All day Monday I thought about the earthquake. I thought about stuff inside those buildings...little girls' dollies, a little boy's truck, pictures of weddings, memories. But more importantly, I thought of people. We are hearing that so many are outside in tents now. I began thinking about our camping night in our tent. It got down to 50, and I was cold. In spite of taking a Tylenol PM (so that I could actually doze off in a tent with my 5 children), I was up a good part of the night thinking about my boy and how he never stayed under his covers. I eventually pulled him in my sleeping bag and let my back be exposed to keep him warm. You know, I'm a mom. You moms get it.
But these folks are out sleeping in tents with temps down to 32 degrees at night. There's likely snow around. I just wanted to DO SOMETHING. What could I do, I wondered? I can teach. I can hold babies. I can cook. Then I got an idea that maybe a team of us could go out East and set up a tent and just cook soup and serve it to people.
Then I got word that people are not what they want (afterall, resources (food/water/housing/heat) are so limited right now). They want stuff to stay warm...blankets, coats, boots. We, as a school, had agreed to help and planned to send a note to all the school families to send in any extra winter gear so we could send it on to Van. Then I got an email late last night from our church specifying what to send and that our school could be a drop off place for things. There was a name and number at the bottom, so I called it. I got the usual Turkish message that basically says, "This person's phone is currently off. Try again later." About 10 minutes later, that man called me back. Now, maybe someone who lives here can clarify for me that perhaps there is a special feature on some phones that gives the person your number if their phone is off. But I plan to call this some sort of miracle. His phone was off, but he had my number to call me back? Never had that happen in 8 years...
So he and I talked, and he gave me the most recent need. Evidently the church out there wants to open its' doors and SERVE SOUP 3 times a day for 3 weeks to help those in need. He said, "We just don't know where we are going to get that food." I said, "We've got it covered." I may not be able to go serve soup, but I can get get the soup ingredients to them.
Now, what's a food drive without some sort of competition? So, I cooked up a plan late last night. It does help to be married to and snuggle in bed with the boss of the school. I can occasionally get last-minute-will-cause-a-little-stress ideas passed. Basically, we told the students today they could bring 1 coat, 1 blanket, 1 bag of lentils or beans for soup, or 5 lira on Thursday or Friday. If their grade level reached 90% participation, they would get a dress down day and a no homework night. I tried the idea out on my own kids this morning. The whole homework thing caused air-jumps and shrieks. They went and got their own money from savings. I think it will work.
So, we'll pile it all up, the local Turkish church will rent a truck and drive it out East. They'll set up a soup kitchen in the church. The folks out there will be fed. And they will step foot in a church for the first time in their lives. Please pray for the safety of those driving it there. It's well...East. (Iran border) And the roads are treacherous. And there will be snow and mountains.
But today I praise God for taking what I felt He put on my heart and giving me a way to help. May He be glorified.