Today is World Malaria Day. Check out this video from WHO.
Today is World Malaria Day. Check out this video from WHO.
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:
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
“Today, the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy is easy and most endemic countries are striving to fully integrate leprosy services into existing general health services. This is especially important for those under-served and marginalised communities most at risk from leprosy, often the poorest of the poor” (WHO: Leprosy Today).
I learned about leprosy from reading the Bible and watching the movie “Ben Hur” but always believed that it was a disease of those times. After watching Leprosy Mission, I realize that it is very much a reality. I never saw how disfiguring it was until I watched the faces of men, women and children who were living with it.
I was touched when I read the story of Kishori, a woman who was diagnosed with leprosy during her second pregnancy. Unable to take medications that would restrict the sickness from spreading she watched as the disease disfigured her arms and legs.
For years the leprosy racked her body with pain. The medication she took hardly reduced her symptoms and the one hour walk to the hospital where she hoped to find relief took four hours because of the excruciating pain in her feet. The treatment she received brought some relief but the pain returned when the sores did and Kishori found herself sinking into emotional despair.
Kishori was not abandoned by her husband, Manit but their neighbors were cruel and unfeeling and demanded to know why he kept her with him and didn’t send her home to her parents. Manit insisted that he would not abandon Kishori and reaffirmed his love for her even though she sided with the neighbors and told him that she would go and live with her parents. She wondered why he was still married to her. The words of her neighbors cut her deeply and she shied away from being with others. She lived in emotional and physical agony, feeling neglected and unwanted.
After decades of living the emotional and physical pain of leprosy, Kishori found relief in an most unexpected way. Visitors came to her door and offered to clean her sores. She gladly received Pastor Jiva and another missionary into her home and she saw them everyday as they returned to minister to her. Her feet and arms soon began to heal.
Kishori and her family listened as the missionaries shared how Jesus could completely heal her. No doubt they shared the story of the leper who went to Jesus and imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed (Mark 1:40-42).
After years, decades of pain and despair, hope became alive in Kishori. She learned about Jesus who could heal her. She was encouraged to pray for healing. She received kindness from Pastor Jiva and the missionaries who continued to visit her and clean her sores. They assured her of Jesus’ love. As a result of this outpouring of love and compassion, Kishori placed her hope in God. She and her family are now attending a local church.
This story ends on a very positive note. Kishori is completely healed of leprosy because of the God in who she had placed her hope and the Jesus whom she had trusted to heal her. God continues to care for her through the Gospel for Asia’s Leprosy Ministry. Thanks to this ministry Kishori has received a pair of shoes specially designed for her and other gifts such as mosquito nets, blankets and daily meals. Life is better for Kishori now. She is able to care for her family instead of begging on the streets for help. Her home which was once a place where she hid from society and life, is now filled with laughter and love.
God healed Kishori in body and mind. He brought hope, love and healing into the life of a recluse. He showed Kishori that there is a God who cares for her. Just as her husband could not abandon her because he loved her, God did not abandon her because He loved her. He sent Pastor Jiva and the missionaries to care for her.
Kishori’s story inspires me. It reminds me that God cares. He cares for the neglected and unwanted. And no matter how long it takes, He will always come through for us.