Across Pacific & Asia
Turkish Protestant Churches - Disaster ResponseFrom: Turkish believers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 24 1999 03:43
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are continuing our efforts in these difficult circumstances with the
Lords grace. First and foremost we want to thank you on behalf of all the
believers in Turkey and the people who where affected by the earthquake for
your prayers and support in this rescue operation.
On Sunday evening (22 Aug.) the various churches and organizations involved
in relief efforts came together and we discussed the next steps in the
relief efforts as well as cooperation with one another.
The following people/organizations met together: the pastors of 12
churches in Turkey, World Relief, World Vision(who is a partner of World
Relief), cooperating churches in America, Nazarean Compassion Service,
Southern Baptist Churches Relief,Arm YWAM Relief, Operation Mercy (O.M) , a
Finish Relief organization, and the Campus Crusade Relief team.
We shared our thoughts about the possible roles we could play in the relief
effort as churches and organizations.
Personal experiences of the devastating consequences of the earthquake were
shared and briefings were given about the work that was being done. At this
moment in time, money and resources are needed for the constantly changing
needs of food and cleaning/sanitary supplies..Also vehicles are urgently
needed for distribution.
At the present time the relief is being provided through various channels
and is being done in three different areas: Izmit, Yalova and
Avcilar(Istanbul). The needs in Avcilar were mostly first aid and on the
whole those needs have been met. There are a lot of needs in Yalova but
because much of the damage was done to summer houses, the long-term needs
are not as great. The two areas which were most damaged (Körfez and Gölcük)
are provinces of Izmit. The city of Adapazari has also been severely
We would like to use the two buildings in these areas which belong to the
church (the church building in Izmit and the camp facilities in Yalova).,
The main issue that was discussed was the establishment of a tent city.
Permission for erecting tent cities in the most needy areas (Körfez and
Gölcük) has been applied for and received. Search for suitable sites is
being done today.
The conclusions arrived at during the meeting are:
* Churches can not take on the responsibilities of long term projects by
themselves because of their economic shortages and lack of man-power.
Relief organizations acknowledge this and are offering their financial
support and expert personnel.
* Christian organizations who want to work in cooperation with churches
here will do so by working hand in hand with the Turkish churches and
presenting their efforts under the "Turkish Protestant Churches" banner.
* The rescue and relief efforts in this first stage of relief will be
continued in the same way. Rather than having equipment and supplies sent
from outside Turkey, relief efforts can be done more effectively and cheaper
if financial help were sent to existing bank accounts.
* The Turkish Evangelical Alliance (TEK), will meet on Thursday and will
establish a joint bank account as well as select a head coordinator. This
will make is easier for groups outside Turkey to join our efforts.
* Some possible long term projects are being discussed: specifically, two
tent-cities and relief houses for disabled children. Even if everybody can
not join these efforts, they will be still done under the name of "Turkish
* Underneath this general umbrella of the "Turkish Protestant Churches",
one or more churches (i.e. the churches in Ankara, Izmir-Bursa or
Istanbul), may agree to work with various groups who offer them support.
Churches or groups that have joint projects will make decisions regarding
their joint efforts together.
* Some churches and groups are planning their operations only for the first
stage(which means rescue and first aid). Others are considering mid or long
term operations. The results of this disaster and the need for aid will
continue for several years. Specifically, because the Bostanci-Izmit church
is in the area of the disaster, they are considering a long-term project
that would last at least a year.
Finally we have great need for your prayers and help, and for the Lord's
love and wisdom. We are thankful because we know you will not withhold these
things and because you have already sacrificially supported the work of the
With the prayer that much glory will be given to the Lord in Turkey through
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