First Baptist Glenarden kickstarts Turkey-Syria Crisis Response giving

Mickey Seward

Contributing writer

  • Missions

First Baptist Church of Glenarden (Maryland) has provided a $100,000 lead gift to Converge’s Turkey-Syria Crisis Response, according to Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr., who serves as Converge president and lead pastor of First Baptist Glenarden. The fund provides support to those whose lives have been turned upside down by the catastrophic earthquake that, as of February 15, has claimed the lives of more than 41,000 people. 

“This is one of the most devastating natural catastrophes of our lifetime,” Jenkins said. “Imagine how you would feel if you lost your entire family in one instant. That’s what happened to thousands of people. Forty-one thousand losses of life that we know of right now; that’s like losing an entire town.

“As the church, we are the arms and legs of the body,” Jenkins continued. “And we’re called to serve and help — not just in the moment of the crisis, but we will look at planting churches there that will help in the long term.”

Converge will work at three levels to assist the effort of our Turkish brothers and sisters. We will partner with Ilk Umut (First Hope) during the crisis response, which will include providing hot food, showers, laundry facilities, medical help and more. 

The next stage is partnering with the Foundation of Protestant Churches in Turkey to strengthen the churches directly affected by the earthquake and share the gospel in word and deed. A crisis is a great time for the Holy Spirit to work in people’s hearts and minds. 

We also have a direct connection to a local church in Southeast Turkey through Converge workers. This church in a city of more than 1.5 million people will be a part of our strategy to start and strengthen churches in Turkey and Syria through these gifts.

Jenkins encouraged other churches to participate in the Turkey-Syria Crisis Response. By doing so, they will combine efforts to make a much more significant physical and spiritual impact than they could on their own. 

“This is how we show the love of God,” he said. “And we want to charge churches to be sowers. God will bring back a harvest.

“Psalm 133 says, ‘Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in humanity.’ We can work and have a much greater impact if we do it collectively. So, we are asking other churches to join our efforts to help during this catastrophe.”

Mickey Seward, Contributing writer

Mickey Seward is a freelance writer and editor. He served as Converge's director of communications from 2017-23.

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