The “Divine Mountain” rumbled again in Nepal. Yet, God is at work in even the most tragic events. This is a report from two Christian Missionaries in Nepal and their factual assessment of the situation, with pictures.
Earthquake Report from Nepal
April 25, 2015
Many of you know that we live in Nepal and have been contacting us about the earthquake, so we are sending this report tonight.
We are fine and our church building in Kathmandu is alright, and as far as we know so far, all of the believers that we are associated with are fine.
The epicenter was 50 miles away, but it was a powerful shaking. You couldn’t stand or walk or run. You could only fall, and the major shocks lasted a long time. Aftershocks have been coming all day and into the night, and thousands of people are sleeping outside to stay away from the buildings.
Here in the city, most structures survived, though a great number are probably structurally damaged, but there still were many deaths. I took the attached pictures this afternoon. The dead bodies were laid outside at a nearby hospital, and there were many more in that one place. Triage units were set up on many of the hospital grounds. A 200-year-old tower downtown fell, killing at least 40 people. The cracked road is by the airport.
I took the photo of the burning bodies tonight.
The worse devastation is in the villages. In Garigau, three hours away, our church building and many believer’s houses were destroyed. The home villages of our main two preachers here, Dorje and Dipak, were largely destroyed. But we won’t get the full picture for a few days.
The electricity and main road to Kathmandu has been cut, and we don’t know how long it will be before it will be restored.
David and Linda Cloud
Earthquake Report from Nepal – Update
April 28, 2015
We appreciate your prayers and concerns in regard to the earthquake. The official death toll has passed 4,000, but I am convinced the true number is triple that.
For the record, Kathmandu survived the quake largely intact. It was mostly the very old buildings and temples that collapsed. The roads are open. The airport is operating 24/7. There is electricity.
In Kathmandu Valley, the greatest devastation is in Bhaktapur, an old city that was formerly the capital of one of the three ancient kingdoms in the valley. I visited there a couple of days ago and I would estimate that 20% of the buildings are totally ruined and 70% or more should be condemned and torn down. Beyond the valley north and west, the villages are devastated throughout central Nepal. Some are estimating that 70% of the houses collapsed in this heavily populated region, but in many places it is 100%. The Nepali army is 90% mobilized for rescue efforts and foreign help is arriving daily.
I don’t know what the longterm situation will be as far as food goes. People will probably be pouring into the city from the villages. Clean water is scarce already.
One thing you could pray for is the situation at Nepal’s only international airport here in Kathmandu. It is pathetically small with only one runway and limited parking space for planes. It was already seriously overtaxed with regular traffic because of Nepal’s heavy tourist trade and the massive number of Nepalis that work overseas, and the runway has long been in need of repair. If it breaks down, how do you repair or replace a single runway that you need to bring regular and aid flights in and out every few minutes?
The aftershocks have died down since the first two days, but they still come at infrequent times; therefore, many people are still afraid to return to their houses and are sleeping outside under tents and tarps though it has been raining every day. Many photos and videos of this have been published on the Internet, but for the most part these are not homeless people. They are simply afraid to return to their houses, though they are structurally sound. About 100 people slept in the church compound two nights ago, including a Hindu priest and his extended family. His sons are taking the gospel correspondence course. The Hindus have expressed gratitude to the church for welcoming them.
Attached is a photo of some of the people staying at the church compound. Linda is in the foreground. She has been able to have good conversations with many unbelievers who have been shaken by this event.
Some of the Bible School students are in villages trying to help their relatives. The rest have been helping the people staying at the compound, and they are getting worn down. Hopefully the people will go home soon. Our small facilities are overtaxed.
FEARS, RUMORS, AND GOD’S PROMISES
Aftershocks come in all varieties, from sharp, shocking jolts to barely discernible rockings and vibrations. Sometimes one is not certain if it is real or imaginary. There is no telling how long these will last.
Rumors fly at the speed of light, keeping the people stirred up and fearful beyond reason: “a big one will hit at midnight”; “they are expecting a 10 point quake…..”
Chicken Little is having a field day.
Meanwhile, for the believer every trial is an occasion to find fresh comfort and help and instruction in the Lord Jesus Christ, the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity and is ever ready to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Some of the Hindus have remarked at how much peace the Christians have in the midst of this terrible trial. Other Christians, though, have displayed more fear and uncertainty than is befitting a child of God. The believer must control his emotions and not allow himself to be controlled by the rumors and fears of those who have no hope. See Isaiah 8:12-14 and Psalm 91:1-6. In Psalm 42, David wisely instructed his own soul with God’s Word. This is how to use the shield of faith to quench the devil’s fiery darts of unbelief.
We are trying to do what we can to help the people in the villages where we have Bible studies.
Today we are spending $5000 to purchase large bags of rice and other staples for each family in three villages three and four hours from the city, a total of about 300 families. Christian charity is hindered here by many cultural issues that are difficult for outsiders to understand, one being that if we only help the believers, the Hindus will charge them with being “rice Christians.”
We are prioritizing the construction of the church building in Gairigau. We plan to increase the seating capacity significantly and add a room for Sunday School. We are trying to order the construction materials this week while things are still readily available. The believers can possibly use the new church for living quarters while they rebuild their homes.
Many have asked what they can do. If you want to send gifts to help with the relief efforts, you are welcome to do so.
Again, the main thing you can do is pray that God will send a spiritual shaking to the hearts of the people that will be even greater than the physical shaking.
David and Linda Cloud