Nepal (VBB) — [EDITOR’S NOTE: While it may seem like the only thing coming out of Nepal lately is more bad news, God is at work in this former Hindu kingdom. Vision Beyond Borders (VBB) shares the following praise report.]
Your partnership in reaching the people of Nepal with the Gospel is making a difference!
In over 20 years of travel to Nepal, we have never seen such gratitude for assistance. Even Hindus and Buddhists thanked us for coming and bringing supplies and hope to them.
Typically the people are very stoic and do not express gratitude. As [VBB partners] are helping the people however, they are seeing a transformation and the expression of deep gratitude for the assistance!
The earthquake in Nepal caused over 8,600 deaths; over 100,000 were injured and hundreds are still missing. Over 500,000 houses were destroyed and 269,000 damaged. Close to 100,000 people remain displaced, and 2.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.
An estimated 1.1 million people have lost access to safe water supplies and toilets. Many roads have been destroyed in addition to schools and health facilities. It is estimated that 1 million children will be unable to return to school when classes resume at the end of May.
The needs in Nepal are pressing and complex.
The poor people do not have access to rebar to use in construction, so the homes have nothing to sustain them in the earthquakes. They are simply salvaging what they can from the rubble and trying to rebuild.
Right now, the solution is short-term: to provide tents and shelters to get people through the monsoon season. Next we will try to address the housing situation. VBB is helping to provide food, basic medicines, temporary shelter, and toilets. VBB sent three teams to provide aid to those affected by the earthquake.
In Kathmandu, the damage was isolated to certain neighborhoods. However, villages throughout Nepal with mostly brick and mortar construction were devastated. The debris was 15 feet deep in some places. The teams joined up with a Canadian military captain. He estimated it would take 2-3 years just to clean up the rubble.
In some of the villages, all of the buildings were destroyed. Even if they had not fallen, they need to be taken down as the structural integrity has been damaged. There is a great deal of poverty in Nepal, and the people are rebuilding with what they have. They are chipping cement off the bricks in the rubble piles and rebuilding with them.
The team was able to help retrieve some personal items from the homes for the families who are living in tents or under tarps. In addition, they provided hygiene items and medical items to the families. They helped set up tents and supplied rice and biscuits to those without food.
As they were working, the teams saw the evidence of the poverty around them. Many of the roads have been destroyed, and workers are forced to access remote villages with helicopters. Our contact told us about one village where everything was flattened. Because of mud slides, there was no way to get into them.
The Nepalese government is corrupt and is offering little support for the people. This has given Christians a great opportunity to demonstrate the love and compassion of our Savior to these people!
There is no way one group can meet all the needs. [VBB] groups worked hard and carried in a lot of supplies. However, the devastation is overwhelming, and there is much to be done. The teams cleared rubble and helped to demolish homes; however, it seemed to be just a drop in the bucket in many ways.
And yet, the families they helped made it all worthwhile. They are doing everything with extremely limited resources. They have to build with just what materials they have. They have no insurance and little government assistance.
It was encouraging to see the Nepalese people working together to help each other. They have very little, but just having someone come alongside them to help bear their burdens meant so much to them.
As great as the physical needs in Nepal are, it is evident that the greatest need they have is for knowledge of the true God.
The people of Nepal have a very spiritual outlook, but most have an incorrect view of the spiritual world. There is a strong Hindu culture and caste system. The upper caste is getting help, but the lower caste is not.
When the teams come in to help, they have the opportunity to share the Gospel with them, not just in word but also in deed. The Nepalese people are very open to the Gospel because of their great need. The team was able to share why they were there to help.
Several years ago, a church was planted in one of the villages where the team served. They were run out of the town. However, now Christians were able to come back in and serve the people there, demonstrate the love of Christ to them and share with them in their suffering.
This could lead the way to a church being planted in this village in the future.
The team was able to attend a church service in Nepal. The pastor preached from Hebrews 12:25-29: “See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven? At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”
As he preached on this passage, he reminded the people that we do not live for the things of this world; it can all be shaken. There is nothing that cannot be taken from us. We live for the kingdom that cannot be shaken. Our hope is in Christ alone!
May we seek to serve God in such a way that we point others to His eternal kingdom.
The people of Nepal have experienced a great shaking, but may we lift them in prayer that the shaking will cause them to seek the eternal kingdom that cannot be shaken. May it be an opportunity for many to experience salvation in Jesus Christ! We are grateful for your support that makes this work possible!
How you can help
- Pray: It is evident that the greatest need the people have is Christ. Please pray that they will see their need of Jesus and the futility of their idols. Pray that many will repent and turn to Him, and the people of Nepal will experience His peace that passes all understanding as they put their faith in Him.
- Give: They have requested hygiene items, especially soap and shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, razors, washcloths, and small towels. They also need basic medical supplies including vitamins, cold medicines, fever reducers, over-the-counter pain medications, antibiotic ointments, and bandages.
- Go: It is clear that there is much work that needs to be done. Prayerfully consider going to help with the relief efforts and helping demonstrate the love of Christ to the people of Nepal.