Prayers for Turkey: Mark 1:1-8
Times occur when we feel ourselves to be wandering in the wilderness, hoping and praying to hear a voice that will lead us onto the path of wholeness and peace. Experiencing a disaster such as an earthquake, being left homeless with one’s small children without adequate support or shelter, being huddled around a small stove in an attempt to stay warm as the temperatures drop and the snow begins, can be such a wilderness experience. We pray today for the people of Van, Turkey, who have recently experienced two devastating earthquakes. We thank you, God, for the outpouring of care and love by people from all over the world, in the forms of rescue workers, medical personnel, and monetary and material aid. We pray now for distribution systems to become effective to provide people with their basic needs. As people begin to rebuild their lives, may the support systems exist to help people to deal with the trauma caused by losing everything. As John emerged from the silence and barrenness of the wilderness, he brought to all of us the expectant message of ultimate Hope, that one more powerful than he will bring the comfort and support of the Holy Spirit.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Turkey:
The donations to the UCC’s “One Great Hour of Sharing” and the Disciples’ “Week of Compassion” are used to respond to various needs of people including those who have experienced disasters and emergencies. In the recent earthquakes in the cities of Ercis and Van, Turkey, $5000 was sent to Turkish partners, to provide emergency relief as well as to provide support for the children’s trauma centers that will be established. Children process upheaval in very different ways. The generosity expressed in this donation has gone towards the purchase of materials such as educational toys, crayons and stationery, children’s story books and puzzles, and puppets to help the children of Van and Ercis to process their feelings and emotions through their imagination. Psycho-social centers are beneficial for children to heal from their trauma of utter displacement.
Likewise donations from the UCC and the Disciples help to provide support to the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP). This small program is an ecumenical partnership of the Christians of Istanbul, the Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox. It provides migrants and refugees with a small amount of support in the form of counseling and guidance, children’s services, emergency food, clothing and medical aid, as well as some travel aid to help refugees deal with the bureaucracy of life as a refugee. The emphasis of this program is on the most vulnerable of the migrants and refugees stranded in Turkey, mainly mothers with their children. This program survives with the help of volunteers and donations from people who have the faith, commitment and courage, to meet people in their most fragile condition.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Alison Stendahl)
Video Resources for Turkey:
Skype Interview with Alison Stendahl: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/stendahl.html
Global Ministries International Partners in Turkey:
- Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program: Predecessors of the current Global Ministries personnel in Istanbul organized local parishes to serve the influx of refugees to that city during the First Gulf War in 1991. Hearing the continuing call to minister to the needs of economic migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees stranded in Turkey – they number at least 100,000 today – the parishes over the years have sustained and further developed this ecumenical program of Christian mission. The focus is on the most marginalized group of migrants, namely women with children. Services include food, clothing, health care, counseling, voluntary repatriation, adult education and emergency shelter subsidies. IIMP is a critical presence in the lives of those they help. Its work overlaps with NGOs that advocate for the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Global Ministries personnel are officers on the IIMP Board and in charge of the adult education program.
- Health and Education Foundation: The Health and Education Foundation, a Turkish secular philanthropy, began in 1968 to protect and renew the educational and medical institutions of the American Board, which represents the founder of these institutions more than a century ago. The Health and Education Foundation consists of volunteers who are the graduates of the American Board schools. There are three high schools in Turkey (Tarsus, Istanbul, Izmir), a hospital in Gaziantep (SEV American Hospital) and a printing press (SEV-YAY), founded by the American Board but now managed by the Health and Education Foundation, which has full responsibility and authority for them. The institutions exemplify the positive possibilities for bridging cultural divides and building trustful relationships that are needed in today's pluralistic world. Global Ministries follows with hope and interest the progress of these historical institutions through its office in Turkey, the American Board.
For more information on Turkey, click here: http://globalministries.org/mee/countries/turkey/
Global Ministries Personnel in Turkey:
Ken & Betty Frank serve with the American Board in Istanbul, Turkey. They share the job of General Secretary of the American Board and follow closely the historical institutions now managed by the Health and Education Foundation. They also serve on the board of the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP) and work in its programs.
Alison Stendahl serves as Academic Dean of and a math teacher at Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul, Turkey. She also represents, along with Peter Makari, Global Ministries on the Near East School of Theology (NEST) Board in Beirut, Lebanon.
Pray for Partners without Global Ministries Mission Personnel: Uruguay
For more info on Uruguay, click here: http://globalministries.org/lac/countries/uruguay/