Dear Family and Friends, Greetings from Izmir! In our last letter we wrote about the refugees coming through Izmir on their way to Europe. Close friends of ours are helping a group of 100 or so families who came to this area about 18 months ago and were given abandoned farms on which to live, which included some empty apartment buildings for workers… Over the past year we have channeled clothing, shoes and funds for food and iapers to our church friends who visit the camp weekly.
Six months ago one of the doctors from our local Christian medical group and I were asked to go with a translator to check on medical needs among the women , men and children. They have no way to get to a regular clinic for checkups or vaccinations. A clean water source is not available so diarrhea among the little ones was common. Fortunately, no one had any emergent problems.
Two weeks later I took two women healthcare providers to the camp; a nurse from our local Christian medical group and one of my colleagues, an emergency doctor. They are both from Antakya and are native Arabic speakers. The women at the camp very much appreciated being able to get healthcare with out having a translator. We will go again in a couple of weeks.
John& Dianne Fowler
Dear Family and Friends,
In mid-November we received a call from an Arabic English translator asking if we could home a teenage ArmenianSyrian girl who had survived a tragic boat trip to a nearby Greek island. The girl and her father had been claustrophobic and sat on the ouside of the little fishing boat overstuffed with 24 people. Her mother, brother, and grandmother were inside the cabin when the motor stopped and the boat began taking on water. What was a simple 15 minute journey became a sinking grave. The girl’s strong Christian family members were singing hymns and sharing the Good News with others on the boat. The boat capsized, leaving only three survivors. The young woman, after swimming for four hours in the dark, was pulled from the water nearly unconscious and taken to the shore by fishermen. All those inside the boat’s cabin drowned. The father’s lifeless body was recovered two weeks later. The girl’s relatives from Europe came to comfort her. Dianne assisted by taking them all to the police stations near where she was left by the fishermen. Dianne also took them to the forensic lab in case DNA matches to their lost family members were found. She is from a family who loves the Lord. Please pray for her and her little sister (who was not on the trip). So tragic…
We are in touch with groups in the States who want to help with material needs of the recent migrants/refugees. Medical needs are taken care of by government hospitals and clinics. Church friends here are focusing on small groups from particular areas who have exited Iraq and Syria enmasse and are living in poor sections of large cities in the southeastern part of Turkey. They stay there in hopes of going back home when the war ends.
John and Dianne Fowler