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Earthquake Relief

Come Over & Help has been partnering with the ministry Home for Kurds. This is a unique ministry that reaches out to the Kurds in the Middle East. Come Over & Help has been supporting their work among the Kurds in Georgia and Armenia. Due to the earthquake, Home for Kurds is seeking help for Kurdish Christians in Turkey and Syria. Come Over & Help has responded with $75,000 for immediate use. We are asking for your help with further funds. 100% of your donations will go to earthquake relief for the Kurds in Syria and Turkey. 

Early in the morning on Monday the 6th of February 2023 the south of Turkey and north-western Syria got hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which is very strong. A couple of hours later, the same region got hit by another strong earthquake (magnitude 7.5)  These earthquakes and dozens of aftershocks have resulted in many victims. More than 38,000 people died (a much higher number is expected), tens of thousands were injured, buildings, homes and infrastructure were destroyed.

 

Many Kurds have traditionally lived in this area. And amongst them a church of ex-Muslims and ex-Yezidis has emerged.

In recent years, Home for Kurds has given support to Kurdish Christians in Syria to provide for their basic needs.  Home for Kurds has also helped the Kurdish church in Turkey in spreading the gospel amongst the Kurds.

Our brothers and sisters are now in need and as Home for Kurds we feel called not only to assist them spiritually and pastorally, but also to help them in a practical way in this terrible situation.

We are in contact with about 250 Kurdish Christians in the earthquake-stricken area of ​​Turkey, they are spread over the different places. A couple died due to the earthquake but their child survived. The Kurdish Christians in the area immediately stood up to help their brothers and sisters. They are our first priority. The Christians in the area also have a deep desire to spread the gospel of Jesus by helping as many people as possible with food, water, blankets and tents.

Since Wednesday, the 8th of February, they have been able to help about 500 people by providing them with the basic necessities to survive. We want to continue this in the coming weeks. In addition, we want to help the 250 Christians with a more stable place to stay. Most of them (families) want to rent a house/an apartment in the area, the single men will stay in the disaster area to continue to help there.

To help the families, we want to be able to give them 4 months’ rent and an initial amount for survival, so that they have time to process what they have been through and also to look for work and rebuild their lives. For the single men we want to buy tents in which they can live for the coming months

The situation in Syria is very difficult. Afrin, a Kurdish town occupied by Turkey, has not received any help from outside. Turkey does not allow passage and Syria doesn’t do anything because it is occupied territory.

There is also little to no help in Kobani, despite the fact that it is part of Syria. It is not only dangerous because of the earthquake, but also because of attacks from Turkey that are still continuing and which killed a Kurdish aid worker on the 11th of February.

 

In the Shahba refugee camp, between Afrin and Aleppo, the situation was already very bad. Some people have been there for years and there is little help from outside. Now the camp has been overrun by about 1,500 extra people who no longer have a place to live due to the earthquake.

The Kurdish Christians in this area have devoted themselves in recent years of war to help their fellow citizens, to provide them with food, medicine and the Word of God. In this new emergency situation, they were ready again to offer help.

 

Because there were no new tents available, they took old tents (from the time of IS) and set them up, creating a place for 1000 people in Afrin. In the first week we supported them financially to buy food and kerosene for heating for these 1000 people.

In Kobani and Shahba, food, water and blankets were also distributed by the Kurdish Christians to 1000 people in need. Because of our network there, we were able to offer immediate help.

In the coming months, this emergency relief in Syria will remain essential.

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