Current Events Guide: March 2023
As more disasters, natural or man-made, are happening, it might feel like the world is getting worse every day. We are able to have hope in Jesus, but our Muslim friends do not have this relationship to lean into! We’re going to cover the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, as well as crises that are happening across the United States. You’ll learn how to talk about them and introduce your friend to a God they can trust in.
Syria and Turkey Earthquake
On February 6th, a 7.8 magnitude hit Syria and Turkey. By now, you probably have heard about this natural disaster, but as the news begins to move on to newer topics, we as the Church need to continue to pray for everyone impacted. The death total has reached over 50,000 people, and they are continuing to go through the ruins of thousands of buildings. Entire cities of people are displaced, living on the streets or in shelters.
Sadly, both Syria and Turkey have large Islamic influence politically and socially, which means that most of the donated funds for earthquake relief will go into the hands of mosques. Christians in these countries are at the bottom when it comes to receiving aid in a natural crisis, because the Muslim population is prioritized. To help our persecuted brothers and sisters, we started the February Earthquake Initiative which will send money directly to churches and house groups who are supporting people who lost their homes or livelihood.
What is the February Earthquake Initiative? It is a project we started the week after the first earthquake to raise funds for the victims of the earthquake. We are partnered with churches and believers in the area who are delivering supplies and providing shelter to our brothers and sisters who have lost their homes and been injured.
When disasters occur halfway across the world, it is easy to feel helpless. You can help!
- $50 will buy winter blankets for a family of 6.
- $100 will feed a family of 6 for two weeks.
- $500 will provide a safe small apartment for a family to live in for 3 months.
This initiative will continue for as long as it needs to: we want to help as many persecuted families as we can, and we need your help!
What should Christians say about this:
The Church in the West, or any other country that is not impacted by the earthquake, needs to continue to pray for every person impacted by this earthquake. Even though it is a monstrous natural disaster, we know the Lord can use anything for the good of those who love Him! This means that as their faith is tested, Christians in Syria and Turkey have the opportunity to choose to have faith and lean on God as their provider.
We also need to pray that those who don’t have a relationship with Christ could find one through this horrible event. Whether it be through a Christian friend, church, or nonprofit distributing aid, we can pray that nonbelievers can have the Gospel spoken into their hearts, so that they can have peace and hope in Jesus too!
As you pray be also courageous. Be vocal with your friends about how they can be praying, and share our February Earthquake Initiative with those who would want to help distribute aid too!
Crises in the United States
In recent months, it feels that there is a new disaster in the United States every week. One of the biggest topics has been the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio– which included a large fire and a spill of vinyl chloride. Many inhabitants of East Palestine are worried about the safety of their homes, anxious that the toxins from the fire or spill could make them sick. Contaminated water has been shipped through a water company to be disposed of in Texas, which has sparked anxiety in Texas communities.
On top of this event in Ohio, there has been a large number of fires in Texas, as well as tornadoes in the South. It is easy to feel that the world is spinning out of control when there are a large number of natural disasters, but it is key for Christians to remember who holds the world in His loving hands.
What Christians should say about this:
Do not let your faith in Christ be swayed by the fear of what could happen or what has happened. Even in the middle of what seems like “out of control” situations, God is in control!
“My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:2-3
If you get the opportunity to talk to your Muslim friend about the natural disasters of the past month, do not try to change the subject. Instead, talk about it truthfully. You can honestly express if it has been a worrisome time, but then you can talk about how you’ve decided to trust God! Share a time when you felt hopeless or scared, and how God turned that situation into something better. Ask your Muslim friend how they’ve been doing, and offer to pray for them at the moment. Remember, we live in a broken world, but we know how the story ends! We will live in a new heaven and new earth. God is the God of redemption.
Dear Lord, thank you for promising that you will always take care of us. Please give me peace when I am afraid. Comfort those who are afflicted by any natural disaster, and please send someone to help them and share the Gospel with them. Amen.