Churches in Nepal have responded to the tremendous needs of the most overlooked communities since the first earthquake struck Nepal on April 25. They have found opportunities to do Acts of Love even in the midst of their own losses. We are so thankful for the way God worked in advance of the quake to prepare His people. Vision Network Nepal had already taught basic worldview and wholistic ministry ideas to more than 1000 churches, helping to create a church culture of collaboration and interdependence. The first thing Vision Network Nepal did after the earthquake was hold a prayer meeting and take a collection. Using their own resources, they did an initial distribution of 100 cartons of water, 50 blankets, 50 tents and 50 cartons of boxed noodles to villages where no relief organizations had reached. A few days later, the churches provided 530 more tents, along with food, blankets and sleeping mats, to affected villages in the Gorkha region. They have organized rescue teams and medical teams as well.
These locally-raised resources may seem small compared to the huge international relief numbers you see, but we are convinced that God uses small things to bring His Kingdom even in the midst of a disaster. Locally raised funds were able to meet needs right away, while international money sometimes gets caught up in “red tape.” And these local pastors know the needs best—who has been affected and what is most helpful. While reports indicate that relief supplies are readily available in Kathmandu, hard-to-reach villages often get overlooked as relief efforts focus on densely populated areas.
For instance, Kaule is a village north of Kathmandu where churches provided six tons of rice and 62 tents. 40 people had died in this small village and many others were injured. Kaule is a full day’s bus ride from Kathmandu, then an additional three hours of travel. It’s remoteness makes it difficult for outsiders to find, let alone serve.
Reconciled World is supporting the churches in Nepal to continue to serve in the aftermath of the earthquake. In partnership with DNA, we are providing funding to multiply their local resources. All funds go directly to Vision Network Nepal and are used at the discretion of local pastors. According to the Nepali pastors, tents have been one of the greatest needs in the villages where they work. However, the rainy season is fast approaching, and we must begin to provide more permanent housing as soon as possible. We are encouraging the churches to begin moving from relief to rehabilitation—helping people to clear rubble, rebuild homes and move on from dependence on relief handouts.
Nepal’s greatest need is for your prayers. Please pray:
- Against fear. The people of Nepal have now felt hundreds of after-shocks and a 7.3 quake on May 12. Many have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods. The buildings that remain may be structurally damaged and unsafe. Pray for the peace that passes understanding in the midst of these very real fears.
- For provision of homes. Our pastors are working tirelessly to organize the churches to build houses in earthquake-affected villages. Pray that God will bless their efforts so that people will have adequate shelter when the rains start in approximately two months. Pray also for the pastors themselves, who are dealing with damage to their own homes and the prospect of sky-rocketing rent prices for the remaining safe buildings in Kathmandu.
- For renewal and endurance for the pastors and churches who have been responding to this crisis for 20 days.
- That international relief funding and supplies would reach those who need it most in a timely way.
- That God would use this tragedy to bring glory to Himself, that the church would be strengthened and Christ would be made known.