ReachGlobal Crisis Response

Crisis creates a mission field where we can share the love of Christ with those in need.

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"We are sad now, but soon we will rejoice."

Hope after the Turkey earthquakes

"They have escaped from this world. I thank you for taking them from this world that is getting worse every day, and bringing them to heaven. They are safe today. Today, they are in a good place, by your side. That's why I thank you. No matter how much I thank you, it is too little. We are sad now, but soon we will rejoice. We will feel pain, but we will rejoice because they are happy. They rejoice for us because we are alive. We thank you, Heavenly Father, that we will be able to see them as soon as possible. We also thank you for your goodness, and taking them to be with you. I know how much you love them, that's why you took them to be with you, so they wouldn't suffer. You love your own, Heavenly Father. We can't thank you enough, because thanks to your mercy they were taken up..."

This was the prayer of a 10-year-old child who lost both parents in the Turkey earthquakes.

In the early hours of Monday morning, Turkey was violently awakened by a 7.8 earthquake that brought building after building tumbling down into enormous mountains of debris. Later that day another 7.5 earthquake shook the impacted region and slowed down the initial response. In the days to come search and rescue teams from all around the world mobilized to dig through the debris looking for survivors. With each passing day it becomes less likely that crews will find anyone left alive.

The message below was sent by a ReachGlobal worker in Turkey just days after the quakes:

Thousands of the buildings that did not fall still needed to be evacuated until they could be inspected and declared structurally sound. Early estimates were that 13.5 million people were impacted by the first two quakes as aftershocks continue to terrorize families who are afraid to go back inside. And more than a week after the earthquakes millions of people remain displaced, with many living in tents, cars or temporary shelters while others have left town to find safe housing. Harsh winter weather compounds the suffering of families living outside and complicates the efforts of first responders.

Tents and fires offer meager shelter and warmth in the cold winter weather.
Tents and fires offer meager shelter and warmth in the cold winter weather.

Prior to the earthquakes there were an estimated 10,000 Turkish believers living in a country of about 81 million people. ReachGlobal has decades of ministry history and church partnerships in Turkey, and many of the congregations are within the impacted areas. One staff explained that because the community of believers is so outnumbered, there is a close relationship between many congregations.

One believer sent a report from several of the churches that were affected by the quakes. Many of the church buildings were damaged or destroyed. Churches have started organizing to help families find food, water, tents and blankets. Where church buildings are stable they are offering temporary shelter to displaced families. One church lost a pastor and his wife, who were killed when their home collapsed.

The Turkish people have been mobilizing by the thousands to help with the response. Inside the affected zones there are people helping to organize food distributions, helping with evacuations, and thousands of rescue workers carefully digging through concrete and debris to reach anyone they can find.

The Turkish government closed down many roads in affected areas for all use except authorized vehicles to facilitate the rescue efforts and to protect from looting. Thousands of Turks showed up at relief centers outside the impacted region to help box and load shipments of relief supplies. Within the affected areas, storage for supplies is almost non-existent so materials have to be brought in on a daily basis until warehouse or storage space becomes available. Believers who are working in these staging areas have the opportunity to share true hope found in the gospel while providing real help to those in need.

ReachGlobal Crisis Response and ReachGlobal Europe are working together with ReachGlobal staff and our partners in Turkey, one of which is an NGO established by the Protestant Churches of Turkey. They are a top-notch group who are openly Christian and have gained the trust from the government, which allows them immediate access to those in need. Our prayer and hope is that this crisis will open a mission field for future ministry opportunities in Turkey. And we need your help to respond.

Workers distributing food and relief supplies
Workers distributing food and relief supplies

Pray for the hope of Jesus Christ to spread like fire in what seems like a hopeless situation. Pray for Christians all over the land to open their homes over the next several weeks as many will seek refuge in the large cities where more believers live. Pray that as people enter these homes they would know the love of a Father who has paid it all for them through His Son.

Give to help support an on-going response in Turkey. Your gifts will share hope as God opens doors in Turkey for the gospel to be heard.

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