Earthquake aid, Turkey: 13 Dec 1999

News and Press Release
Originally published
Dear friends,
now I have taken over the project until spring, and will give you reports biweekly about our relief ministry in Turkey.

Winter has arrived. When I talked to our team, who were in the area around Duzce after the second earthquake, they were freezing and the tents was erected in snow. Our four ladies were definitely doing a sacrificial job out there.

We are trying, because of limited personnel, to work less in active relief work like tents, clothes and food distributing but more in case management. We try to visit as much of the 350 families to whom we gave shelter to find out about and meet their further physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This takes more time and it seems less effective, but it is a very valid job.

Sure, at the end of a day being able to say we have set up 10 tents gives more self-esteem than to say we have visited 5 families, have had a few dozens of cups of tea and talked to the people, but we think it is very important.

Here is what our team itself reports:

Although it does not seem like we are doing much, our days are pretty full and busy.

We have erected a few tents with the Turkish Protestant Churches, and showed them how it works. We distributed some heaters and water containers and took down one winterized tent in Yuvacik that was only used for storage of clothing.

Sunday is our day of rest, but we have also started trying to fix the Van and the headlights of the Lada. We hope to make contact with the Mayor in Golyaka to arrange that they will send a truck to pick up the 9 promised tents. Hopefully we will be able to leave tomorrow for Golyaka and stay over one or two nights, to put up those tents.

Here is a short overview about the present project:


We are these days quite busy with distributing heaters and water containers.

Derince camp:

Our English volunteer K. is leaving these days and that means that the Children program ends. When I saw the change in the lives of the children - how they behave now compared to their behaviour some weeks ago - I feel very sorry that this ends. We would really like somebody to take over.

Hasanpa=FEa Primary School:

We hope to finish this project in the next few days. At the opening, we will present each student and teacher with a small parcel of gifts such as toys, notebooks, pens and story books.

Hamidiye Village Primary School:

This will be finished with the Christmas "baskets": We are already shopping for the goods to prepare 100 Christmas parcels to distribute to those who have received little help in other ways. These baskets will not contain "staples" but special treats such as nuts, dried fruit, sausage, olive oil and sweets. We want to particularly bless those who have not received much blessing in other ways. These baskets will be put together and distributed in the next two weeks.

M. W.
Acting Earthquake Relief Coordinator, Turkey