I got word from one of the orphanages in Nepal... they are safe!
As soon as I heard the news of the earthquake I messaged Pastor Luke and a few others. As the hours of silence turned into days I become more and more concerned that things might not be OK with them. Best case scenario, they are all ok and have been busy helping others, or they just don't have power...
Worst case scenario... well... I am still hanging onto the best case scenario dream.
I still haven't heard from those who actually live in Kathmandu valley where the epicenter was and as the days pass I don't like the silence. The ones in Kathmandu frequently send group emails to all of their ministry supporters... So it seems like they should send a quick note that they are ok... Tell us something? That seems to be the logical thing. But still we hear nothing from them. One of the missionaries there is actually a US embassy representative. She told me that she agreed to be a representative for the perk of having a two-way emergency radio in case of a disaster. Hopefully they just don't have electricity.
One day while riding around Kathmandu on the back of her moped she explained that they have been warned that every 75 years Nepal has a major earthquake. At the time they were on year 79. Scientists from around the globe had been saying 'when it comes it will be big'. There were signs/billboards all over Kathmandu, the ATM machine's screen savers said "be prepared" laid over pictures of rubble. Many knew it was coming some day. The sad thing is that their architecture does not lend to "being prepared". And even more sad that the religious beliefs of most there believe that karma is karma. If the gods find favor you will be ok. If they don't there is nothing you can do to stop it... So while the Christian missionaries had a storage container in their fenced-in yard full of water, batteries, food, and clothing I would venture to guess 99.5% of Nepalese people don't have that.
(An interesting difference in the US and Nepal earthquake preparedness... they are told in case of a quake to get outside or to the rooftop, where we are told to stand in a door way. They know their buildings won't hold up so they assume being on top as it comes down is your best shot at survival.)
I read a report today suggesting that 80% of Kathmandu residents are living outdoors terrorized by aftershocks. If their homes are still standing they are afraid to sleep in them until the ground quits shaking. It breaks my heart. Kathmandu, the capital city, wasn't what you would call an industrialized city in the first place. To see more about what the city was like before the quake check out my blog from my visit last year.
life in Kathmandu
So today when I woke to good news from Pastor Luke I felt a sense of relief. Pastor Luke lives a long way from Kathmandu. (six hours by bus up a winding mountain road in Chitwan valley.) Here is what he had to say. (I fixed a few grammatical errors to make it easier to read his excellent but broken English)
Praise the lord! By the grace of the living God our family and children are safe. Thank you very much for your heart for us and for your precious prayers.
We experienced very terrible shocks of big earthquake. The ground shakes many times more than 85 times and still not in control completely. We are staying outside of the home on the church grounds. My pastor friend and all the believers were in the church. The church building was completely destroyed and the rescue team has not been able to rescue them yet. I have heard many children of God are missing and many houses of believers were destroyed. Still we do not have all details of believers so we are still praying for them.
According to local report more-then 3100 people are death, and around 7,000 people are injured and under the medication. One christian brother died near our home. and 13 houses of our believers from branch church were destroyed. I am trying to collect other details and reports of the churches and believers from many different places. There are many more villages where rescue team are not reached yet so many people are waiting medical help, food, drinking water, clothes and basics important need to survive.
We magani church ministries continually praying for basics needs for Christian victims of this big disaster. therefore, we are expecting your precious prayers and helping hands to show the love of jesus Christ in this critical condition, lets do whatever we can even it may be small but it means lots in this situation.....
magani church ministries Nepal
So they are alive which is great... but as you can read they are in distress. Please pray for them with me.
Also pray for those we haven't heard from yet. Pray for those in villages who are currently unreachable due to landslides. The roads, already in poor condition, are few and far between in Nepal. Many people walk a days journey to get to the nearest road already. It seems so hopeless, yet we know that our God can use all things for his Glory. One night while in a cab, lost in Kathmandu, Ali, my friend, played the song "Build your Kingdom Here" by Rend Collective on her ipod. It says...
Build your kingdom here,
let the darkness fear,
show your mighty hand,
heal our streets and land,
set your church on fire,
win this nation back,
change the atmosphere,
build your kingdom here
I have such vivid memories riding around the dark city for what seemed like forever, lost. But hearing that song and praying that God find a way to heal their streets and land. Let the darkness of false gods and idol worship fear our mighty God. Praying to win this (that) nation to Christ. Change that atmosphere. "Build your kingdom here!" I prayed over and over.
I can only hope that out of the ashes and rubble that God's love will rise and be known in large numbers. That the 'less than 1% of the population' who are Christians stand together and minister to the 60% Hindu and 40% Buddhist peoples. Let something strong and beautiful come out of this nation which is now hurting and weak.