We were on our way to deliver some relief supplies to a more rural area. We had stopped for a rest, and just as we were getting out of the car, we heard screaming. I said, ‘It’s another earthquake. Run!’ We all ran to the first open space we could find and stayed there until it stopped. People were screaming and crying.
Kathmandu now looks like a ghost town, with only 25 percent of the shops remaining open. People are afraid to enter any buildings. Restaurants are mostly closed. Many have stopped coming into Kathmandu to work. They are too afraid – Raahi, a Gospel for Asia-supported photojournalist in Nepal
Once at my workplace, my co-workers and I experienced a tremor. It felt it as if someone had taken hold of the building and was shaking it. It was a scary feeling. I don’t remember how long it lasted but the memory has stayed with me to this day. I can’t imagine how terrified the people of Nepal felt when disaster struck them. My heart breaks when I think of those who have lost their loved ones and their homes. All around them is devastation, death and despair. How do you recover from such a violent, destructive force? How do you pick up the pieces again? What about the grief that takes hold of you and won’t let go? How could you get past the pain of losing a loved one–especially a child?
The Nepalese people lived in fear of aftershocks that would bring more destruction and death. Sadly, their fears came true. On May 12, Nepal was struck by another earthquake just 17 days after the 7.8 magnitude quake, considered to be the worst since 1934, devastated the country, killing more than 8,000 people and injuring nearly 18,000. The last time I heard the news, at least 37 people were killed. According to News sources, 40 people have lost their lives in the aftershock and 1,000 are injured.
The people of Nepal are living in fear, uncertainty and despair. All they see is utter devastation. Hopelessness and helpnessness cling to them. However, God has not forsaken them. Through the Gospel for Asia missionaries and Compassion Services teams He is ministering to them. The teams are providing them with food and medical relief. The World Health Organization (WHO) is setting up a new field office in the Gorkha district of Nepal so that they could extend health care to the people. From the field office they will combine efforts with the Nepalese government and other humanitarian partners who are also setting up operational bases in the city. WHO and the national authorities will also coordinate land and air support so that they can get the medicines, health care professionals and other life-saving resources as soon as possible to some of the most remote regions impacted by the earthquake.
Care of children and pregnant women is also a priority at the hospital. In a welcome initiative, the emergency medical specialists from Switzerland, deployed as part of the WHO-coordinated foreign medical team surge response, are shifting their skills to looking after these patients, including newborn babies.
“It is very important to take care of the most vulnerable population, and that is the children,” explains Dr Olivier Hagan, of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit, whose team is planning to remain at the hospital for at least one month. “That is why it is so important to focus on them, and to ensure safe deliveries. In the time we have been here, we have delivered 10 babies in the past four days. What this shows is that life goes on.”
Pray for Gospel for Asia, WHO and all of the other humanitarian agencies that are working to help the Nepalese survivors. Pray for:
- The people of Nepal to find comfort and help in their time of need.
- God to protect and shelter His people.
- Gospel for Asia-supported workers as they minister and bring aid to survivors.
- Safety for search and rescue teams as they travel.
At times like these, we see the selfless acts of love, compassion and generosity of people. We see the world reaching out to help the helpless. And we see God’s grace working overtime. One story that really touched me was the rescue of a 4-month old baby boy from rubble. He had been trapped for at least 22 hours. The Nepalese army had left the site, believing that he had not survived but his cries were heard hours later so they returned and pulled him from the underneath the debris. God was watching over this child. He was covered in dust but otherwise unharmed. He was taken to the hospital and tests showed that he was fine, just dirty and dehydrated. Imagine the joy his parents must have felt when the soldier brought him to them. God still works miracles.
Help to bring hope to the Nepal earthquake victims by joining Gospel for Asia in their efforts to bring relief. Help Nepal to recover and rebuild. To find out more visit their link. Continue to pray for Nepal.
And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed – Deuteronomy 31:8
Sources: Gospel for Asia; The Guardian; CBC News, WHO; The National Post; abc7