In February a devastating earthquake hit parts of Turkey and Syria, killing tens of thousands and displacing millions.
We were blessed on our Langham Live calls in March to be joined by a Turkish Christian ‘K’. She lives in Istanbul and has been involved with the Langham Preaching movement since it first came to Turkey in the mid-’00s.
K gave an informed and moving account of how her own church and the wider Church in Turkey responded to the earthquake. She gave us all much to think and pray about.
‘Phenomenal’ Church response
Churches in Turkey – which are relatively young and under pressure – rushed to the scene of the earthquake very quickly. K said their response has been “phenomenal”. Church buildings have been demolished and K shared how a pastor and his wife died in the quake, leaving a young son. It’s “heart-breaking”, K said, to know that so many people have died or lost their homes.
K’s church has responded by joining together in prayer and lament. They wanted to cry out to God and recognise the devastation but also to express their trust in God, who is dependable and good. Her church follows readings set by the Church of England, and K’s been surprised at how relevant the Bible has been. God’s Word and His truth have spoken into the situation.
K has heard testimonies from individuals who have been touched by the compassion of Christians in the aftermath of the earthquake. They have wanted to thank churches and some prejudices and stereotypes have been broken down due to believers’ loving actions.
Important elections are coming up in Turkey and K asked for prayer for “a just, fair, peaceful election process and a result that will bring peace and hope to this nation”.
K is very grateful for our prayers and says it is precious to know that they have brothers and sisters around the world praying with and for them.
She asked us to pray for the Langham Preaching movement in Turkey, which has been growing in recent years but has understandably stalled somewhat as a result of the earthquake. They would love Preaching Clubs (groups of 8-10 pastors and leaders who meet regularly for fellowship and help with sermon preparation) to be kick-started in the country.
It would also be great for a larger team on the ground to be developed in order to do more of the local ‘leg-work’ and organisation.
Pray for K, her church and the country of Turkey as a whole, especially with elections coming soon. Pray also for the Langham Preaching movement there, which has trained the pastors and leaders who are now being salt and light at a desperate time.
Please use this blog post and the prayer points that K has shared.