Report from Turkiye

Report on Recent Earthquakes in Turkiye (February 9, 2023)

On February 6, two earthquakes of magnitude above 7 occurred in the central and southern parts of Turkiye. The affected areas involved ten provinces, 13.5 million people were affected (one-sixth of the Turkish population), and over 10,000 houses collapsed. Since the first strong earthquake occurred at 4:00 in the morning, people were sleeping soundly at home, and tens of thousands of people were buried in the ground.

At present, more than 70,000 injured people have been sent to hospitals in the local area and neighboring provinces for treatment. It is currently severe winter, and some areas have low temperatures at night. Due to the size of the affected area and extent, some major roads were damaged, which delayed the search and rescue work. 

After emergency repairs, the search and rescue work has been fully launched. Around 30,000 local rescuers were sent in disaster relief, and about 6,000 rescuers have been dispatched worldwide to start work. 

The area with the largest number of casualties was the province of Hatay, whose major city is Antakya, where Paul began his journey to preach the gospel to the Gentiles in New Testament times. The President announced a three-month state of emergency in the ten affected provinces, seven days of national mourning, and a two-week suspension of schools across the whole country. Some schools were used as material collection centers for the public to donate materials to the victims. At present, the victims of the disaster are provided with basic supplies, but due to the cracks in many houses, a large number of people need to leave their homes for shelter. The government has begun to transfer people from some areas to other safe areas for temporary resettlement. 

At present, there is a church in Turkiye in Istanbul, with about forty members, and the remaining few saints are scattered in various places. Two years ago the Lord gained several readers of Rhema Books in Adana, and the saints in Istanbul have been keeping fellowship with them. They were all safe during the earthquake, but there were some cracks in the houses of two saints, and they are still sheltering outside. Due to the great damage and casualties caused by the earthquake, it is estimated that the local schools will not be able to operate this year. 

The saints are fellowshipping and encouraging a family of two teenagers there to come and stay in Istanbul temporarily so that the children can continue their education. It is currently unknown how the government will make long-term arrangements for the studies of these students and the resettlement of these affected residents.

Please pray for the following at this stage:

1. suitable weather for disaster relief

2. rescue work could carry out effectively and the safety of rescuers

3. the government could provide a better plan for disaster relief and a detailed resettlement plan

4. Comfort the saints who lost their relatives and friends

5. keep the saints who have taken refuge outside in good health, rest in their souls, and supply their spirits

6. Strengthen the saints in Turkiye to testify for the Lord

7. Open the door for the Gospel in Turkiye

8. More saints receive the burden to migrate to Turkiye for strengthening the Lord’s move and raise more

golden lampstands in this country.