February 7, 2023
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is requesting prayers and financial support to provide emergency assistance following the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria during the early morning of Feb. 6.
According to news reports, more than 7,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured. Thousands of buildings in Turkey and Syria have collapsed and aid groups are especially concerned for northwestern Syria, where more than 4 million people rely on humanitarian assistance.
CBF International Disaster Response Coordinator Eddy Ruble noted that 23 million people have been affected by this earthquake, the worst in Turkey’s history.
“Freezing winter weather and rain are complicating the dire situation and make it all the more challenging for survivors to find safe shelter when their homes, which are still standing, are too unstable to return to as dozens of aftershocks continue to shake the region, including a 7.5-magnitude quake 60 miles southwest of the original quake,” Ruble.
CBF field personnel [name withheld] served in Turkey for 20 years, only recently having retired and returned to the United States.
“These retired field personnel continue to maintain close connections with pastors and partners in Turkey and began hearing from them almost immediately after the earthquakes,” reported Ruble. “Aid and assistance are desperately needed for food, shelter, winter clothing and medical care. Long-term efforts will include transitional shelters, restoring livelihoods and homes, with a particular focus on individuals and groups which are marginalized and overlooked by larger programs.”
CBF is a member of the Baptist Forum for Aid and Development (BFAD), a global network of Baptist World Alliance partners who coordinate and collaborate together to streamline operations in responses like this. Hungarian Baptists have deployed a search and rescue team of 19 specialists and seven search dogs late in the evening of Feb. 6.
“Your generous donations are greatly needed to assist in these efforts to relieve the suffering and care for traumatized populations which have lost everything in this massive disaster,” Ruble said.
CBF Global Missions Coordinator Laura Ayala also encouraged support for the earthquake response efforts.
“Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is committed to work to spread the hope of Christ. When the unexpected happens and disaster strikes we are obliged to respond,” Ayala said. “In the midst of chaos, hunger, death, pain and loss, the Holy Spirit works through us to witness, in tangible ways, God’s love.”
Rev. Marsha Scipio, director of Baptist World Aid, has offered the following prayer points:
- The rescue of persons who are still alive and under the rubble
- For those families who lost loved ones and/or their loved ones are currently missing
- For shelter, clothing, food for the displaced persons
- Wisdom for those making decisions about the disaster response in both Turkey and Syria
- For there to be cooperation in Syria in order for persons to get the humanitarian aid that is desperately needed
- For the compounded pain of the millions of displaced persons in Syria and Lebanon
- For the winter storms in the regions to cease to make rescue missions easier
- For the churches and clergy in the region to be a source of support and encouragement
- For responders to operate with compassion and care for all those with whom they come in contact
- For the Hungarian Baptist Aid Rescue24 Team
- For the leadership of the Turkish Baptist Alliance
- For the leadership of the Baptist Convention of Syria
Please give generously to support CBF’s earthquake response in Turkey and Syria here.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.