Nepal Earthquake

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Update: October 7, 2015


The world will know April 26, 2015, as the day of the Nepal earthquake.  In spite of our fears, we believe that God was gracious and our lives were spared. Still, we looked at the destruction and asked “why”?  Why our village? Why our homes? Why us? All our earthly possessions were buried under the stones that had once formed the walls of protection. The reality repeating over and over again in our thoughts, had we been at home that morning, we likely would’ve been injured, possibly killed.

Four months have now passed since the earthquake. What has happened since? We mourn the dead and injured together with our neighbors and countrymen. We have felt the prayers and support from around the world. Our lives have been spared time and time again as aid organizations arrived with food and materials for temporary shelters. Blankets were delivered. Nets were provided. We have recovered what possessions we could from the rubble of our homes and are making due in temporary shelters living on dirt floors. What was a storage shed or shelter for livestock, we now make a home.

Our church, while standing, is in need of repairs. The walls are cracked and a landslide is resting against the exterior wall. Water from the monsoon season has penetrated the ceiling and cracks and worsened the damaged. We respectfully keep the church dedicated to God but in the corners, we store food as there are few dry places available in the village. In a nearby town, our Priest lost his home which he made available for divine services. A structure from donated sheet metal has been dedicated for temporary use. We have gone back to work and our children are back in school. It is good to have normal routines although life is far from “normal”. We don’t feel safe. This fear consumes our energy and our peaceful way of life. What if another quake comes? What if there is no food tomorrow? How will we raise our children in these temporary metal sheds? It seems so long ago that we could open a window and let in the fresh mountain air. The rumbling of trucks bringing relief supplies, while needed, is a painful reminder of how life changed in an instant from the rumbling of the land.

On a broader scale, our government works to hold the country together and find a way through this disaster. New construction was put on hold as building codes and regulations were reviewed and updated. New designs and regulations for structures to be “earthquake resistant” is not a hard sell these days. Transportation and supply routes have also been affected by recent rioting and protests as the government attempts to roll out a new constitution. The daily confrontation between protestors and police create an unstable environment. It is hard to find peace and security from the political and the geological movements which are ongoing.

The New Apostolic Trust of Nepal is providing on-going relief to victims of the earthquake. Twenty-five families will receive support in rebuilding. Thanks to your donations and prayers, there is hope and help for these victims.

Update: June 16, 2015

On May 12, 2015, a 7.3 magnitude aftershock struck.  Buildings that survived the initial quake were reduced to rubble.  Terrified residents ran again outside to temporary shelters and tents.  Landslides and aftershocks are ongoing as the earth settles.  Sleeping and exposure to the elements presents health and safety concerns with monsoon season arriving.  Sanitation is a challenge and access to clean water often a lengthy hike in rugged terrain.  Snakes and leopards also threaten the safety of the children.  Schools were destroyed, and there is no sense of normal life.        

We are working with the network of ministers on the ground to deliver more food supplies as well as materials for temporary shelters.  Mosquito nets will be delivered as the rainy season brings additional health concerns.  An assessment of long-term reconstruction needs will be conducted after the rainy season.

Update: May 4, 2015

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal.  There are many reports and images from news networks around the world but we wanted to bring you some specifics as they relate to our members and their communities. So far, there are no reports of casualties among our members.
Dharkhola is in the eastern part of the country where the terrain is mountainous.  This area was hit very hard.   Many people lost their lives in this region buried in the collapse of their own home.  Our Evangelist Shrestha travelled to this region bringing supplies.  He reported the roads were covered in bricks with the stench of rotting animals trapped and dead beneath.  The sense is that 90% of the houses have been destroyed in this region.  Our church building was also destroyed along with the houses of members.       

5 kilometers away from Dharkhola is Sipapokhare.  Our church building, only recently completed, was damaged but spared. Most of our members in this area lost their home.  Our members are uninjured but living in alternative shelters unsuitable for the environment.  All livestock of cattle and farms were destroyed. Our Evangelist delivered basic supplies of blankets, food and water to this region.   Our members received instructions on how to protect themselves from disease.      

Our members are in immediate need of basic supplies.  We are working through our network of ministers on the ground to deliver this aid and plan to sustain this support for the next three months as a start.  The members are not used to living in tents.  They are coping by throwing a tin roof over piled up bricks to use as temporary shelters.  A longer term plan is in development to help with building materials and church repairs.  

Your donations and prayers are very much appreciated.

Update: April 27, 2015

We are sad to report that our working area of Nepal has been affected by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which took place on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Well over 3,000 deaths have already been confirmed. At this writing, we have received no reports of members perishing or injured in the disaster but we are waiting to receive more updates. Our Bishop Shrestha was in Kathmandu during the earthquake and has reported terrible conditions where people are staying outdoors in the cold and rain dealing with the intense and terrifying aftershocks from the earthquake. Communication services are affected as well as transportation throughout the city of Kathmandu. It will take some time for an initial assessment of damages to homes and church buildings. The priority right now in the area is search and rescue and providing basic necessities of life by aid agencies who are equipped for emergency response. NAC Foreign Extension can accept donations towards Disaster Relief here online (see Donate Now below) and through direct mail as follows: NAC Foreign Extension – Disaster Relief, 319 Bridgeport Road East, Waterloo ON N2J 2K9. Please pray for those who are suffering from this disaster.