I am having a really difficult time processing all of what I have seen and experienced here over the last eight days.
Overwhelming is the first word that comes to mind. I am overwhelmed by the devastation and destruction, the buildings and the lives lost. I am overwhelmed by the hopelessness of those trying to move forward without knowing the hope of Jesus Christ. I am overwhelmed by the necessary recovery efforts that will undoubtedly take years. Overwhelming.
Inadequacy is another word that comes to mind. We feel so inadequate to meet the needs here. It feels like an impossible task to get enough water filters or install enough of them to provide clean water for everyone who needs and requests it. We cannot have enough conversations and pray for enough people to make a spiritual dent in the darkness. We are completely inadequate for the task at hand. Inadequacy.
Discouraging is another unfortunate word that hurts my heart. I am discouraged by the buildings which still lie in ruins with bodies buried underneath. I am discouraged by a local organization that promised to provide water for a tent community after we installed a filter in their building but then refused to share the water as they promised. I am discouraged by the overwhelming inadequacy of our relief efforts. Discouraging.
Despite all I have said above though, hopeful is the most important word that comes to mind. I am hopeful because of the local church here that is stepping up in amazing ways to serve their community. I am hopeful because I see people serving others even though they themselves have experienced tragedy. I am hopeful because the Lord is still in control, even in the midst of unspeakable brokenness and heartache.
Sure, I am overwhelmed, inadequate, and discouraged, but there is still hope in the Lord.
He is infinitely bigger than anything which overwhelms. He is infinitely stronger than my inadequacy is weak. He is infinitely more comforting than any discouragement is disheartening.
Praise the Lord!
Will you pray for the people of Turkey and Syria? Pray for local believers to have wisdom, boldness, courage, and compassion. Pray for survivors to find the only hope that will not end— hope in the Lord Jesus. Pray for relief from the suffering, safety from further disaster, and peace in the midst of sorrow. Pray for God’s name to be glorified in this land.
Published March 7, 2023