From the Field: Water Filtration Teams Help With Earthquake Recovery

By the Missouri and Texas Disaster Relief Water Purification Teams in Turkey

We had another long day today, beginning with a 3.5-hour drive to a different hard-hit city in the earthquake zone.

As we drove through this city, we easily saw how the earthquake had heavily impacted the damage. Our eyes could hardly take in the massive extent of the destruction. The day before, we thought that city looked severe, but it did not compare to the one we worked in today.

This town includes a large municipality with numerous high-rise apartment buildings, most with businesses lining the storefronts on ground level. Many of these buildings, now flattened like pancakes, no longer exist. Others tumbled over, lean at odd angles to one side.

We witnessed many people standing in lines at government buildings, still hoping to receive food and any leftover undistributed aid. Long lines stretched outside a local bakery where survivors waited to receive loaves of fresh bread. In many different locations, many tent cities have already been set up and prepared for those with no other options.

Motorized ladders, like on the back of a fire truck, raise to the balconies of condemned apartment buildings too damaged to enter. Some residents use those to gather what personal belongings they have left.

We spent most of our day in an area where many buildings looked new but condemned and unsafe. Because of the damage, many people have left the area en masse, making many neighborhoods feel like ghost towns.

We had not encountered any Christians yesterday, but today we met with and worked alongside local believers who set up a small kitchen on the street to feed 150-250 people twice a day.

A church network from a neighboring country also came and purchased three washing machines to set up a “washeteria” next to the street kitchen. While they ran water lines to the washing machines, our team set up a water filtering system on a double spigot for washing hands and drawing safe drinking water. Our water specialist checked the water with test strips and found the water safe for both drinking and cooking.

God continues to work among our national brothers and sisters who volunteer to meet the needs of their fellow citizens and neighbors, both physically and spiritually! National believers who have lost everything still declare that, with God, they have all they need! We are humbled and honored to witness such a deep commitment among our brothers and sisters to serve those in the greatest need.

Once back in our base city, some team members went to a local barbershop for a shave. One of our teammates engaged the barber and a shop assistant in spiritual conversations for over 90 minutes!

God continues to show Himself faithful as ministry needs—both physical and spiritual—are met.

Published March 3, 2023