Turkiye earthquake first responder: “The town is literally nothing…. It’s flat.”

By February 10, 2023
turkiye syria earthquake

Türkiye (MNN) — Across several flattened and crumbled cities in Türkiye (formerly Turkey) and Syria, the earthquake death toll is still rising. Over 20,000 people have died so far from quake impact or frigid temperatures.

Mike Patino, COO of Global Catalytic Ministries (GCM), says they have two teams in Türkiye working with the underground Church. But now, those teams have also been mobilized to provide rescue support and emergency aid following the earthquake. Another GCM team from Israel also traveled to Türkiye to join relief efforts.

“One of our disciple makers was talking about how he has friends that are still buried and reports of women giving birth in the streets because the hospitals have collapsed. So it’s pretty horrible,” says Patino.

“One of the quotes I just got in this morning actually is, ‘The town is literally nothing, that town isn’t a thing anymore. It’s flat. It’s really catastrophic on many levels and the trauma with the people is so intense.’”

gcm, turkiye, turkey, syria, earthquake

(Photo courtesy of Global Catalytic Ministries)

It’s not the story you’ll hear on mainstream media, but Patino says God is clearly at work directing His people.

“We can look at the devastation and if we have natural eyes, we can get overwhelmed. But we believe the Lord is speaking and He’s moving.

“For instance, we have two teams there. We have an Israel team, who was already on the way without knowing anything. Of course, the first thing is to assess what is the Lord saying. Where should we focus our efforts,” says Patino.

“All three teams separately heard the Lord say the ancient city of Antioch. So they were all going there separately. Then when I started communicating with them, they all said they’re going to the same place, and I was like, ‘Okay, the Lord is obviously highlighting this city.’

“[In] this specific city, there’s no aid or effort going on in the city. All the aid is going to other cities. So we are going to be focusing our efforts in the city of Antioch.”

turkiye syria earthquake

(Photo courtesy of Horizons International)

The GCM team reported there are about 300 orphans in Antioch that need immediate care and safety.

The biggest needs include water, tents, food, and blankets. You can donate to GCM here as they support emergency rescue and relief efforts in Turkiye.

“We’re focusing our efforts in Antioch and that’s where the orphans are,” Patino says. “One of the disciple makers’ cousin’s daughter was killed; [the] little girl was crushed. The way that the father explained the situation, of course, is just heartbreaking. So there’s just massive emotional trauma going on right now as people are just in shock.”

Please pray for emotional and spiritual protection amidst trauma — both for survivors and first responders.

This is a long-term mission in Türkiye for the GCM teams.

Patino says, “When everyone pulls out, the aid stops, whatever happens, we’re going to continue to push the Church forward and share the love of Jesus and the hope to pretty desperate people right now.

gcm, turkiye, turkey, syria, earthquake

(Photo courtesy of Global Catalytic Ministries)

“The prayer covering is going to be immense. For some reason, He’s highlighting this city and He is sovereign. I’m not saying that He created the earthquake, but I believe and the team believes that there’s a shaking going on in the spiritual world to wake people up. We believe that this can spark a move in Türkiye and we want to pray into that.”






Header photo courtesy of Horizons International.

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