On Monday the 6th of February two powerful earthquakes struck Southern Turkey near the Northern Syrian border. The initial quake had a magnitude of 7.8, followed by a 7.5 magnitude quake 9 hours later and a series of aftershocks. Sadly, many people have lost their lives or been injured, and the death toll is still rising. Our mission partner TEARFUND is part of DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee), a group of registered charities working on the front line delivering help and support to those who need it most.
When asked how we should pray, a a church leader in Turkey says: “Please pray for the people who have lost their loved ones and are in sorrow and despair, that God would comfort them. Please pray for the people who are helping and serving. And please pray that the ways would be opened soon, so we can bring more help to the area. God bless you all.”
The news from Turkey and Syria incredibly grieves us. More people in Turkey have been killed in this earthquake than in any earthquake since 1999. The damage in Syria has affected people who have already lost so much in 11 years of civil war. We find it hard to see your hand at work in moments like this. We wonder why because the damage and death seem so random.
In this time, remind us that you are here regardless of circumstance. We know that our world is damaged. We know that there are many kinds of damage we may never understand. Help us trust you are still present, even in moments like this.
We know that rescue workers are still trying to find people. They are working where cold weather makes it vital to find people before they freeze. Keep the rescue workers alert. Help them communicate well. Give their supervisors patience and resiliency as they coordinate the efforts.
We pray for the refugees and displaced people, especially in Syria. So many people have had to leave their homes in the last 11 years. So many were struggling to survive even before this earthquake happened. Without a permanent address or local connections, staying together or finding each other is much harder after a disaster strikes. Help these people to find their family members. Help them to get the medical care and emergency shelter they need.
We pray for all people of good will who live in the areas. Show them how to aid the least of these and show your love in this terrible time. We ask you would particularly help Christians to extend aid when dealing with people who are hostile to Christianity. Help your church in Turkey and Syria to love their enemies exceedingly well in this terrible time.
We thank you for the world leaders reaching out to help in this time. Help them to set aside egos and ulterior motives so they can work together to give the most help to the most people. Move obstacles and move hearts so that charity will defeat apathy.
Lastly, we pray for those who have lost loved ones. Show the grieving people in Turkey and Syria that you are the God who weeps and knows our pain. Help them to grieve and, at the proper time, to see the redemptive things you weave from even the worst circumstances.