Update on Turkey
Updated: Apr 4
On February 6, 2023, a series of earthquakes changed the southeast region of Turkey forever. The Lord has been using our team on the ground to be a light during this incredibly difficult time. Below is a video update on our team's work and how you can help.
We also wanted to share an encouraging story from one of our teammates on how God is showing himself amid the rubble.
"Dear brothers and sisters, Merhaba to you.
As you may know, I am from Marash, my father and many of my relatives are in Marash. Although there have been losses among distant relatives, my father and my close relatives are fine. Last week my wife and I went to the earthquake zone and saw Hatay, Iskenderun and Maraş. I have sent you updates on this, but I would like to share my experience in Maraş and what it showed me.
While walking among the heaps in Maraş, a page under the garbage caught my eye. At that moment, a curiosity arose in me. I looked closer, and it was a page from the Bible. 2 Corinthians 1 and 2, an old translation. Such a thing could only be a miracle, dear brothers and sisters. In the midst of so many ruins, in the midst of so much drama, a Bible page with only the edge visible could not be a coincidence. I thought, "I wonder if God wants to say something to the church in Turkey." I took the page and I will keep it for the rest of my life. Indeed, there are wonderful verses and messages in these chapters. I would like to share with you just a few messages that immediately caught my eye and touched my heart.
Firstly, there is certainly a great message of consolation. "Praise be to God, the source of all comfort, the merciful Father, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He comforts us in all our troubles, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of trouble with the comfort we receive from him."
Our consolation is in Him. Just as in the past He comforted His people in their suffering, so now He comforts us, the Church in Turkey, and He will comfort us. And the Church of Turkey will be used to comfort others. So let us find strength. Just as we have comfort in Christ, so let us comfort others in the power, love and faithfulness of God.
In the next verses of the chapter, a wonderful message speaks to us again. "1:8-9 We were burdened more than we could bear, so much so that we despaired of living. We felt in our hearts that we were doomed to die, but that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead." Praise God.
Our God is leading his Church through a difficult time, but he is also protecting it. He especially wants us to trust in Him at this time, dear brothers and sisters. He wants us to trust in him for our salvation and prosperity; to stand firm and continue to be his witnesses with the courage and strength that comes from trust in him. Let us stand firm and hold fast to Christ, whom He has provided for us, without fear for our own lives, our own present and future. Thus, 1:10 "God has rescued us from such a great danger of death and will rescue us even more. In Him, we put our hope." Praise God. At the same time, this time is coming to a glorious end. The rest of verse 10 goes on to say:
"He will save us again, as you also help us by your prayers. So that out of the mouths of many there may be thanksgiving for us, because of the grace given to us through the prayers of many." Amen!
This difficult time, dear brothers and sisters, will be a time when the Church in Turkey will stand up and grow. It will cause prejudices in the hearts of many to be lifted, walls to be broken down, ice to melt in the hearts of many. It will be a time that will change the hearts of those close to us and those far away, that will bring them closer to Christ, that will cause them to admire our God, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, it will be a time of awakening and a time of harvest, a time of breakthrough, a time of growth, a time of enlarging the tent, a time like the time of the apostles.
In faith and in full trust in the Holy Spirit, Amen! So let us not be discouraged. Even if our hearts are weary and exhausted with the weight of this season, let us continue to pray and fast and show love to our neighbor. It is a time to sow to the invisible, to the heavenly, and to store up treasure in the heavens.
If we do not give up, we will reap with joy when the time comes, even if these days are difficult.
Let us pray together. Let us fast together and together support those in the earthquake zone and the brothers and sisters who serve them. Let us be one body under the headship of Christ.
May the Lord bless and anoint us all, dear brothers and sisters, servants of God. It is an honor to serve with you."