Into The Depths

Into The Depths

Imagine yourself as a migrant – perhaps a 30-year-old woman with a child who finds herself in a huge city like Istanbul. She has no family, money, passport, work, food, healthcare or schooling for her child. She came to Istanbul from an even worse situation and has no intention of going back. She probably did not know she would end up in Istanbul. She paid money to a trafficker who promised to take her to a country in Europe or North America but who dumped her in Istanbul. It will take a long time and a lot more money for her to get to Europe or North America, if she ever gets there…….…….

Imagine yourself as a migrant – perhaps a 30-year-old woman with a child who finds herself in a huge city like Istanbul. She has no family, money, passport, work, food, healthcare or schooling for her child. She came to Istanbul from an even worse situation and has no intention of going back. She probably did not know she would end up in Istanbul. She paid money to a trafficker who promised to take her to a country in Europe or North America but who dumped her in Istanbul. It will take a long time and a lot more money for her to get to Europe or North America, if she ever gets there…….…….


There are said to be about 100,000 migrants living in Turkey. Ken and Betty Frank are missionaries in Istanbul, Turkey. They work with several Istanbul churches that have formed an ecumenical network to try to help migrants. The churches have hired a coordinator and have an office where migrants can go for counseling and referrals. Some of the churches offer programs; for example, migrant children who cannot go to a public school go to a school held at one of the churches. At another church, women with small children can meet in a safe place, talk with other migrant women and church volunteers, see a doctor and eat a good meal once a week. A third church offers a Saturday lunch program. Although Christians are few in number in Istanbul they provide an important service to migrants.

Ken and Betty Frank

 
Ken and Betty Frank serve in Istanbul, where they are joint General Secretaries of the American Board.  Today they work with the American Board school graduates in maintaining the American Board schools and hospital in Turkey, and they are involved in Muslim-Christian dialogue, refugee/migrant work, and ecumenical relations.