Powerful Earthquake Rocks Turkey
Many individuals did not wake up Monday morning. At 4:15 am, a pair of 7.5+ magnitude earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria. The death toll is at least 23,000 people, but that number continues to change as rescue efforts continue. It is the strongest earthquake in a century. Lebanon and Israel also felt the tremors. Even the aftershocks are registering 7.5 magnitudes.
People are searching for answers. A missionary in Turkey reports that one new convert questioned whether God was mad at her for converting to Christianity. People experiencing very traumatic events are often prone to question whether it is divine punishment. However, catastrophic events can also offer opportunities to witness to unbelievers the brevity of our time on earth and the need to consider eternity and a saving relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The last time an earthquake this strong hit Turkey was in 1939. It was of the same magnitude, and it killed 30,000 people. Many buildings have collapsed, and in Turkey, people living in cities usually dwell in apartment buildings. In addition, the winter weather and several inches of snow on the ground. SAMS is a medical relief organization working in Syria and neighboring countries. Two of their four hospitals are evacuated due to harsh weather conditions.
Help is coming in. International Search and Rescue teams reached out. Nearly 1,000 search and rescue volunteers deployed from Istanbul. The World Health Organization has activated its network of emergency medical teams in the two countries to assist in the area. Messages of condolences and support have been pouring in from world leaders. As Christian Believers, let us not fall back on the adage and refer to this disaster as “an act of God”. Let us call upon our Heavenly Father to enable rescuers and for their success in alleviating as much suffering as possible.
LET US PRAY FOR:
- Relief workers from all over the world to be effective in both their rescue efforts and in alleviating the suffering as much as possible (The Bible, Psalm 22:24)
- Shelters are enough to be provided to house all of the newly homeless families (The Bible, Psalm 55:8).
- Christian Believers to reach out to unbelievers and share with them the need to trust in Jesus Christ’s ability to not only save them but also to assure them of their eternity with Him (The Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6).