Yesterday morning a destructive earthquake shook central Nepal causing significant damage and loss of life. I am in contact with several pastors who I have known for the past 10 years and by God’s grace the people who I know directly are safe, yet some of them have probably lost friends or relatives. At the moment the families are living in tents outside because the buildings are unstable and aftershocks are still coming (and will be for months most likely). I’m staying in constant communication with those I can reach to get updates.
The death toll from the Himalayan Earthquake is over 3,500 today and continues to rise especially as relief agencies venture out into the villages. Most of the news is coming out of Kathmandu, but the epicenter was between Kathmandu and Pokhara (where I spend most of my time there) so in the coming days the destruction to villages will become more known to us.
The pastors who I’ve been working with are uniquely positioned to reach out to many of the rural villages surrounding Pokhara. One leader has been literally hiking into villages for years and years to share the Gospel and equip churches in youth ministry in these remote areas. He travels into some of the poorest regions of Nepal where relief agencies will likely not have a significant presence in the coming days as they will set up their centers in the larger cities.
We’re Going to Assess & Serve the Remote Areas Affected by the Nepal Earthquake
Some of the villages we will likely visit: Chapang (the poorest people group in Nepal), Tirsuli, Ghorka (90% of houses are damaged), Barpak, Shading, Lanajhung. Information is barely available yet for villages in the epicenter, so a long relief effort is anticipated.
We have made a plan to leave in a few days to join up with our partners in Kathmandu and Pokhara to accomplish a few simple goals:
- ENCOURAGE: Encourage and support our partners who are leaders of leaders as they begin a very long journey to restoring lives and communities.
- ASSESS: Assess the situation in several cities and remote villages where our partners have the most significant relationships. We will make plans for follow up visits, short term missions projects, and immediate financial needs.
- AID: Offer some financial assistance for food, water, shelter, medical supplies and transportation. Transportation is something we have known is a problem for a long time, and we have decided that now is the time to try to get them a 4WD vehicle for their ministry. This will also greatly enable leaders who can assess and make decisions while visiting less reached areas of Nepal.
- FOLLOW UP: In the coming months we will determine how to come along side the churches and leaders we know to maximize their potential to get glory for God in the midst of this trial.
Thank you for your support. We will report back to you as we learn more and see how God is working in the midst of this difficult trial.