We are thankful for the response from Alliance churches and donors—altogether $377,730.30—to provide financial resources for our partners in Turkey as they responded to the earthquake that impacted vast areas of Southern Turkey on February 6, 2023. This catastrophic earthquake affected 14,000,000 people, approximately sixteen percent of the population. Our partners in the region included Christian relief agencies to assist with the initial provision of 125 tents as temporary shelters for those who had lost their homes. In total, our partners delivered 160 food packages to Turk families, four trucks of drinking water, and hundreds of blankets, gloves, hats, underwear, feminine products, sleeping bags and cleaning supplies. Your generous donations to the Global Emergency Relief Fund enabled us to meet the physical and practical needs of over 150 families living in two tent cities.
The donations provided improved living conditions with air conditioning and refrigerators during the summer months. With your generous partnership, we moved all the families from the tent cities into wooden barracks, providing relief from the heat. We hired locals to build semi-permanent shelters—meeting immediate needs and creating jobs. This second phase of relief work also included counselling services, wheelchairs, vans to transport people to church, school supplies, and even toys and programs for the children as they began to heal through play in a safe and structured environment.
There is much to celebrate and thank God for. One of our local partners said, “God has knit our hearts together with the hundreds of people we interacted with in the tent cities, and we have the opportunity to provide hope amid a dark situation. The tent residents themselves completed much of the needed volunteer work of building shelters and distributing goods, and it has been a privilege to serve alongside them.
Along with providing for physical needs, our partners are committed to caring for the emotional and spiritual lives of those they interact with. The earthquake has brought about an increase in spiritual interest, and we have responded by setting up special prayer meetings to intercede for those most affected by the earthquakes. We know of at least six people who have decided to follow Jesus because of the love of God that they have experienced through the earthquake relief team. In addition, the two churches located near where we have focused our aid are both at full capacity, and two new church plants have started in recent months. God has been faithful to grow his church despite such challenging circumstances.”
We invite you to continue to pray that God will provide support to our partners in Turkey. The relief workers are weary and in need of rest and refreshment, and there are still various practical needs to be met, like providing another van to transport more people to church. We are praying that the people of Turkey will recognize God as the source of the aid and the love that they are receiving. May God continue to draw the people of Turkey even closer to himself.
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The Global Advance Fund (GAF) is a pooled fund that supports our workers in Canada and around the world to share the Gospel with people who haven't yet heard the name of Jesus. Your continued generosity equips and sustains our workers and their ministry.
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