Blockade continues, crisis worsens

By February 3, 2016

Nepal (MNN) — Conditions created by India’s September blockade are worsening, according to Vision Beyond Borders.

(Photo cred VBB)

(Photo credit VBB)

The people of Nepal can barely get any fuel, food, or medicine.

“They’ve gone from over 300 fuel trucks a day coming across the border to less than five,” says¬†Dyann Romeijn with Vision Beyond Borders.

“The UN is warning that this could affect about three million children: they could starve as a result of this blockade, if there isn’t a resolution soon.”

Blockade back-story

India began its blockade of Nepal soon after the former Hindu kingdom adopted a secular constitution. “The Hindus were very upset about that,” Romeijn explains.

Wikipedia_gas cylinders Nepal blockade

Line of gas cylinder at Kathmandu

“India has been putting a lot of pressure on Nepal to become a Hindu nation again.”

Click here to learn why India is blockading Nepal.

India’s blockade quickly began hindering Nepali life and hasn’t let up since. A number of smaller border crossing points have eased blockade restrictions, The Kathmandu Post reports.

However, at the largest crossing point,  where 60% of goods and supplies enter Nepal from India, barriers remain.

Ministry continues, despite blockade woes

Vision Beyond Borders’ children’s ministry and safe house are still going, thanks to God’s timing and provision. According to Romeijn, the partner who oversees these ministries recently visited the U.S. While there, he was able to obtain electric skillets and bring them back to Nepal.

(Photo courtesy VBB)

(Photo courtesy VBB)

“They typically don’t use that. They cook outside [using] wood and fuel,” says Romeijn. However, the extreme fuel shortage resulting from India’s blockade has forced everyone to cut back on traditional cooking methods.

Thanks to Nepal’s rolling blackouts, “There are periods of time where they’re without electricity. But, then [there are times when] they’ll have electricity, and they’re able to use these cooktops for [preparing] food.”

The blockade is also providing a chance to talk with neighbors about Christ.

“It’s an opportunity for Christians to respond to that crisis and to show the love and compassion of Jesus,” Romeijn says.

Visitors are still able to travel to Nepal, but the blockade is making it hard for Nepali citizens to host and support guests. Right now, “going” and “giving” may not be the best ways to help VBB and their partners in Nepal.

(Photo courtesy VBB)

(Photo courtesy VBB)

Prayer is always the best option, and Romeijn says they really need your prayers right now–both for physical safety and spiritual victories.

“The Gospel needs to be proclaimed. People need to know Jesus, because when that happens, situations are changed. Hearts are changed, lives are changed, and circumstances are also changed.”

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