Nepal Earthquake – Brick by Brick

It’s been over a month since the earth shook Nepal to it’s core.  Over 8,500 people died and 18,000 were injured.  Over 1/2 a million homes were destroyed leaving over 3 million people homeless.  The tarp settlements that have sprung up around the city and the daily aftershocks remind us that things are not Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.14.47 AMright.  Scenes of the devastation remain etched into survivor’s minds, while the images fade from the headlines.  Schools are back in session now which marks a large-scale move towards a return to normal.  However, the government estimates that over 32,000 schools are destroyed.  This leaves students studying under tarps or in tents – a far cry from normal.  We are supplying tents for some village schools as well as offering bursaries to some of the hardest hit families for tuition fees which are due now.

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Bringing encouraging words at Chhampi

It is in this context that we work and pray.  It is into the heart of this backdrop of devastation and trauma that we follow Jesus, who of course, is already there.  Rubble is being cleared, food is being delivered, relief supplies are being trekked into remote villages, shelters are being built, comfort is being given, prayers are being prayed, redevelopment plans are being formed.  Armed with all these gifts, we are witnessing the rebirth of hope – we are like midwives who get to witness the comfort and relief that our presence and our actions bring to those in desperate need.  Brick by brick, we’re seeing lives restored as we tend to the long-term process of setting things right.

Here are a few recent highlights of this:

Tipling:

A few days ago 70 people hiked down from Tipling, one of the remote mountain villages only accessible by foot, to where the road abruptly ends due to a landslide.  They made the return two-day trek carrying 110, 30 kg (66 lb) bags of rice, 3 bags of Dahl (lentils), 40 tarps and 30 blankets and a 110 kg (242 lb.) tent.  This was the first large-scale aid that has reached this high mountain village.  Most of the helicopters (including the one we rent) cannot carry this kind of weight, so they do what they have always done – trek by foot.  This story is replicated throughout many of the far-flung and inaccessible villages affected by the earthquakes.

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Gorkha:

Two days ago the village elders met to plan the construction of the 4 km road into the village of Nareshwar.  They met in our church building, the very place many had previously declared they would never set foot inside.  These same people are now working together with the Vineyard for the good of the whole village.  Nareshwar is Raju’s home village – his family still live there.  Before he became a Christian, he was the village bully.  When he moved away, he met Jesus and his transformation began.  He eventually became one of the pastors at the Kathmandu Vineyard.  The church in Nareshwar began largely because of the witness of the former village bully’s dramatic transformation into a strong, caring and loving man.  Raju was, miraculously, the first one to reach Nareshwar after the earthquake with supplies and word from the outside.  Many villagers met him with tearful gratitude.  The village bully had become an agent of blessing.

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Chhampi:

The church building is coming along well.

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Remember the Poor:

The Kathmandu Vineyard has always reached out to the poorest of the poor in the city – the squatters who live beside the fetid river in makeshift shelters on land nobody else will inhabit.  Amidst all the post-earthquake activity, we’ve recently been challenged not to neglect them – our friends.  Even though they didn’t lose their homes in the earthquakes (they didn’t have any to begin with), they still need care and we are eager to heed the instruction in Galatians 4:1 not to forget them.

It’s a Long-term Process:

If you haven’t already done so, please check out our Strategic Plan.  In short, it documents our philosophy and three-stage plan of relief, recovery and rebuilding.  The effects of this earthquake will be felt for years to come and rebuilding will last just as long.  We are in it for the long-haul.  In a few of the villages we are working in, there are no other agencies active.  The need is great and we’ve set ambitious targets, but we need partners to accomplish this task.  The rebuilding efforts will begin in earnest after the monsoon season is over in the Fall.  Please help us spread the word.  If you have not already contributed financially, please consider it.  Or perhaps you know of someone else who would be interested in joining with us.

Thanks for spreading the word and joining with us as we rebuild lives, brick by brick.

Note: due to on-the-ground security reasons, we’ve temporarily disabled the Himalayan Region website.

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2 thoughts on “Nepal Earthquake – Brick by Brick

  1. Thanks again for posting this. I tried to ‘share’ on FB, using your icon but was unable to do so, because there seemed to be no way to move the pop up box up far enough on my screen to access the ‘Post’ icon. David R had already posted on FB through Twitter, so I used that feed which worked for sharing in my network. A glitch maybe?

    • Hi Charmaine – I’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about. Glad you found a workaround though. Perhaps finding and sharing directly from our Facebook feed is best?

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