Suffering Churches Help Earthquake Victims
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ISTANBUL (Worthy News) – Suffering churches in one of the areas hardest hit by last month’s devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria are still “delivering aid and letting people know they are not forgotten,” a spokesperson said Thursday.
Brian Orme, chief communication officer at Global Christian Relief told Worthy News that his aid group works with Christians who themselves lost loved ones.
“We met Mr. John, the relief director at St. George Church in [the Turkish port city of ] Iskenderun, one of the hardest-hit areas. Tens of thousands of lives lost just in this one city,” Orme said.
“Many of our loved ones are under the rubble. Everyone has lost someone,” Orme quoted the Christian leader as saying. “Everyone we spoke with was grieving while simultaneously trying to survive,” Orme added.
The latest difficulties come amid ongoing reports of persecution of Christians in at least some areas of Turkey, Worthy News established.
In comments shared with Worthy News, Mehmet, a father of four young children who lost his home and lives in a tent camp, said he was happy with the support from Christians in the heavily Muslim nation.
A Christian local aid worker, only identified as Ninve amid security concerns, said that she saw that even small relief or words of encouragement mean much in this crisis. “A small move can change a whole life,” she noted in comments sent to Worthy News. “Not just for one person, but for a whole village. We don’t want to feel abandoned. We need to know that all Christians are with us.”
Orme asked Christians “to remember the people in Turkey and Syria who have lost so much and still have urgent survival needs. They need our prayers and our generous support today.”
He said, “on the ground, you see so much after such a horrific event.” But he added that “God is using prayers and support to bring hope and help the churches be salt and light to their hurting communities.”
Authorities said this week that more than at least 51,000 people are already known to have died, including more than 45,000 in Turkey and thousands in Syria. The earthquake and subsequent powerful tremors injured more than 108,000 in Turkey and left millions sheltering in tents or seeking to move to other cities, aid workers and officials say.
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