Many of the stories coming out of Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the February 6, 2023, earthquakes have been heartbreaking. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) sent us this update on the situation:
“God is our refuge and strength … though the mountains shake.” - Psalm 46:1-3
The scale of the disaster facing Syria and Turkey after the Feb. 6 earthquake is becoming clearer. The 7.8-magnitude quake and its aftershocks have left more than 11,000 people dead and thousands more injured; these numbers will rise as search and rescue continues. Buildings have been reduced to rubble, and roads and bridges have been severely damaged, resulting in dangerous conditions for first responders. In some places, such as Aleppo, this destruction is compounding the damage of the now 11-year war in Syria. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is providing emergency relief and short-term recovery in the impacted areas through long-standing partners in Syria, in addition to ACT Alliance members in Syria and Turkey, all of whom are already on the ground. PDA will remain active throughout the entire recovery process, accompanying our partners in the area as they determine long-term program needs and providing financial support for building and resilience.
GIVE. ACT. PRAY. GIVE: Financial support for relief efforts can be designated to DR999999-ST earthquake. Gifts can be made online by clicking here, by phone at (800) 872-3283, or by check made payable to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with “DR999999-ST Earthquake” written on the memo line and mailed to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. ACT: • Stay informed and like us on Facebook • PDA is supported by your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing. Download resources to promote the offering with your congregation. PRAY: God of mercy, we join in prayer for our siblings in Syria and Turkey, and all other regions affected. In the face of the terrible images that come to us, we ask that your Spirit, O God, once again move in the midst of chaos and destruction. May your Spirit be with the first responders, neighbors putting their lives at risk to help those around them, and anyone assisting during this time of emergency. May you provide protection, energy and strength through your presence. Be with them as they search for loved ones, guide them during the long hours and allow them to find hope through your Spirit. Dear God, as the days go by, provide wisdom and discernment to the local government agencies. May they be instruments of your grace as they care for the people affected. That they may receive help and support from countries near and far, and that, as they provide assistance, may there be enough for everyone. As the stories are shared, and the recovery process begins, may your Spirit be with those who will be called to listen and to be agents of peace and hope. Dear God, be with those who weep, who are angry, who have lost hope, who mourn out loud and in silence, who don’t know what the future will bring. May the prayers of your children rise to you. May they feel your presence and comfort in the embrace of a stranger, your love in the care of their neighbors and loved ones, your grace in every word and every silence, and may your Spirit mourn with them and bring healing. We pray that you may guide us as we look for ways to share your compassion and hope with those who suffer. That we may be ambassadors of your peace, your mercy and your abundant love. Through Jesus, who weeps with those who weep and heals every heart, amen. -Rev. Edwin González-Castillo, Director, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance