“Thank God for Barnabas Aid. They gave us some money and we feel we are secure. Me and my children we feel we are secure.”
These words were spoken by a Christian mother in a video message to Barnabas after powerful earthquakes devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria in February.
The family’s home in the Syrian city of Aleppo was destroyed and they had to live in a car until they were able to find a room to shelter in. They are grateful to Barnabas supporters for giving them money to buy food and other items they badly needed.
“God bless the life of people working for Barnabas Aid and God give you long life,” she added.
More than 50,000 people are known to have died, tens of thousands were injured and millions lost their homes when the disaster struck in the early hours of 6 February.
Three days after the first quake hit, Barnabas began distributing 1,500 food.gives boxes to Christian families in desperate need in Aleppo.
The boxes, given out by our project partners on the ground, contained ingredients for many nutritious meals, including rice, lentils, chickpeas, bulgar wheat, noodles and beans, as well as salt. We also handed out several hundred pairs of new shoes.
A second consignment of aid from Barnabas contained more food parcels, as well as blankets, health kits and coats. These were distributed in Aleppo and to displaced Christian families in the quake-affected Syrian governorates of Latakia, Tartous and Hama.
Our focus was on getting aid to the neediest female-headed families and those who were already poor, marginalised or suffering even before the quakes hit.
“The only people who have helped us through was a grant from Barnabas Aid,” said another Syrian mother. The quakes caused deep cracks in the walls of her family home in Latakia, rendering it unsafe, and she is thankful to Barnabas for helping herself and her children endure the difficult days that followed.
“Thank you for your generosity,” she said. “May God bless you, and maybe one day we shall go back to our home.”
Tents, blankets and heaters distributed in Turkey
In the Turkish city of Antakya – the modern name for ancient Antioch – a pastor whose church and home collapsed now has a roof over his head again, thanks to the gifts of Barnabas supporters. “Everything is gone,” he had texted on the day of the earthquake. “We don’t have anything … the help is not here yet.”
Now, thanks to the donations of our supporters, help has arrived. Barnabas is funding rented accommodation for the pastor’s family and another family from his congregation whose home was also destroyed in the quake. Blankets and heaters have also been supplied for many Christians affected by the earthquake.
We have also provided 30 large, heavy-duty tents to shelter Christians in Turkey from the bitterly cold winter weather, and wood burning heaters that heat water for washing and dishes.
Barnabas is continuing to work to channel your donations to our suffering Christian family in Turkey and Syria.
A lorry is shortly to leave our warehouse in Germany heading for Turkey. It is loaded with supplies of food and much-needed day-to-day practical items including nappies, sanitary towels, toothbrushes, babies’ bottles and dummies, clothes, tents and sleeping mats. Further aid will also be going to Syria.
“God is already doing miracles,” our project partners on the ground in Turkey told us.
Disaster Relief Fund (00-634)