Yesterday at 12:35pm the second major earthquake hit Nepal. As we we driving out of the Kathmandu Valley on our way to the village of Trisuli, I noticed a 2 story building next to our vehicle start swaying like it was made of jello and people started pouring out of the building. Trees started swaying and people came out into the streets. We quickly realized this was not an aftershock but a new earthquake. We spent the day driving northeast of the Kathmandu Valley looking for people who may need help. After a few hours we finally arrived at the village and one of the pastors of Binary Church was relieved to get there. He was carrying a lot of money to buy tin roofs for people in the village. The monsoon season is coming (June is when it usually is in full swing). We delivered a 50+ pound duffle bag with medical supplies and water filtration. You’ll see in the pictures us praying for one of the pastors from Binay Church just before he set off to work in the village for a couple of days and make an inventory of their needs.
When got back to Kathmandu as the sun was setting, the city seemed a bit in a panic. The main road was blocked temporarily by people protesting the government not providing enough tarps for people to sleep outside. In a city where there are over a million people in 19 square miles, we wonder where they will have room to put up tents/tarps. One of my travel partners, who is a former Navy SEAL, said it looked like a war zone. More buildings had crashed to the ground. One 3 story building looked like an accordion, folded in half with light bulbs still on in the top story as it hung on by a few rebar beams. The pastors we are traveling with as we assess and inventory the needs said it seems like this will set the society back 50 years in terms of housing and infrastructure, etc. In a country as broken as Nepal where things are already so disorganized and chaotic, something like this doesn’t seem to bring the average people together but creates an even worse situation. Yet there is hope. The churches on the other hand are amazing. They are all communicating with one another and know where the greatest needs are and are coordinating to the best of their ability.
It brings to mind this great passage from Ephesians that names the spiritual reality in the midst of a broken world:
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:18-23)
- Investing in Leaders - One of the highlights of this trip is that we took a 1 day reprieve from the relief work and spent the whole day teaching a small group of pastors some biblical theology that we thought would really help deepen their understanding of several key truths. They don’t get many opportunities to be taught themselves, so I could tell that it filled their tanks a bit to be invested in as they pour out so much for their flocks.
- Serving the Poorest People Group in Nepal - We spent 2 full days among the Chapang people. We delivered lots of food and medical supplies to three Chapang villages and spoke in 3 of their village churches scattered among the hillsides. They are humble and delightful people. And they were so thankful for our visit. We hope to initiate a new child sponsorship program for the Chapang children… the poverty here is very intense and many children can’t even go to the village school for lack of supplies and permission from their parents. They live in huts and live off of the land.
- Seeing the churches as lights on a hill - It is truly amazing to see the coordination among churches in Nepal… they are on the phone and finding out what is going on, and finding a way to help each other. There will be much opportunity for the church around the world to work with them and help coordinate spreading the Gospel as a result of this tragedy. There are many wise leaders here who are very spiritually discerning.
We are here for a couple more days so we appreciate your prayers to make the most of the opportunity. Today we will be debriefing and making plans on a full range of follow up initiatives from creating jobs for believers to sponsoring poor children, and assisting the churches mission to advance the Gospel through physical relief and continued leadership development.
In closing, here are several pictures of the devastation. If you look closely – when you see a yellow or orange tarp shelter, that is a family sleeping outside. Please continue to pray for the people of Nepal that Believers here will boldly proclaim the name of Jesus. He is their only hope. If you would like to see photos and more updates of the mission, visit High Plains Harvest's webpage. You do not need a Facebook account to view the photos. Here is the link: