International Ministries (IM) has sent initial grants totaling $10,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency relief to partners who will be providing humanitarian relief to the survivors of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The European Baptist Federation will receive $9,000 and Turkish Connections International will receive $1,000.
Monday’s 7.8 magnitude quake was followed hours later by a second one almost as powerful, that toppled thousands of buildings including hospitals, schools, and apartment blocks. The area affected is enormous. Turkish officials estimate that 13.5 million people were affected in an area spanning 10 provinces and roughly 280 miles. Syrian officials have reported deaths 155 miles from the epicenter. To date, it is known that more than 7,200 people were killed; the death toll is likely to rise considerably. Tens of thousands more have been injured or left homeless. There is particular concern about the situation in Syria, already afflicted by a humanitarian crisis after nearly 12 years of civil war.
Rev. Charles Jones, IM Senior Area Director for Europe, the Middle East and Liberia, requests that we “lift up in prayer the suffering people of Turkey and Syria—those who have lost loved ones, those who are still missing, those who have been injured, those still in shock from the earthquakes and ongoing aftershocks. Pray also for endurance for rescue workers, and long-term commitment for all organizations now working to bring God’s mercy, hope, and love to this part of our world in need.”
International Ministries does not have any residential global servants in either Turkey or Syria.
“We know that what is unfolding today will reveal tremendous loss and tremendous need,” says IM World Relief Officer Lisa Rothenberger. “Your generosity will provide for prolonged humanitarian assistance.”
Initial relief will provide basic provisions—food, shelter, medicine, and hygiene items. International Ministries will coordinate with the European Baptist Federation and our partners in this region that have the capacity to provide humanitarian aid.
Additional relief is urgently needed. Persons wishing to support relief efforts can do so through their American Baptist church, through International Ministries by making a gift online, or by sending checks directly to International Ministries. Please designate your contributions “OGHS–Turkey/Syria Earthquake Relief” in the memo line of your check.
Checks sent directly to International Ministries should be made payable to “International Ministries” and mailed to:
Attn: Gifts Processing
1003 W 9th Avenue, Ste A
King of Prussia, PA 19406
One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing the distribution of the annual OGHS offering received by churches.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.