The latest death toll from Monday’s catastrophic earthquake has passed 11,000+. There are fears that the toll will rise inexorably, with World Health Organization officials estimating up to 20,000 may have died. A WHO senior emergency officer said about 23 million people, including 1.4 million children, are likely to be affected by the quake. More than 8,000 people so far have been pulled from the debris in Turkey, said the Turkish vice-president, Fuat Oktay. About 380,000 people have taken refuge in government shelters or hotels, with others huddling in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques and community centres, and in trains being used as emergency accommodation It’s bitterly cold in the northern winter. A state of emergency in the region has been declared for 3 months.
Holy One of mercy and peace,
as you walked across the stormy sea so long ago,
walk in the rubble of broken buildings
destroyed by devastating earthquakes in Turkïye and Syria.
Hold tenderly all who mourn today
for loved ones who have died
for those who are waiting for news, and identifications,
for those who are missing to be found.
Be among those who care for the wounded –
rescue workers, medical teams and emergency workers.
Sustain those who wait in emergency shelters.
We pray especially for Syrian refugees already in dire need
and now facing this new catastrophe.
We pray for families and relatives now living in Australia
as they deal with the shock of this tragedy.
May resources might make their way quickly to where they are most needed,
and for targeted aid to reach those who can best use it.
May compassion stir generosity in the nations of the world.
We ask your spirit to guide our words and thoughts.
Stir compassion and imagination, as we seek our best loving response.
Enlarge our hearts, so we can respond with you. Amen.
(adapted from prayers by Maren Tirabassi and Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler)
For those trapped in tragedy,
For those caught in disaster,
For those full of desperation
For those swallowed in a well of sadness,
For those lost in loss,
For those crying for hope,
For those whose world is hurt,
For those whose future is uncertain,
For those in need of help,
For those who can help,
God help where help is needed,
(Source: Jon Humphries, Uniting Church in Australia)