Devastating Earthquake in Nepal
Global Ministries was saddened to learn of the devastating earthquake in Nepal. We invite you to aid the response to this disaster through our denominational partners – Week of Compassion and UCC Disaster Ministries.
From the Christian Conference of Asia April 27, 2015
To: Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, President, National Council of Churches in Nepal
Dr. K.B. Rokaya, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Nepal
Dear friends and ecumenical colleagues,
We have been shocked by the news about the tragic earthquake of 7.9 magnitude, the worst earthquake to strike Nepal since 1934. It is with great distress that we follow the effects of the devastation in your beloved country, which claimed the lives of more than 1800 so far. It also caused injuries to several thousands and massive damage in several parts of the country.
On behalf of the Christian Conference of Asia, we offer our prayers and express deep sympathy at this time, when the people of Nepal and all others, grieve with a growing sense of loss due to the ravage. We have been informed that churches and ecumenical fellowships around the world are also offering their prayers and expressing their solidarity with the people of Nepal at this time of their travail.
It is also alarming to note that strong tremors and aftershocks severely affected several places across northern India, and was felt in several areas in Pakistan, China and Bangladesh causing deaths in India and China. We beseech God’s divine grace to strengthen all those who are undergoing pain and suffering due to the widespread damage, destruction and deaths of their beloved ones.
We thank God for enabling the government of Nepal for the immediate action of launching rapid rescue and relief operations with the support of several countries and humanitarian agencies. We are aware of the fact that Nepal, largely unprepared for facing this crisis, requires immediate help for massive relief and humanitarian assistance at this critical juncture. It is in this context that we urge all churches and ecumenical councils in CCA’s fellowship and other partners in the ecumenical networks around the world to extend every possible support for humanitarian assistance in Nepal.
Please convey this message of concern and comfort to the affected people and communities through the members of the National Council of Churches in Nepal in various localities and assure them of CCA’s prayers. We pray God Almighty to give solace and strength to all those who are mourning and suffering.
Let us be reminded of the divine assurance that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain.”
Yours in God’s Service,
Rev. Dr. Henriette Huttabarat Lebang, General Secretary, CCA
Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary Elect, CCA
Response to Prayers from National Council of Churches in Nepal April 28, 2015
Thank you and all staff of CCA, members Churches and Councils and ecumenical friends all over the world for their concern for our family and NCCN staff. We convey our sincere thanks and gratitude for your willingness to provide relief and aid in this situation.
Thank you for your prayers for Nepal.
Only from today people have started moving out, many are still living in tents. The whole of Kathmandu and I believe in many other districts are living in tents and plastic covers outside their houses. So far the death toll is almost 5000, and we expect that number to increase as many bodies are still being recovered. One Church in Kathmandu collapsed killing at least 26 during Saturday worship service. News of Churches destroyed elsewhere coming up. Still too early to say exactly how much damage to Churches and deaths of Christians.
We also came out today and are meeting relatives and friends and exchanging greetings.
Many are still trapped under collapsed houses and structures. I just heard on the news that near the new national bus park in Kathmandu, many many guest houses were destroyed and around 350 guests are suspected to be trapped in the rubble. But rescue work just started today after three days because the guest house owners did not let the rescue work begin before the government guaranteed them compensation.
How ridiculous it is! Probably all those buried are already dead whereas many would have been rescued alive had the rescue begun immediately. This shows how cruel the market is.
I have started meeting and consulting other Church leaders for more news about damage done to Churches and death of Christians. I am told many churches damaged and many dead in districts like Gorkha, Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot and of course Kathmandu valley.
Right now friends can only pray for those buried, for faster rescue operation.
There has been no power, no water, no shops, no access to internet. Communication has been very poor.
Now the media is warning about deaths and epidemics due to shortage of medicines, food, tents, lack of water, electricity, cold etc.
I will get back to you with more information. Sorry that I can not provide more detail information at this stage.
Thank you again for your concern and prayer.
For now just keep praying. Still uncertainty and fear prevails.
-Dr. K.B. Rokaya, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Nepal
From former Global Ministries missionaries currently living in Nepal April 27, 2015
Good morning from the land of Mt. Everest. It is bright and sunny…which is wonderful for charging the batteries in our back-up electrical system. Needless to say; “way-too-much” has happened in the past 48 hours to possibly summarize. Of course the Internet is also “buzzing” with news.
Suffice on a personal level to say that we are safe in His more-than-ample hands. The aftershocks continue…even up to just a few minutes ago. We are still “walking around with ‘sea legs’” therefore…a feeling of continual motion…never being quite sure when things will “rock” again. It will require time to return to “normal” and, in some ways, it will forever be a “new normal.”
We are grateful for you, our family in the Lord, for your prayers and your giving via Mennonite Mission Network that allow us to share God’s Love and God’s Hope here in Nepal at this time. Thank you for this immense privilege.
Sushma, Shova, Bethsaba & Dale