RW’s leaders visited Nepal in October to check in on the communities that we’ve been walking with since the earthquake last April. Here are the highlights of the trip.
Nepal is in the throes of a prolonged, country-wide fuel shortage. This made the visit challenging, to say the least. The trip included overcrowded buses and very long walks.
Amazingly, our Nepal Program Director was able to procure a Jeep and scrape together enough fuel to visit several remote villages.
First we visited Sinkre. The people of Sinkre have organized themselves well and worked hard to rebuild. With tin sheeting provided through Reconciled World and Disciple Nations Alliance, they have built 139 homes and more than 30 latrines. They worked with the district government and another organization to bring electricity and clean water to their community. New roads are also being built. The entire community is permeated with a sense of “settling down,” and getting life back to normal. Praise God!
Next we visited Bhakari Dada. We gave this community enough tin sheets for 102 families, yet they somehow managed to rebuild 113 homes and two schools near by! They welcomed us with a formal gathering, during which teachers expressed their appreciation and the village leader apologized for previous generations of persecution against the Christian church. Even though Bhakari Dada has no believers at this time, there is new openness to the gospel because of the love and help they’ve received from the church during their time of crisis. Please pray for a move of the Spirit to bring many to saving faith in Christ!
Finally, we came to Thulobanhdan. Unlike the other communities, their buildings were not completely destroyed in the earthquake. In a way, this is good–they still have access to infrastructure like water and electricity. But there is also a major drawback–their badly damaged and unusable houses remain standing as a constant reminder of all that they have suffered. It has been more difficult for the people in this community to “move on.” They built very temporary shelters from the tin we gave them, not even nailing them together, because they hope to use the tin sheets “later” when they have the resources to demolish and rebuild their old houses. The atmosphere of this community is of ongoing trauma, loss and frustration. Please pray for God’s healing touch.
In every community, we see a strong felt need for more substantial housing. Tin houses offer protection from rain, but are not adequate for the cold Nepalese winters or hot summers. Especially with the fuel shortage, staying warm this winter will be extremely difficult. Parents are worried about their children and the elderly getting sick because of exposure. Looking ahead, we want to do two things to continue to help these communities recover:
- Provide blankets and warm clothes: Churches in Nepal will collect used warm clothing for this initiative. We are contributing blankets–$20 provides a blanket suitable for a family for winter. You can buy a blanket here.
- Provide chickens: Chicken farming is a quick way to generate income; families can use the profit to buy other necessities and to save up for sturdier houses.
Thanks for continuing to pray for the people of Nepal on their long journey of recovery. Please do take a few moments right now to lift them up to the Father.