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A harsh new normal in Turkey and Syria

People across Turkey and Syria are forced to face a new normal following the deadly earthquakes that struck the region on February 6. This new normal includes city streets lined with destroyed buildings, the grief of loved ones who died or are still missing under the rubble, loss of homes and possessions, and flashbacks of fear.

CAM supporters are making it possible to bring aid to people in Turkey and Syria facing these painful realities. Here are some of the things your support is providing.

Food

Basic food items like flour, sugar, oil, rice, and powdered milk are being given to people who have lost almost everything. One night in Syria, while our contacts distributed food to families sheltering at a park, their supply ran short. One man, Ali,* was left without aid. The team leader promised to come back later with more food for Ali. Two hours later, he returned with the food. Ali began weeping when he saw the aid and said, “You’re the first person who promised to help me, and you kept your word.”

A gift of food is reason for this Syrian child to smile!
A gift of food is reason for this Syrian child to smile!

Blankets and clothing

In the days shortly after the earthquakes hit, temperatures in Turkey and Syria plummeted. Many people had little more than the clothes on their backs, leaving them with little to ward off the cold. To help meet this need, our contacts distributed blankets and warm clothing.

Women in Turkey receive blankets.
Women in Turkey receive blankets.

Tents

In some places, “tent cities” sprang up soon after the earthquakes as people tried to find shelter after suddenly becoming homeless. We supported contacts in purchasing and setting up tents.

Other items

In addition to the items listed above, CAM has helped to provide hygiene items like soap, shampoo, towels, and diapers, heating supplies like stoves and coal, medicines, literature, and other aid.

Stories from the earthquake

Our contacts in Turkey and Syria hear story after story of pain. A Syrian father shared his experience during the earthquake. “It was as if someone was shaking me to wake up! . . . With a jolt, I grabbed my children and our IDs, and we headed out immediately. . . . As we ran, buildings collapsed around us. It was horrifying—people screaming, running, weeping. Thousands were injured, and thousands under the rubble. We have never witnessed something like that, not even during the war. An hour later, an aftershock destroyed our house. We lost everything!” He continued, “My son . . . keeps asking if another earthquake will happen.”

A middle-aged woman in Turkey sat with our contacts, a troubled expression on her face. In a trembling voice, she tearfully told them about the death of her sister. “We heard my sister calling for help for four days, but they said they couldn’t rescue her because of the tall apartment building that was leaning over onto theirs which made it very dangerous to get to her.” She repeated again and again, “If only we would have tried to rescue her!”

Please continue praying for the people of Turkey and Syria and for our contacts as they seek to meet needs and offer Jesus’ hope. Thank you for your care and support!

*Name is changed to protect identity.

To help support the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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