Tragedy in Turkey and Syria: Earthquake Disaster Prompts Church of God Response

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Disaster Relief, Global Strategy

By Carl Stagner and staff

The images are horrifying, the statistics sobering. With over 36,000 casualties and thousands still missing amid the rubble, Turkey and Syria are reeling from one of the most devastating earthquake disasters in recent memory. The 7.8-magnitude quake, combined with numerous aftershocks, left additional millions homeless and searching for refuge and relief; February 6, 2023, is expected to go down as one of the worst dates on the calendar for generations to come among families and individuals facing the impact, bearing the excruciating loss, and wondering what good the future could possibly hold. In response to the recent tragedy in Turkey and Syria, the Church of God is mobilizing strategic efforts coordinated through Disaster Relief and Restoration.

Searching for help and hope, people throughout the hardest-hit locations are in need of emergency humanitarian aid. Exacerbated by geopolitical tensions and existing winter weather, the situation on the ground is bleak. Especially in light of persistent civil war in Syria, reaching residents with vital assistance has already proven a tremendous challenge. Frigid temperatures and blustery conditions spell trouble for the displaced; blankets, coats, and emergency shelter are urgent considerations in the response of the Church of God to these remote areas.

Church of God Disaster Relief and Restoration has partnered with Church of God contacts in neighboring Lebanon to support the following goals:

  • Purchase and distribute 10,000 blankets and 750 child- and adult-size winter coats to survivors in Syria;
  • Distribute monthly food parcels to 200 Syrian refugee families for 10 months;
  • Extend housing assistance to 200 Syrian refugee families for 10 months;
  • Offer one-time medical expense assistance to 250 Syrian families suffering from injuries or loss of life;
  • Host group care therapy to 500 Syrian refugee families dealing with fear, grief, and trauma; and
  • Equip Lebanese teachers working with Syrian refugee children to help 350 students process their grief and work through trauma.

Your prayerful and financial partnership is invaluable; so much is at stake. Grief is rampant, and loved ones are hurting over sudden and catastrophic loss. Survivors are suffering severe trauma and need emotional, if not also physical, healing. First-responders have a long and dangerous road ahead of them. Homeowners are now homeless—they need guidance and opportunities. Local believers are beacons of light in the region, yet their responsibility and demands are now higher than ever. Pray that wisdom would determine location, timing, and recipients of relief.

To come alongside Church of God contacts in Lebanon in caring for Syrians affected by the earthquake, donations can be made to Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief. 100 percent of your donation goes to assist our brothers and sister suffering from the earthquake in Syria, as well as other Church of God communities affected by disasters globally. Click here to read more: CGM Current Disaster Responses.

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