"T hank you for being there,” said Angela in a video message to Barnabas Aid supporters. Angela is a Christian from Aleppo, Syria, whose family home was severely damaged when powerful earthquakes devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria in February.
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.
By God’s grace and with your help, Barnabas Aid was able to respond swiftly. Just three days after the disaster, we began distributing 1,500 food.gives boxes to Christian families in desperate need in the northern Syrian city of 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 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 house was cracked everywhere and the only people who have helped us [were] Barnabas Aid,” said a Syrian mother from Latakia.
“Our house was cracked everywhere and the only people who have helped us [were] Barnabas Aid”
“Everything is gone. We don’t have anything”
In the Turkish city of Antakya – the modern name for ancient Antioch – a pastor whose church and home collapsed texted on the day of the earthquake, “Everything is gone. We don’t have anything … the help is not here yet.”
Help swiftly arrived as Barnabas is funding rented accommodation for the pastor, his family and another family from his congregation whose home was also destroyed.
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.
At time of writing a lorry was about 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.
“I would like to thank the Barnabas organisation for its support,” said Angela in Aleppo. “Your support is much appreciated. God bless you all.”
Project references: 00-634 (Disaster Relief Fund); PR1555 (food.gives)