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Turkey earthquake survivors praise God’s faithfulness

February 1, 2024 by Abigail Hart in Persecuted Christians in Turkey

It was the middle of winter and the elements were brutal.  Following the earthquake, John and his family had no choice but to live in a tent, but they were grateful to God that they had survived the hellish ordeal.

While living in a tent, they had to deal with pests, the drastic temperature swings and cramped quarters. But through it all, John and his family remained faithful. John said, “God is the essence of life, the treasure I hold dear. His words purify my soul. His words are gems to my ears.”

The earthquake claimed 55,000 lives.

Global Christian Relief was quickly on the ground, offering ways to help, and one of those ways was through safe housing.

Make a special gift today and help GCR show up and act as the hands and feet of Jesus for persecuted Christians around the world.

With the generous gifts of donors, GCR was able to provide John Emecktis and his family a container home. Container homes are insulted, air conditioned and protect from the weather. Although not a permanent solution, they’re a place of comfort as the community rebuilds.

After gifting John a container home, he described to GCR what it feels like to be in his situation. He said, “I feel like I have glued pieces of a broken vase back together. It’s not the original vase, but it’s a vase. It’s better than not fixing it all; it still serves as a vase where I can put my flowers. But I still know that it is a broken vase.”

That was six months ago. We have since heard from John and have an update to share.

John and his family pose for a picture in their container home.

John and his family pose for a picture in their container home.

John and his family are still living in their container home in Samandag, Turkey, a small town about 14 miles from where their house was in Antakya. Unfortunately, the quake had hit Antakya hard and the city is still highly uninhabitable. However, some schools have reopened. John works as a chemistry teacher in one of the high schools—the same school where his wife got a job as a nurse. They’re grateful for their jobs and that their children have begun attending school again.

For John and his family, we know there is still uncertainty about their future—and if they will ever be able to truly return home—but they can take heart in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” God has showed up in their lives over the past year and has provided for their needs. And He will continue to take care of them.

Join us now in prayer for John and his family.

Lord, You’ve protected this dear family and You have a plan for them. We’re grateful for their update, that they’re back to work and that the children are back in school. We ask You continue to provide for this family and their needs. Let them not grow discouraged. Keep them safe and bless them with peace as they take next steps on the path You’ve put down for them. Amen.

About the author
Tim Dustin writes for Global Christian Relief where he gets to share inspiring stories of believers out of Turkey and across the world. Get the latest blogs and prayer requests at

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