand history resources.
The Kit is made up of a number of Paks (not all pictured as there’s tons more inside envelopes – I only pictured the loose stuff). I would gauge the level as aimed at children between 8 and 12 years of age. As I’ve been looking through the kit, so far I’ve found the contents to be an appropriate introduction to the subject of war. I like how it is honouring of a generation that paid a high price for a cause .
There is a teacher’s guide, maps, posters, 10 photocards, 5 actions cards (with ideas on how to use the photocards), a cassette tape with stories, a book, and other goodies. The subjects range from the Anzac history of Gallipoli itself, to a personal look at one soldier’s life in the Great War.
The great thing about this kit is that you can re-use it throughout your children’s elementary years, and focus on a different topic each time. With your younger ones (between ages 6 and 8), you may like to keep it simple and focus on what life was like 100 years ago in New Zealand, or use one of the photocards as a story starter. If they can cope with a little more writing (doing themselves or dictating to you as you type), you could write journal entries together or get your child to write a news article.