Ministry living up to its name while living out His name

Ministry living up to its name while living out His name

Rescuers weep by a collapsed building in southern Turkey on Thursday. Thousands who lost their homes in a catastrophic earthquake huddled around campfires and clamored for food and water in the bitter cold, three days after the temblor and series of aftershocks hit Turkey and Syria. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Ministry living up to its name while living out His name

A Southern Baptist ministry is going all-out to meet the needs of earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.

The 7.8 magnitude shaker that struck on Monday morning left more than 22,000 dead and tens of thousands injured and/or homeless. The Associated Press reports that rescuers pulled several earthquake survivors from the shattered remnants of buildings Friday in one Turkish town, including some who lasted more than 100 hours trapped under crushed concrete.

Send Relief, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, is responding in a big way to those victims in the earthquake zone regardless of their faith. Coy Webb is the crisis response director for Send Relief, which is providing relief through its partners now.

Webb, Coy (Send Relief) Webb

"We've been assessing the situation for longer term, compassion help, but we have been distributing water and blankets and also looking to help with heating sources for people," he shares. "And we're just beginning our plans for longer term that will probably continue for some time."

First, though, is to help earthquake victims put a roof over their heads in the winter temperatures, although that's temporary – and to supply other necessities such as food and water.

"I'm thinking we'll be looking beyond bottled water to [the] longer term – water filters, water purification [for example] – so that we can, with better stewardship, be able to serve a greater number of people," says Webb. "I would also guess that emergency feeding will continue to some degree for a period of time; and then perhaps also we'll be looking at providing medical care for some of those who have been injured or suffering."

Equally as important: Send Relief is planning on moving in with trauma and emotional care in addition to spiritual care. Victims will also learn that many of the organizations that have come to their aid are Christian.