Sending our third wave of relief workers
We had at least 9 of the 22 guests (unbelieving families who were left homeless after the earthquakes) attend our Sunday service where we prayed for those who had suffered deep loss. We even had Muslim women crying and praying in the midst of a service where we praised Jesus as Lord and preached on the roll of God's church in times of trouble - we must be the hands and feet of Jesus as we stand between the house of God and the ruins of this world.
We prayed and blessed those who we were sending out as our third wave of relief workers. Last night, as the two vanloads of workers and supplies approached the most heavily impacted zones, another "aftershock," if you can call it that, struck the region. The shacking was violent enough, that our relief workers paused and spent the night with the Adana church. Much of what we can bring into the region is being purchased from suppliers in Adana. The team will continue on to the tents in Antakya today where they will be preparing meals, distributing needed goods, and ministering to the needs of the people in the city of Antakya, located in the Hatay.
In Hatay, the people are seeing the outpouring of love from the church. I have receeived messages of gratitude from teachers whose students have been blessed with food and care. We are receiving messages of thanks, and hearing about the good works that are being done in the name of Jesus and we are also hearing of ongoing terrible need. After spending five days in the region one brother mentioned the need for the most fundamental things - running water for toilets and showers. Our workers are presently going a week without showers along with those who have been almost three weeks now without. Large orders of clean drinking water are being shipped in at high cost and are being used to feed thousands of people.
Meanwhile, in Antalya last night the shocks of the latest earthquake in Hatay were felt in our church building, and sadly the electricity went out in the neighborhood for a period of time long enough to scare many of the earthquake survivors. With the whole country on edge the building was evacuated and everyone followed proper safety precautions and thankfully know damage was done in Antalya, other than the ongoing psychological damage that we face as we are daily reminded of the devastation of earthquakes and the great need for those who suffered.
Following our Sunday service, I had the opportunity to briefly speak with one of our guests (this is how I will continue to refer to those displaced by the earthquake who we are housing). She told me she was a renter and her building and all her earthly possessions were gone. She asked us to pray for her. We pray that in the days ahead a clear path for her to find a place to live will open up. Whether that place be here in Antalya, or back in Hatay we do not know but you can pray for the church as we continue to grapple with the hardest questions people face after an earthquake. Do we rebuild our lives in the same place or do we move on?
How to pray this week: