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Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria: An Urgent Call to Prayer

9 February 2023

There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis in parts of Türkiye and Syria due to the twin earthquakes. Thousands of lives have been lost. With widespread devastation to buildings, roads, and the energy infrastructure, people are homeless, and some Christians in Syria have moved to live in church buildings as their homes are damaged and unsafe.

Since the first earthquake struck at 4:17 am, it caught nearly everyone at home and in bed. Scores of aftershocks have hindered recovery efforts and caused even more damage. These repeated aftershocks have a profound psychological impact as families struggle to survive. Many victims remain trapped under rubble in the bitter cold and snow.

Reports of casualties and flattened apartment blocks are coming in from large Turkish cities such as Hatay, Kahramanmaras, and Diyarbakir, as well as smaller towns and villages stretching into Syria. As one commentator noted, there isn’t so much of an epicenter to this earthquake, but more of an “epi-line.”

TWR’s ministry contacts are working hard to offer aid in the area – been buying blankets, clothing and food to distribute to those in need. On their way to aid survivors in Anktakya, they had to sleep in their car in Iskenderun due to roads that were too dangerous for night travel.

“The most damaged city is Antioch. We had a radio station there but now we don’t have a signal,” the team leader reported. Another ministry friend wrote, “Some of our fellow believers are still under the rubble. We don’t know if they are alive or not. Let’s pray they are alive and can be rescued.”

As we bring this alarming news to the Lord in prayer, a text from God’s Word brings hope: “You will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings” (Isaiah 58:12).

Prayer Points:

  • The damage in the southeast of Türkiye is extensive and many have been greatly affected. Pray for the safe removal of the many people who remain trapped. Unfortunately, a pastor and his wife did not make it, even though their child survived. Please pray that their child will find emotional healing from such a tragic event.
  • Pray for the churches in the affected areas to have wisdom on how to respond.
  • Ask the Lord to give spiritual stamina to our ministry contacts as they rush to offer practical help to those suffering.
  • Pray for the radio station in Antakya to be operational again so that TWR programming can continue to be broadcast to people who are undergoing desperate times right now.
  • Please pray for our team in Syria who are currently safe. Pray that the Lord will use their programmes to bring hope in these times of distress.

Thank you for praying with us!