From the Field: A Concert in a Tent City

By Send Relief Staff

In a large tent city near the recent earthquake’s epicenter in Turkey, a group of local partners is ministering to those who have lost everything.

They decided to invite everyone in the tent city—occupants of more than 100 tents—to an impromptu concert. It was a time to celebrate, to gather, to connect.

They found a man willing to make cotton candy and popcorn for the children and had a team provide plenty of hot tea for the adults. As our partners sang traditional Turkish folksongs, you could just see the hearts and minds of the residents begin to brighten. People were smiling and singing, some for the first time since the disaster.

Our local partners honored the government officials in charge of relief and praised the police and administrative staff for making the tent city a safe place for all people in need. Trust was earned.

As the night went on, our partners knew that some families and individuals were still really struggling, having lost loved ones, and made extra sure to be sensitive to their needs. One example is a young man who lost his girlfriend in a collapsed building.

He is a street performer and had not picked up a guitar to sing since the earthquake. Everyone in the camp knew him and his story, and when they opened the mic up to others, he stepped up.

The crowd went quiet. They knew what this moment meant.

The young man sang a traditional song, and everyone slowly joined in. It was a healing moment for all. For the rest of the night, our partners had the opportunity to listen, grieve and pray with many survivors.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Send Relief projects serving survivors of the Turkey-Syria earthquakes! We are seeing tangible results because of your generosity.

Published April 20, 2023

Send Relief Staff