Our hearts break for the people of Turkey and Northern Syria trying to piece together their lives after Monday’s devastating tragedy.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake and 7.5 magnitude aftershock have claimed the lives of at least 22,000 people and injured thousands more, according to multiple news outlets. That death toll is expected to continue to rise substantially.
With the damage spread over dozens of cities, rescue workers have faced significant challenges in their race to save survivors. The rubble mountains of concrete and metal have been dangerous to navigate.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay reports that hundreds of thousands have found refuge in government shelters, hotels, shopping malls, stadiums, mosques, and community centers. Others have had to brave the elements, sleeping outside around fires. In areas most affected by the quake, temperatures are predicted to fall well below freezing at night.
“We don’t have a tent, we don’t have a heating stove, we don’t have anything. Our children are in bad shape. We are all getting wet under the rain and our kids are out in the cold,” one person told USA Today. “We did not die from hunger or the earthquake, but we will die freezing from the cold.”
“We are so grateful for those upholding our teams on the ground in prayer and for the wisdom of our national partners,” AGWM regional director for Eurasia, Omar Beiler, said in a statement. “Our continued work over the next few days and weeks will be vital as we show the love and compassion of Christ to our neighbors in this region. Providing food and water and distributing hygiene products will be an essential part of our response.”
AGWM teams are already mobilizing to provide assistance to the people of Turkey and Syrian refugees. As believers, we see it as our privilege. You can help support these efforts by supporting AG Missions teams and partners. Give at AGWM Crisis Response.
• That recovery teams would be able to rescue as many survivors as possible
• That safe shelter would quickly become available to those who have been displaced
• That food and basic necessities would get to those who need it
• That our teams have meaningful opportunities to express the compassion of Christ
“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe” (Psalm 61:1-3, NIV).