From Hungarian Baptist Aid joining intensive search-and-rescue missions to Send Relief and other Southern Baptist partners providing help with generators and other supplies, Baptists are responding to the devastation left behind earthquakes in Turkey and Syria that claimed has more than 36,000 lives.
Send Relief local partners continue efforts to distribute water, food and other emergency supplies that began within hours after the earthquakes. Send Relief is a compassion ministry between the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board.
“In Acts 11:29, we see that the church at Antioch set the example for the church all through the ages,” said Send Relief President Bryant Wright, who is on the ground in southern Turkey. “They took up an offering for the church in Jerusalem that was going through a tough time.”
“Now we can respond to their example as Antioch has been devastated by this earthquake, by praying for them and by giving to help them in this time of recovery.”
Ongoing rescue efforts
A Hungarian Baptist Aid Rescue24 team — 19 specialists with seven rescue dogs and two metric tons of equipment — left Budapest within 24 hours of the earthquake. They are working in Turkey to rescue people trapped in the rubble, the European Baptist Federation reported.
Texas Baptist Men is providing financial support to supply generators, blankets, food, bottled water and other items to Hungarian Baptist Aid and other regional ministry partners. TBM will send two water ministry workers to Turkey to serve alongside Missouri Baptists in providing clean water for people in areas where the infrastructure has been destroyed.
“As our partners distribute the goods, they will be ministering to people, helping them work through the trauma they experienced and take first steps in the recovery process,” TBM Executive Director Mickey Lenamon wrote in email.
Jason Cox, vice president of international ministry for Send Relief, noted, “The most pressing immediate needs for impacted communities are access to food, clean water, trauma care, temporary shelter, medical care and evacuation.”
How you can pray
The IMB has shared the following prayer requests:
— Please pray that God will use search and rescue efforts to find all the trapped survivors.
— Pray for protection of life and God’s mercy in any subsequent aftershocks.
— Pray for the Lord’s comfort and nearness to local believers.
— Ask that the Lord will use this catastrophe for the spread of His gospel and the eternal salvation of many.
Other ways to help
Check with your church, association or state Baptist convention to find out how they are contributing to ongoing relief efforts in Turkey and Syria, your state and beyond. To contact your state convention for more information, click here. Or, for more information about Send Relief, click here.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Ken Camp and originally published by the Baptist Standard, with reporting by The Baptist Paper.