Nepal (MNN) — Rescue workers from around the world are converging on Nepal. Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country just 50 miles northeast of Kathmandu, damaging an unknown number of buildings, killing many, and injuring thousands.
Survivors say it was like trying to walk on a boat during heavy seas.
Gospel for Asia has work in Nepal and workers on the ground. GFA President KP Yohannan says the death toll isn’t going to be good. “Our leader said to me, ‘It’s going to be in the thousands.’ And usually the information only comes later because there’s not communications. It’s a remote mountainous region.”
The earthquake hit just before noon local time on Saturday, April 25, the day Christians attend their weekly church services. Yohannan says, “We have 450 congregations scattered around the country. But between Kathmandu and Pokhara where the earthquake hit, that is one area where we have a significant number of churches and  Bridge of Hope Centers.” Bridge of Hope Centers are places where GFA workers assist poor children.
Yohannan tells MNN that early reports indicate five churches have been damaged in the quake, but he told us he wouldn’t be surprised if that number increases. He is very concerned. “How many churches [were] damaged: that is another major concern. Every church that was destroyed means there were people in the church worshipping.” That could mean an increase in the number of Christian casualties in Nepal.
“People by the hundreds were worshipping…in those churches. And so, we are seeking to find information. Our leaders are walking and talking, trying to find out how many are dead or other churches affected.”
In terms of emergency response, Yohannan says GFA workers were prepared for this. “We have training going on continually for crisis. That is the reason why immediately our people could be mobilized right there in Kathmandu, reaching out to the suffering people.”
GFA relief workers are already delivering water, food, clothing, and more. Yohannan says Jesus is mentioned as people begin asking questions about why they are helping. “God is a god of compassion, mercy, and caring: for the suffering, for the widows and orphans. I think our response to the suffering world is very significant, and this is how they are going to see that we care for them.”
As Christians offer help and compassion, Yohannan believes it will open doors for the Gospel.
Between 30 and 40 of Gospel for Asia’s missionaries serving in Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state bordering Nepal, are headed toward the quake-ravaged area to help.
In the meantime, prayerfully consider donating generously to the work of GFA. Your support will help them provide much-needed physical aid and provide a platform to tell victims about Jesus, the only One who can give them eternal comfort.