Dear brothers and sisters,
Today a 7.8 (7.7 according to Kandilli observatory) magnitude earthquake hit the southeast part of Turkey at 4:17 AM. The center of the earthquake is Kahramanmaras, a city just above Biblical Antioch. We live on the west coast so we did not even notice it until I read the news early in the morning. So, we are and our church members are doing fine, in İzmir. Thank you for your messages and concerns.
10 cities in Turkey and several other ones in Syria were hit hard by the earthquake. The government official said that 1710 apartments collapsed and this was only the first impression they gathered from the field. This number will only increase as they see the destruction better after every hour.
This is one of the biggest catastrophes that have ever happened in our country. Thousands of people died already and this number will also increase after every minute. Some Christians are waiting to be rescued under the collapsed apartments and some Christians are still waiting to hear from their relatives from the East or Southeast. Several very old Catholic and Orthodox churches were destroyed, too.
Our hearts are broken because there is an economic crisis in Turkey and the weather is freezing cold in the Southeast. On top of these, now, millions of people are homeless and almost all families have lost someone. Thousands of people died without the hope of the gospel. Please pray for our nation and hold fast with us tomorrow, may the Lord show us mercy, and may the gospel be heard by many in the time of the catastrophic event.
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
For His glory alone!