This last weekend, Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. This last Sunday at Anthem, we shared some updates from our church planters and pastors on the ground in Nepal, and we want to provide some follow up as well as a few different ways you can be involved.
UPDATES FROM MARK AVERY, DIRECTOR OF TOUCH NEPAL
The church in Nepal meets on Saturday’s not Sundays. Saturday is the Hindu day of no work so the Christian church meets on Saturday’s to reach them. The earthquake was just before noon on Saturday when most churches meet.
Bikash Pariyar - Khokana Leper Colony - Kathmandu, Nepal
Bikash is an emerging leader heads all outreach inside Khokana and leads the Rays of Hope Tutoring Center. Rays of Hope tutoring center ( sponsored by Touch Nepal ) tutors almost 50 kids after school six days a week. Hindu and Christian kids. Bikash uses it to reach the children and their parents. It is very successful. The building is damaged though and unsafe. It will need repairs before it can be used.
Bikash was in church three floors up when it hit. Bikash reported that the people left their shoes outside the door and ran down three floors to safety shoeless. Bikash carried a pregnant woman three stories down and out to a safe area. He said he was so frightened but God gave him super powers to carry this woman who is 8 month pregnant!
Bikash is directing a group of young men to go out far and bring fresh water for the people. The water supply is working in Khokana but damaged as they can see by the color of the water. People are very frightened. There are many after shocks still. They are afraid to go in their homes even for food.
Bikash was in near tears talking to me on the phone but he is being an incredible leader and minister there in Khokana Leper Colony. He has gathered the people and encouraging them and praying. Bikash also carried the elderly people out of their homes to sleep safely outdoors.
Bikash’s Mom is cooking food and making tea for everyone. Her name is Krishna Maya. She is a mighty woman and both Bikash’s parents love the Lord.
The people in Khokana sleep outside their doors at night. It is very hard conditions Bikash reported. Especially since its started to rain and there are not tents or anything.
Beki Maharjan - Pastor/ traveling teacher / Church planter - Kathmandu, Nepal
Beki was in his church in Kathmandu when it hit as well. Beki said it was chaos. Beki has gathered all the people at the church to minister to them. He was also ministering near his home to his neighbors. He reported that his home is damaged and that all the people in his neighborhood slept outside together.
Update: Beki is staying outside near the church and ministering to all the church people.
Babu Varghese - Pastor, Bible School Director, Church planter, runs Blessed Children’s Home orphanage - Hetauda, Nepal
Babu was traveling from Simara to Hetauda on the way back to Blessed Children’s Home (BCH). He thought he saw a landslide so they stopped to take pictures. When he got out of car the ground was shaking violently and he realized it was an earthquake. He returned to BCH. Sabitri (his wife) and the kids at the orphanage were all in tears and so scared. A large section of the back stone boundary wall fell over into the neighbors land. This will also need repair. Kids tried to sleep inside but ran outside all night with after shocks. Especially one really bad after shock at 5:00am.
Pastor Timothy ( son in law of Babu ) has open his church to the relief of many people locally. Many people are sleeping in and outside of the church.
Update Monday April 27th: Kids still very frightened. Many after shocks still over 6.0 registering.
Daniel Chandra - Pastor, Balkhu Slum Settlement - Kathmandu, Nepal
His house was destroyed. No place to live.
The church building in Balkhu that Touch Nepal just finished building was destroyed. It is the primary church and school in the slum settlement. It will need to be rebuilt quickly so that the people and children have a place to gather.
There are people in and out of Christianity who are asking and will ask if God is cursing them. We want to refute this because we know that God’s wrath has already been poured out on Jesus on our behalf and that our Father loves us, and will always, only love us. We want to refute that God struck a wild blow to Nepal and that some of His Children happened to be standing in the way of that. We want to establish that there is hope not only in the next moments right before our eyes but that that there is an eternal hope for us, already purchased, in the name of Jesus. That is our destiny!
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9 ESV)
I spoke with Babu, Beki, Bikash and Timothy on Monday evening their time. All are reporting near exhaustion from lack of sleep and needing to minister to the people and children’s needs all day and night. All are reporting a big issue with mosquitoes biting and bothering the people all through the night. It was raining before making it impossible to make fires and burn oil to keep mosquitoes away. Timothy and Bikash reported a change in the weather for the positive and Timothy said they will make fires outside and burn oil tonight hoping it will help the people.
Timothy and Bikash reported what they see is a huge opportunity to live out their faith, show their faith and hope and share Jesus with the non-believers at this time. Bikash reports that many have questions and are open to hearing their words of hope from God’s word.
There is a strong sense of heavy praying and seeking of God throughout the Christian community in Nepal. There is a sense that there is a turning, that God is hearing their prayers even in turning the weather pattern previously that was set on heavy rain to good weather where they see the stars at night (reported by both Timothy and Bikash).
Overall the sense is that it is a very emotionally traumatic situation and a true physical trial. The people are on their own to survive at the moment until international aid comes. And that needs to come fast before a health issue breaks out over lack of clean water and food. Most non Nepali’s and even many Nepali’s cannot drink anything but bottled water and stores have been over run.
I am pleased to report that all the brothers and sisters seemed to be unified in caring and ministering to the people around them and giving them hope. It is a hard situation but an incredible opportunity to show others the love of Jesus by our faith and in our hope. Bikash and I talked about the importance how much a smile can mean to a person in a time like this and a word of hope that God is for us.
HOW YOU CAN BE INVOLVED:
- Pray - More than anything we are asking God for relief, for healing and for him to reveal himself int he midst of this tragedy.
- Learn more - Just being aware of what's happening around the world helps bind our hearts to them in one spirit. I encourage you to stay up to date with Touch Nepal's website and Facebook to get updates from Nepal.
- Give - Along with praying and learning more, there are opportunities to give. Frequently, smaller organizations have a faster a greater impact than larger organizations. We already have a structure to distribute funds as needed and a specific earthquake relief fund available. Your donations will go safely and directly into the hands of our pastors and leaders in Nepal.