It’s been more than eight months since the earthquake that rocked southern Turkey and northwestern Syria. Thanks to your gifts and prayers, Open Doors partners were able to immediately leap into action— but also to provide long-term care for believers in Syria.
“We're on track with our earthquake response,” says Ibrahim*, who manages the work of our partner organization in Syria. He says this despite the ongoing economic challenges—the Syrian pound has lost even more value, fuel prices have skyrocketed and things were growing desperate in late Spring 2023.
“People are leaving, some just in their mind, others in reality,” he says.
And yet, our partners have been able to continue to rebuild homes and apartments that were damaged during the earthquake. Thanks to your gives and prayers, we’ve repaired 518 apartments. An additional 285 are in the process of being fixed, and 275 are waiting on the availability of workers. Our partners plan to help a team of engineers examine an additional 1,400 apartments to see the extent of needed repairs.
One Syrian boy told one of our engineering teams that he is “so happy” with the new color of his room. “I was so afraid from the cracks on my walls,” he said. Then he grabbed the hand of his mother and said: “Look, mom, this is my new room; it is exactly as I wanted because I told the worker to paint it like this. I am so happy with my new room; I feel safe now.”
Additionally, we were able to provide some summer camps and retreats for children, youth and families impacted by the earthquake. “Those camps were refreshing for the participants, especially for the children,” Ibrahim says. “The programs helped the children forget the terrible days they went through during and right after the earthquake. They overcame what happened during that time. It became a bad memory—but isn’t haunting them anymore.” Because of your help, we were able to serve more than 10,000 people through these camps.
At the camps, the child-friendly spaces helped kids find a place of peace—and some favorite snacks—in the middle of all the trauma. “This is the first time I’ve eaten cheese this year,” one child said. “I am so happy in here; I hope this event never ends.”
Our partners were also able to help with emergency cash vouchers for 5,038 families, helping them make ends meet even during the economic crisis. An additional 2,841 families are receiving monthly assistance that will last until December. This financial assistance helps with necessities like food, rent, heat, medicine and clothing—things that have gotten even more expensive since the earthquake.
Because the housing rebuilding is going well, our partner has also been able to begin supporting hospitals and clinics with medical equipment. “Clinics belonging to churches offer people affordable medical help,” Ibrahim explains.
Thanks to your support, Open Doors is rowing against the current of hopelessness in Syria. We empower Syrian churches to show people that there is hope. When people see their homes being rehabilitated, they get a glimpse of something better. They see the possibility of a new start, and it helps them to overcome the devastation. Action and tangible results are key to providing hope and assurance that can help believers choose to remain in Syria to act as salt and light.
In the coming months, Open Doors partners plan to help with ongoing needs like restoring businesses, offering livelihood projects, helping run training programs and assisting churches in growing their youth ministries.
Thank you for your support of your brothers and sisters in Syria. God is doing amazing work through your gifts and prayers, and you’re helping remind Syrian Christians they aren’t alone. Thank you.