Thank you for your interest in the river boat work in Central America. We are thrilled at what is happening in places so far off the beaten track. The ethnic group being reached are called the Embera. Even among that group, there are several different languages so maybe you could pray for grace and help in communicating the Good News across a complex situation like that. Thank the Lord too for local Embera believers and churches that have been established. There’s lots going on and we thank you for your part in it.
Show and Tell
On Friday night, September 8, a powerful magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains. In an instant, buildings were destroyed and more than 2,800 lives were lost and at least another 2,500 people have been injured. Most of the damage is in remote, mountainous villages that are hard to reach. The death toll is expected to rise as search and rescue efforts continue.
Our partners were already responding within hours of the earthquake to provide urgently needed help and supplies to families in the affected region. Please pray for the people of Morocco as they process the physical and emotional devastation of the earthquake.
Your gifts will help provide food, water, and shelter to communities recovering from the earthquake. Thank you.
Show and Tell news
In the last three weeks more than 30,000 Burmese refugees have streamed into the region where our partners are working. With the ongoing backdrop of active fighting, whole villages flee to safer sites. Rising rivers force them to forage for food while battling mosquitos and disease like malaria and dengue fever. Some dig holes or hide to give children and elderly family members time to rest. Our partners have sent 10,765 kg of rice plus food aid, first aid supplies, hygiene kits and tarps to orphans, communities and families in crisis. Thank the Lord for continued opportunity to bless those in need.
We are pleased to announce that Mr Iain McBirnie has been added to Platform 67's roster of trustees. Iain and his wife live in East Lothian. He is a senior partner in a business in Edinburgh, a seasoned overseas traveller, has many years of church leadership experience, and comes with special interest in ministry in Asia. We are delighted Iain has joined us.
Show and Tell news
We are able to help two ongoing relief projects, one in Turkey as a response to the recent earthquake, and the other for Sudan where half the population require humanitarian assistance. Our partners are providing emergency food relief, transportation, trauma care, shelter and more to the most vulnerable. Thank you so much for your support that allows this work to continue. Let's keep praying.
Turkey quake update
More today from our partners in Turkey. You’ll appreciate there is still lots to pray for. Thank you.
‘I am having a really difficult time processing all of what I have seen and experienced here over the last eight days.
‘Overwhelming is the first word that comes to mind. I am overwhelmed by the devastation and destruction, the buildings and the lives lost. I am overwhelmed by the hopelessness of those trying to move forward without knowing the hope of Jesus Christ. I am overwhelmed by the necessary recovery efforts that will undoubtedly take years. Overwhelming.
‘Inadequacy is another word that comes to mind. We feel so inadequate to meet the needs here. It feels like an impossible task to get enough water filters or install enough of them to provide clean water for everyone who needs and requests it. We cannot have enough conversations and pray for enough people to make a spiritual dent in the darkness. We are completely inadequate for the task at hand. Inadequacy.
‘Discouraging is another unfortunate word that hurts my heart. I am discouraged by the buildings which still lie in ruins with bodies buried underneath. I am discouraged by a local organisation that promised to provide water for a tent community after we installed a filter in their building but then refused to share the water as they had promised. I am discouraged by the overwhelming inadequacy of our relief efforts. Discouraging.
‘Despite all I have said though, hopeful is the most important word that comes to mind. I am hopeful because of the local church here that is stepping up in amazing ways to serve their community. I am hopeful because I see people serving others even though they themselves have experienced tragedy. I am hopeful because the Lord is still in control, even in the midst of unspeakable brokenness and heartache.
‘He is infinitely bigger than anything which overwhelms, infinitely stronger than my inadequacy is weak, infinitely more comforting than any discouragement is disheartening. Praise the Lord!’
Turkey quake update
One of the biggest problems in Turkey is the clean up. There are an estimated 116 million tonnes of rubble to shift which will then allow for fresh supplies of food, water and the restoration of normal social and economic activities.
Reuters suggest 51,000+ lost their life, including 6,000 in Syria. 1.5 million have been left homeless, requiring 500,000 new housing units to be built. Clearly there is plenty to do for the foreseeable future and we will continue to send funds as they become available to our partners who will be involved for the long term.
Thank you for praying.
Turkey quake update
Our thanks once again for your generous, and humbling response to events in Turkey.
This week we have had the privilege of speaking with church leaders from Turkish churches. They are flat-out busy as you can imagine but extremely grateful for your interest and prayers. Thank you.
As a safety measure, local authorities have been checking vehicles and monitoring traffic in and out of the destruction zones. Supply deliveries from non-registered charities are slowing down, but thankfully, the local believers, churches and our partners are able to continue to serve.
As they have been helping those sleeping on the streets and in their cars, they have found that, while survivors are grateful for the blankets and bags of sandwiches, many have told volunteers, ‘Thank you, but we will only take a few. There are other people around here who are in greater need than us.’
We have been supporting efforts by several experienced disaster and rescue partners. One wrote to say ‘This is the most difficult rescue I have ever encountered. Sometimes I want to save a few more people, but in the face of harsh conditions, I can’t. Sometimes it is obvious that signs of life have been detected, but there is no way to effectively rescue them. Some search and rescue personnel cried in the rubble.’
Pray this week that our partners. They are busy setting up tent housing, providing food, clean water, and hygiene supplies in affected communities, distributing urgently needed blankets and basic survival items, starting children’s centres to provide a sense of normalcy, schedule, and care, and providing care centres for the elderly.
Pray too that they could keep their eyes on Christ and be protected from the overwhelming feelings and secondhand trauma that often come with this kind of work.
Turkey quake update
Huge thanks for your generous response to the challenges this week in Turkey. Local partners have already began distributing blankets, water bottles, food and other emergency supplies in impacted neighbourhoods. The needs are enormous. Some are serving in the southern city of Antakya, formerly known as Antioch. It's where the disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11). We can very much pray that the fame and influence of the gospel would be restored to that region.
Here are some more suggestions for prayer:
More than 5,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured in a devastating earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria the morning of Monday, February 6.
One of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in over a century, search and rescue teams are still finding bodies and estimate that thousands of residents will need immediate medical attention for their wounds.
The quake had several aftershocks that continued to shake major city blocks, leaving many neighbourhoods completely flattened. Turkey’s disaster bureau made an appeal for help from the international community as their relief teams continue to conduct emergency retrieval missions.
Our partners are coordinating a response as the initial needs are assessed. You can give today through our Show and Tell Fund. You can also give straight into our bank or by card...simply add the reference 'Quake' if requested.
Please be praying too. Here are some immediate suggestions:
Thank you for your personal involvement this year in making The King known far and wide. Your prayers display both concern and participation in ensuring the fame of our Lord Jesus Christ spreads faster and further in our dark world.
We have been especially thrilled to see so many new people join us this year. Some have committed to regular prayer through our Just Pray each Monday morning. We hope it has helped to begin each week with your hearts drawn to the Saviour. Many thousands now also receive our new Stay Connected emails twice a month which, we hope, keeps you abreast of some ministry somewhere in the world where people are counting on us to uphold and support them. What a blessing you have been in this work of partnership.
Some words from an American preacher some 150 years ago serve to keep our sure hope anchored as we head into another uncertain year.
'In a world of sin, and sick beds, and sepulchres, we must have trouble; but in the darkest night the heavens part with angelic song. You may, like Paul, be shipwrecked, but I exhort you to be of good cheer, for you who are trusting on Christ shall all escape safe to the land.'
Joy in Jesus this new year.
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