Friends, I just got back from Nepal. I traveled halfway around the globe and spent one whole month in Khokana, my birthplace which is also one of the most affected areas by the recent earthquake. The 7.8 magnitude scale earthquake shook the very foundations in the western and central regions of Nepal on 25th April 2015. Waves of aftershocks followed by another fresh 7.4 Rector scale quake destroyed other remaining infrastructures in Khokana. The aftershocks of a 4-5 magnitude scale are persistently felt almost daily. I was there for relief work, solely focusing on the community health project. Needs are sky-high; generous gifts from people and national/international humanitarian agencies have been helping people with basic needs.
My one-month stay was fruitful, in a sense, that I was able to build six permanent toilets for a displaced community of more than 100 people which consists of 27 households living in their temporary shelters on a public property called Bäkhä (pronounced as Baa Khaa). Prior to my arrival there, they had only two makeshift toilets made of only bamboo and corrugated galvanized zinc roofing sheets. No proper sewage management or privacy. One of them was already knocked down and thus unusable.
Basic survival needs are demanding, as they will be living in temporary shelters for, at least, the next two years. Some of those living in shelters will never be able to come out and move back to the old resettlement due to poverty. They might end up living in the slum. Yet, these people did not look broken. I saw their will to come out of this situation. I saw their resilience to get up and move on. Meanwhile, the spirit of dependence on outsiders was also prevalent among other survivors. Those in need had less or nothing, but others who already had were amassing more. Greed, selfishness, dissension, discord, and jealousy pervade the once generous hearts.
Sometimes, we easily lose sight of eternity when something bad happens to people, and we tend to care only about their physical needs. As much as they need help amid this magnitude of the catastrophe, they also need a redeemer who can see them through and through and change their hearts. God has called us to be ambassadors to show his love through our actions. Please pray for the survivors that Christ’s love will be manifested in their lives. And also pray for God’s people who are working to bring the hope of Christ to the displaced people.