Rebuilding from the rubble in Nepal
Earthquake Effects Brothers & Sisters in Nepal
The news in April of Nepal's magnitude 7.9 earthquake in the Gorkha district, sent shockwaves around the world. The quake, Nepal's most devastating in 80 years, levelled villages resulting in a death roll of more than 8,000 people and with over 19,000 injured. With the full extent of the damage continuing to unfold, it is estimated the lives of 6.5 million in the country have been effected by this disaster.
Even though it is early days for our fellowships in Nepal, there are 250 in regular fellowship in the central area of the country, making up 14 assemblies in total. Unfortunately, all of our people are located within the main affected area, with a few assemblies located directly near the epicentre.
Already, protection and healing testimonies are emerging, with no known casualties of Saints and only minimal personal injuries. Sadly, some have lost family members and friends and many loved ones are still missing or have still not been heard from.
Just as the earthquake hit, two highly skilled Revival Fellowship ladies had arrived in Kathmandu. As they were retrieving their luggage, parts of the airport roof started to collapse however both are well and have since returned home safely. These women were an incredible blessing for the local Saints during their time there, with one sister being a trained SES officer and the other a trained counselor. They were able to provide much needed help and support to the women in the Nepal assemblies, as culturally the women carry many of the household responsibilities and burdens. Providing support for these women was crucial and will be continued by the local assemblies.
On receiving the news, an emergency collection was taken in Australia to provide critical support to the Nepalese Saints. Emergency rations were purchased for some of the Saints, as relief workers had difficulty reaching the outlying areas. On initial reports, the homes of 40 Saints have been lost or severely damaged and 3 church halls have been destroyed or severely damaged.
Due to tough economic conditions, most of the Nepalese are very poor and have little furniture or resources. Some will struggle to feed themselves and their families over the coming months. With the monsoon rains beginning, the outbreak of disease (like cholera, for example) will be likely to follow.
Recovery and Rebuilding
Liaison officer David Kirwood remains in regular contact with the Nepalese fellowships and continues to assess each assembly for urgent needs, short term and long term projects that will need to be undertaken.
Once food, sanitation and safe accommodation has been achieved, the rebuilding process will begin. Building materials will be scarce and prices will rise, but the rebuilding and repair of church buildings will provide shelter and communal lodging for the Saints while other needs can be assessed. The best support we can provide at this stage is continued prayers and economic aide, as our brothers and sisters begin their road to recovery.
NOTE: Thank you to Pastor Brad Smith for the information provided for this article.