This morning we woke to the news that two powerful earthquakes had hit Turkey and significantly impacted neighboring Syria. The first was a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in south central Turkey, followed hours later by a magnitude 7.5 quake in the southeastern part of the country. The two quakes have devastated Turkey and Syria, collapsing thousands of buildings and damaging infrastructure. Over 2,000 people have been killed and thousands more have been injured, yet search-and-rescue efforts are only in the early stages. A cold and snowy weather system now moving through the region complicates the response efforts.

Lutheran Disaster Response and its partners are prepared to accompany our neighbors impacted by these earthquakes. One hundred percent of your gifts to “Middle East Crisis” go to supporting earthquake survivors and other people affected by disasters in the region.

Lutheran Disaster Response has been active in this region for several years, partnering with ACT Alliance, the Lutheran World Federation and the Middle East Council of Churches to accompany Syrian refugees and internally displaced people with food, water, shelter, health services and sanitation support. The epicenter of one earthquake lies near Turkish provinces that host hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, which will only exacerbate the refugee crisis in the region.

Lutheran Disaster Response is committed to supporting ACT Alliance and other partners in responding to these earthquakes. Even as the sun was rising on the first earthquake, ACT Alliance member organizations began distributing emergency supplies, including medicines, bedding and other relief items. A comprehensive response will be coordinated as the full extent of the impact becomes clearer.

Due to the generosity of individuals and congregations, the North/West Lower Michigan Synod is able to send $5,000 to assist in this crisis. Individuals and congregations can send donation through the website or by mail: 

Make checks payable to
Lutheran Disaster Response.
Write “Middle East Crisis” on your
check’s memo line and send to:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
P.O. Box 1809
Merrifield, VA 22116-8009