Turkiye (MNN) — The earthquake death toll in Turkey and Syria is past 36,000. Rescue efforts have pushed on for over a week. Could there still be survivors? Maybe. But the heartbreaking reality is going this long without water – and in bitter cold – survival under the rubble is becoming more and more unlikely.
The rest of the population is grappling now with trauma and even survivor’s guilt in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Rex Rogers at SAT-7 describes how their staff in Turkey have been affected. “Many of them have family and friends, some of them grew up in this area…. It’s not that far away for them. They are expressing feelings of helplessness, [feeling] angry, lonely, fearful, [and] one that really caught me off guard is they’re experiencing shame.
“What they meant was even for like being alive or enjoying their coffee, it’s a kind of survivor’s guilt.”
SAT-7 TURK provides Christian satellite television programming across Turkiye and to Turkish speakers in Europe and Central Asia. Amidst their own grief, they are broadcasting Christ’s hope to an entire region dealing with survivor’s guilt.
Rogers says, “It can reach all these television sets throughout Syria and throughout Turkey. It broadcasts spiritual encouragement in the midst of trauma and despair. It points to a sovereign God who has not forgotten these victims.
“They’re preparing some additional interactive programs with pastors [and] Christian leaders who can provide answers for all that fear and loneliness and helplessness — hope, in other words — and they’re looking to learn more about the ways they can actually help.”
SAT-7 TURK is also fielding calls from people asking hard questions about God and faith and where to find hope in tragedy.
“We have a means of communicating spiritual comfort to isolated believers, isolated communities, isolated non-Christians whose hearts are open,” says Rogers.
“Pray God will work, as He always does, but in and through this tragedy to open hearts to the Gospel and the hope that’s offered and guaranteed in the Christian faith.”
Rogers also asks specifically, “Pray for our staff of SAT-7 TURK there in Istanbul, that they’d have wisdom and grace in how they respond to the earthquake issues on air and online, and that they’re able to give testimony of God’s sovereign care and faithfulness, because that’s what people are calling in and asking about.”
If you would like to learn more about SAT-7 TURK, click here.
Header photo courtesy of Horizons International.