Deadly Earthquake Strikes Iraq and Iran

Last night, the floors and walls of our home started to shake. It took a while to realize what was happening.

It was the most powerful earthquake to ever hit Iraq.

My kids came running into the room. We huddled together, praying that the shaking would stop. When it finally ended, we went outside. The streets were full of people. No one has ever experienced anything like this here.

Our team is OK. Everyone is safe and accounted for. So many of you have reached out to ask how we are—I want you to know how grateful we are for your concern and your love.

This morning, we started hearing stories of devastation. Hundreds of people were killed, thousands injured—many of them just over the border in Iran. We’ve been calling loved ones all night and into the day, making sure they’re safe.

The fear is palpable everywhere in Iraq today, especially for our refugee friends. At first, many thought the quake was a terrorist attack. No one knew what to do. There was little anyone could do. They couldn’t just run to their families for help.

Cinderblock homes line the streets of a refugee camp in northern Iraq.

This is their reality. They fled their homes for safety, and they keep finding themselves in places that are anything but safe.

Last night’s earthquake is why it’s so important that people have safe structures to live in, so they’re not dependent on houses built from mud and cinderblock. This is why it’s so important to make sure they have a reliable income—so that even if the worst happens, like it did for so many last night, they can survive and rebuild. So they can afford the safety that everyone deserves.

Today, we are working to ensure the well-being of those affected by the earthquake—especially our refugee friends.

Please help us rebuild what was broken. Help unmake some of the violence that was made last night. Help give families what they need to stand strong through any crisis they may face.