“My family is gone. O God, my family died, my support and strength died. 13 went to heaven,” Al-Halabi, a mourning father.
The mournful cries of mothers, fathers and children echoed through the ruins after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkey-Syria border on 6 February 2023. According to UNICEF, it was the most powerful earthquake to hit the region in 100 years. It is a critical situation as thousands of children, women and families are still trapped under the rubble.
The death toll is currently around 34 179 across Turkey and Syria but continues to rise at an alarming rate as rescue teams recover more bodies from the reported thousands of collapsed buildings. The freezing winter temperatures pose numerous challenges. And, although the first response teams have been working tirelessly since the earthquake, rescue efforts in Syria have further been complicated by a long-running civil war. Getting aid into rebel-controlled areas in the north of the country is a huge challenge.
The delivery of essential supplies to affected areas in northern Syria has been convoluted by an economic downturn and the civil war between opposition forces and the Syrian government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, who is accused of killing his own people. Russia, which backs Assad’s regime, has blocked approval for another aid route to Syria.
And, it has been nearly a year since Russia dropped their first bombs on Kyiv, Ukraine, shattering the peace the morning brings, and there still seems to be no end in sight. The team at FEBC Ukraine continued from the beginning to broadcast hope and keep listeners updated with new developments even while some were hiding in bomb shelters. Some of the team members chose to stay in the centre of the war, broadcasting the love and message of Jesus Christ.
In all this, God has been faithful in keeping His promise of making beauty from ashes, because out of the devastation new life was birthed. Pastor Sergey, who leads the Ukrainian team, distributed food and ministered the Good News to those affected by the bombings. It is in the most desperate times that people call out to God and surely, He has not forsaken His people. A total of 50 000 prayer books were distributed to the public and audio Bibles were given to soldiers on the frontlines. Furthermore, FEBC celebrated the three new stations that were established amid the war, blessing people daily through FM radio, social media, and on-ground ministry.
“We are tired, but at the same time, we can see that millions of people received Jesus as their Saviour… We do not have electricity and light, but we have the light of Jesus Christ, and we should be shining more and more in these dark times,” Igor shared.
“This is the essence of our work,” Pastor Sergey declared joyously.
Although the world seems like it’s on fire, God is still on the throne and is faithful to protect those who belong to Him. We pray that more people receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour in these uncertain times.
Special condolences go out to Director Eduard of FEBC Ukraine. His cousin, Slavik, graduated to the promise of heaven earlier this week. Slavik was killed during shelling while travelling to provide aid to those in need. He leaves behind a wife and child.
We thank you for your continued donations and faithful prayers keeping the FEBA and FEBC ministry going. If you would like to make a donation that can lead someone to Jesus Christ, follow this link: https://febaradio.co.za/donate/