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6th August 2023

Words fail to capture the immensity of the suffering experienced by the Turkish people on February 6 and in the weeks and months since. Brave Turkish Christians have responded with the love of Jesus, and one of SAT-7 TÜRK’s priorities at this time has been to highlight these groups of selfless individuals who are serving their communities.

Melih Ekener, SAT-7 TÜRK Executive Director, shared his perspective on their activity at SAT-7’s international annual event, The Partnership Gathering. “Christian churches were everywhere, and they were working silently,” he said. “Even the Christians who had barely survived, even the ones who had lost their family… They had forgotten their own pain and were just focused on helping their neighbors. This was an amazing witness.”

Members of churches from İzmir and Antalya drove several hours to Antakya (biblical Antioch), a town devastated by the earthquake. They supported survivors in every way possible: cooking hot meals, putting up temporary accommodation, and handing out clothes throughout the day and night. Christians in various other locations set up beds in halls and prepared food packages, opened their homes and church buildings to survivors, and built a makeshift hospital or prefabricated houses.

A team from SAT-7 TÜRK also drove to the affected area to amplify these stories. In this way the channel sought to strengthen the Turkish Church and inspire viewers to prayer and action. “It was the Church that brought food to these places,” said Melih. “We tried to document this aid as much as we could. People who saw Christianity in action for the first time felt encouraged to follow these churches in their good work.”

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