Live Global has partners in the region of Turkey-Syria-Lebanon impacted by the early morning 7.8 earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks that followed. You may see the name “Türkiye,” as the country requested that people refer to the nation by this title in 2022. Answers to basic questions like who, what, where, when, why, and how help to inform our prayers and our response.
WHO are Live Global National Partners in the area? WHAT do they do?
Aquila and Priscilla* – This couple serves as the spiritual parents and leaders of their team trained and deployed around the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region. Among the partners highlighted here, they were the first Live Global partners. God uses them powerfully to mentor young, committed believers as part of a missions movement in the Middle East. LEARN ABOUT THEM HERE.
Robin & Salina* – Robin spent most of Covid living solo and ministering to Syrian people in Turkey. He returned to Egypt and married Salina, and they went back together in 2022. They work among the Majority Syrian refugee community. Robin & Salina serve these Majority people alongside a multi-national team in their city. Together, they gathered supplies and headed into impacted areas for relief. LEARN ABOUT THIS COUPLE HERE.
“We really need your prayers … going to Gaziantep to help those effected by the earthquake. They need heavy blankets, winter socks, baby milk, diapers, women pads, clothes, and many other things. The problem is that even people who got rescued from the rubble are dying, because there is no medical care. They will die slowly … the ladies are in depression because of what’s happening in Syria. Most of the Syrian doctors left Syria, because there was no future in Syria. People under the rubble are civilians, normal people.” – Salina*
S.S. – He is a dynamic International Messengers Egyptian field worker; Live Global partners with this organization in the MENA region. The team is vetted, trained, mentored, and guided by “spiritual parents” and Live Global partners, Aquila and Priscilla*. S.S. is an excellent translator and skilled with people. He joined Robin on the relief mission.
V. – V. is an IM (International Messengers) staff member on Aquila and Priscilla’s team who reached the earthquake impacted area in the earliest days. He works with an indigenous church, and with men of the church they worked to obtain, transport, and distribute relief essentials. After much prayer and gathering information, V. and the church decided to focus their efforts on an area where no other resources are flowing. They’re delivering food, supplies, generators, etc. V. will be working with Robin to develop a plan for relief supplies.
“It’s hard to describe what’s happening here … the car we rented is not big enough … What we’re doing is so small compared to the need. The need is so big. More people are needed, more supplies, more everything. And it’s just the beginning.” – V.
Malik* and S – S is a Syrian woman and daughter of a local pastor in Syria. S is engaged to Live Global partner *Malik. The local church there is ministering to the suffering and is up close and personal with the many needs.
“They are trying to survive. The situation is so difficult more than before. S’s father with the church are trying to collect food, clothes, money, and everything, so they can send it or give it to the people who are in the street right now after what happened. And they are also trying to send some stuff to Aleppo.” – Malik
J & S – Along with several others deployed by Aquila and Priscilla, J&S are International Messengers Egyptian field workers in Lebanon. They minister among Syrian families and partner with a local church. Lebanon received less damage than Turkiye and Syria, but the quake was felt strongly there as well. The many Syrian families served by the team in Lebanon are distraught over the news from their homeland where thousands of lives have been lost. Lebanon already faces minimal access to electricity, running water, and resources.
“The refugees here are very afraid and are following what happened to their families in Syria, one of who is her family living in an old school building and another one, 5 members of her family died. Panic, sadness and despair.” – J&S
Why is relief so hard in this region?
Conflict already gripped the region where the earthquake occurred. More than a decade of war in Syria caused millions to flee, including most medical personnel who saw no future in their homeland. Turkey received the highest number of Syrian refugees during the war. The actions of opposing groups in the area impacted by the earthquake, including Kurdish and Turkish and Islamic forces, led to limited road access, infrastructure, and resources. Particularly in Northern Syria and in Lebanon, few supplies were available before the quake. Basic supplies like water are in short supply, since above ground water tanks collapsed early in the quake. Even before this natural disaster, cholera was a concern for the many displaced people. In addition, unusually cold temperatures accompanied by freezing rain, ice, and snow make it hard for people to take shelter outdoors.
How to Pray:
- Pray for access to supplies. Pray for V., Robin & S.S., and J&S as they work to find and buy relief supplies at a reasonable cost.
- Pray for protection. Ask God to protect them from vendors who would exploit the crisis. Ask God to lead them to affordable items He knows they’ll need.
- Pray for gospel conversations. May these partners minister to Majority people among Muslim, Orthodox, and Agnostic people. May the secular Turkish people seek God, and may there be open doors for compassionate gospel conversations.
- Pray for God’s strength. Those ministering to the distraught will experience second hand trauma and will need God’s help.
- Pray for discernment. Ask for wisdom in this volatile intersection of religions (Orthodox, Islamic, Christian) and political forces (Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and military, Kurdish forces, Syrian government, Jihadist forces, Syrian Rebels, Islamic State).
- Pray for transportation safety. Pray for safety and available fuel for those traveling to deliver supplies; ask for divine protection and guidance as they go. Traffic is heavy.
- Pray for rest. Those traveling to and serving in relief areas will be sleeping in their vehicles. Ask God to give them rest when they stop to sleep.
- Pray for open gospel doors at home. Pray for God to help Salina and S in Lebanon as they have conversations with Syrian Majority women. Often, God first brings the woman of the family to Jesus. Ask God to give wisdom to share the true source of Hope and Life with distraught Syrian women and children.