“Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” –Pope Francis
Franciscan missionaries in Syria need your help today!
Monday February 6th, in the Idlib region of Syria and in the city of Aleppo, buildings have fallen into ruin and so has almost everything else. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the region of Turkey near the Syrian border. Structures have collapsed, killing thousands of people. Many, many more are trapped in the wreckage. The people are devastated and helpless.
In many cases, they can hear the voices of loved ones, but they lack the machinery to remove the rubble. Rescue efforts are also being hampered by freezing weather, rain, and snow.
Thousands are now homeless, living without electricity, water, food, or shelter. This same region was already home to millions of refugees displaced by the Syrian civil war. Control of northern Syria is divided between the government, Kurdish-led forces, and other rebel groups. They remain embroiled in conflict.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians and fighters have been killed in the conflict and the resulting humanitarian crisis has been compounded in recent years by an unprecedented economic downturn.
Right now, only God knows those who have been buried alive by the recent earthquake. Unlike children in other places who are joyfully playing, in this region of Syria, there are children trying to find parents and parents searching for missing children. Thousands of bodies have been recovered from the rubble, but many people are still missing.
Perhaps the message of hope has never been more needed than now for these sisters and brothers. You can bring them hope. You can help them survive this tragedy!
Our Franciscan missionaries are there providing food, water, and medical treatment to the children and families left homeless and isolated by this tragedy. But we need your help today!
Father Bahjat Karakach, OFM was awakened in Aleppo at 4 a.m. by the earthquake. He went outside and found people fleeing their homes in total darkness. More than 50 buildings had collapsed. The friars immediately opened their friary to shelter and feed victims. Before the quake, their kitchen provided 1,200 meals a day for the poor. It is now struggling to provide additional meals to thousands of earthquake refugees seeking help.
Franciscan friars in the Syrian towns of Knaye, Latakia, and Yacoubieh are also providing food and shelter. Our friars have told us that they are providing shelter to thousands of victims every night since the earthquake.
Fr. Bahjat has sent an emergency request for funds to help our friars provide warm clothing, blankets, food, and medicine to the victims of this devastating earthquake.
Could you offer a special gift to help Fr. Bahjat and our Franciscan missionaries ease the suffering caused by this earthquake?
Please send a merciful gift today to provide warm clothing, blankets, shelter, food and medicine to children and families left homeless by this earthquake. Your generosity reflects the merciful face of Christ to the poor!
God bless and reward you for the great charity and kindness of your heart.
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM
P.S. Please help the people of Syria find hope as they struggle to survive this disaster. Help them renew their faith in life everlasting for loved ones they have lost. We know that disasters like this one can occur anywhere and at any time in our world. We need each other in times like this. Please pray for people who have died and for the survivors. Know that you are in the prayers of all our Franciscan missionaries every day.