WORLDWIDE – Most of us will never have to live through a violent Russian invasion or an earthquake that takes tens of thousands of lives. But for families facing such heartbreaking crises, your love truly provides a lifeline. You give them a sense of community and you provide hope that life can improve—that someday, they might reach a new sort of normal. Comforting the brokenhearted comes in many forms from a simple welcome in Poland to food for disaster victims in Turkey.
Comforting Earthquake Victims In Turkey
Last spring, residents of Turkey faced some of the worst earthquakes on record. Entire regions were decimated. Even in places where houses remained standing, the damaged structures were far too dangerous for survivors to live in them. Over time, remaining families like young Nilay’s began to gather in tent villages. Life for Nilay and other earthquake victims in Turkey is very hard but you give them hope.
Nilay’s story started like many. Her family tried to make a desperate, barefoot escape from their crumbling home in the middle of the night, but they got trapped in a stairwell. Thankfully, they eventually broke through to the street. However, one of her extended family members died in the quake, and another was trapped for days.
But months after the tragedy, Nilay and her family have ample community and support thanks to you. Her parents, two sisters, and one little brother spend a lot of time with our team on the ground in Turkey. “Sometimes, I eat there in a big tent. Afterward, I play games,” she said. “I like it because the soup served at lunchtime is very good. And they also have basketball and volleyball there.”
Nilay’s mother Esen said, “This really means a lot to me. To be able to go there and see them sharing food with us—this makes me forget about my troubles.They smile all the time and this makes us forget about our pain. Every member, every lady, every gentleman that we meet is always so helpful.”
Nilay even seemed to think sleeping in the tent was a fun adventure. But she shared her concern for her mother, whose hands had grown raw with eczema from hand-washing their laundry. That’s why, with your support, we also supplied her mother with a washing machine and iron that she’ll be able to use in their tent village! And you helped to rebuild businesses for quake victims in Turkey—such as a bakery, a coffee shop, and a barber shop— while also supplying medical care.
Nilay sent a special message of thanks for you: “I hope God will keep them and protect them.”
Comforting The Brokenhearted In Poland & Ukraine
Meanwhile, in Ukraine and Poland, your compassion continued providing hope and help to victims of Russian invasion. In the early days of war, many mothers and children fled to Poland, along with the elderly and infirm. Although the attacks started a year-and-a-half ago, you have not forgotten about these hurting souls. “On February 24, 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine, and for everyone it caused a heavy grief and fear,” a mother named Maryan told us. “It seemed as if the end of the world had come, some kind of Armageddon. We hardly slept. There were air alarms all the time. We dressed in tracksuits, and we threw jackets on top and went into hiding all night. I couldn’t take it anymore. I took my children and we left.”
After a harrowing journey through their war-torn nation, they arrived in Poland. “I heard about Operation Blessing from my friends who also came from Ukraine, and we went to get help. Now from my friends who also came from Ukraine, and we went to get help. Now it is very important for us to receive any help, especially food and hygiene supplies, because it is difficult to feed and wash children. So your organization has helped us a lot with everything necessary for life— food, hygiene kits—and I am very grateful.”
Maryan also shared about the Superbook events that friends like you help provide to encourage the kids. “There, the children received gifts. And I really like that, during such an event, children forget about everything negative, about everything that happened to them. Through such an event, with the blessing of God, it helps to give joy and happiness to children. And parents are also happy, because they see that their children are happy.” That’s the sort of difference you are making for crisis victims during some of their most difficult moments.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of our community that’s blessing the world. You are comforting the brokenhearted. You are doing great things for hurting people in Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, and beyond!