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‘Pray for new hope’—on the ground in Turkey’s churches

February 23, 2023 by Abigail Hart in Persecution updates

On February 6, two deadly earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria, shattering lives and taking so much from so many. But within 24 hours after the earthquakes struck, Global Christian Relief’s teams were there—relaying prayer needs in real time, working with our local partners to rush lifesaving aid, and equipping churches to serve their hurting communities and be a light for the gospel.

To date, more than 45,000 people in both Syria and Turkey have lost their lives. Cities are destroyed and many remain without basic necessities. “They feel so hopeless … pray for them to create a new hope,” says Ninva, one of our local partners on the ground.

Even after the initial damage of the earthquakes, hundreds are learning their homes will be torn down because of faults in the foundations of their buildings. Many more will become homeless. Even though the initial shock has passed, recovery remains a long haul for so many.

What an opportunity for the Church to step up and be the Church, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who need it in the deepest way. Every prayer and gift are individual lifelines and a reminder that we stand strongly together as one church, and one family.

Over the weekend, our team was able to send photos and videos of what’s happening. Watch how your prayers and support are making a difference in the lives of thousands.

In the city of Iskenderun in southeast Turkey, we saw firsthand how our local partners are reaching the community and equipping local churches to come alongside their communities. Each day, this church has been feeding around 5,000, in addition to giving away supply packs filled with basic necessities and warm clothing. The church is 400 years old but continues to be a light through so much pain.

It’s been incredible to see how many have stepped up, donated and supplied complete strangers with food, clothing and other essentials. It’s because of your gifts that our partners on-the-ground are now able to act as the Church and share Christ’s love with those in deepest need.

After the earthquakes, so many have been left with nothing. Basic hygiene kits containing toothbrushes, soap and deodorant have become glimmers of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. Our partners on-the-ground are striving to deliver hygiene kits to more than 10,000 people, including persecuted communities of believers, over the next four to six weeks. Your gifts are making a life-changing difference!

The devastation is visible up and down every street. What was once a sanctuary of peace and hope has become a reminder of the pain caused by the tragic earthquakes. Entire homes and communities have been wiped out. Although our local media is moving on to other news stories, it’s important we continue to remember the people of Turkey and Syria and stand with them during their time of crisis.

Help churches in Syria and Turkey be salt and light

Help churches in Syria and Turkey be salt and light

Time is critical—our partners are distributing relief over the next 4-6 weeks to serve more than 10,000 people, including persecuted communities of believers. Act now—be the hands and feet of Jesus for those who’ve lost so much in this disaster. No gift is too small.