On February 6, 2023, a detrimental earthquake rocked southern Turkey. The first earthquake occurred at 04:17 and registered a magnitude of 7.7 on the Richter Scale. Buildings crumbled, many lost their loved ones and, even now, millions of people are without food, electricity and shelter. In the midst of it all, small communities built on the firm foundation of Christ continue to support one another, showing each other –– and the world –– what it truly means to love one another.
When the earthquakes first hit people were forced to evacuate their homes regardless of whether or not the buildings had crumbled. The subsequent tremors and the fear of another big earthquake made staying indoors that day a dangerous gamble. Ayla*, a believer, along with her husband and child, were among those who hastily evacuated and slept outside. With no time to even grab shoes, Ayla and her family waited, unsure of what the future held for them. As they waited, Ayla checked her phone for news. As she did, she saw that she had received multiple calls from women in her church checking on her and her family. Although all the ladies were dealing with the same situation as her –– some of whom watched as their homes were shaken to pieces –– they still felt compelled to reach out and check on their fellow sister-in-Christ. Ayla said she had not even received calls from her family members yet. They were still shocked and traumatised by what they had been through, as the entire nation was. Yet in the midst of their own hardships, her church family remembered her. The show of love was so powerful that her husband, a non-believer, remarked: “I have never seen so much love between people.”
As believers, we are called to reflect Christ and show Him in every word we say and every action we make. There is no greater way to reflect Christ to the world than to show kindness, grace and compassion and to remember others, even in our own time of need. It is through doing these things and acting selflessly, as the members of Ayla’s church in Turkey did, that we create communities of love.