Published On: Tue, Jun 30th, 2015

Pray For Nepal: A Report by Evg. R. Raghu – June 2015

A REPORT ON THE NEPAL EARTH QUAKE OF APRIL 25, 2015

pray-for-nepal-earthquake-tnAnd should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand: and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:11).

ON April 5, 2015 Nepal came into the lime light of the world for a different reason. An earthquake of 7.9M struck in the district of Sindhupal Chowk. The effect was devastating in many ways. Immediately the world reacted. Governments of different countries, non-government organizations, Christian churches and individuals flooded the country with humanitarian help, relief material as well as human help. The nation was in a state of terrible shock. To make matters worse, there had been repeated aftershocks and tremors even on the 17th of June which was the 2nd day after we landed in Kathmandu. Some one has kept count and said that as many as 20,000 quakes, aftershocks and tremors have been experienced so far from April 25, 2015.

According to one expert the power of the quake is as similar to 20 thermonuclear hydrogen bombs – each many times greater than the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima – ripping through the Kathmandu Valley.

Much has been said; reports & articles were written and documentaries were made for the world by many. Live streaming of video clips also abounds. In the midst of all these, the nation and its leaders had many things to be concerned about. Criticisms, sympathy and emotional outbursts were seen and heard openly. Disappointments abounded in the eyes of the real sufferers. Some of the media reports across the border were not healthy and positive. The government suddenly decided to take things into their hands. Whether it was the right decision or not can be debated endlessly. What all concerned need to remember is that, every nation has its own pride and this pride has been hurt.

While reporting or writing about such calamities even with their sincerity and good intentions, many have made it sensational or their survey has become an excursion report. Some have sadly tried to convert it as a marketing opportunity to promote themselves. Ultimately the calamity becomes the hero and the sufferers are only sympathised with. It is sad to mention that in some cases even the Christian surveys and reports have just become stories to be read and enjoyed.

Having been associated with the people of this country for many years, I can say that they are doing their level best to recover, rehabilitate and want to be a resurgent nation from the calamity.

Many international communities, relief organizations both native and foreign including Christians – have been doing their level best to help in rehabilitation. Some are really doing a very good job. Though each religious community and organization has been helping their own flock, some have gone the second mile and are doing a commendable job.

It is in this context, that the work done by our dear brethren Pushpa and Surya along with Vikram, gains much importance. Right on the day of the earthquake I tried to communicate with Pushpa and Surya to think about relief work for the suffering souls. I had no idea at that time as to how this would be done. However, there was an urge to do whatever we can, prayerfully, and this should be done to show forth the kindness and mercies of our living God. There was a similar spontaneous thinking in many who were concerned. Vikram contacted one of his friends who was working for an organization in some projects in Sindhupal chowk some time ago. Through him we could make contacts with the displaced people of this district. These people have moved to Kathmandu and initially were dwelling in tents in different places. Apart from these, Pushpa and Surya had been in touch with people from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kappan and other areas.

Though myself and some others could not be physically present in these places immediately, we were in constant touch with the three brethren who according to me have been doing a commendable job. We were also conscious of the fact that some religious zealots have been saying that the ‘Christians are preying on the souls.’ Added to this, some of the political parties started looking at the relief work with suspicion.

We needed much prayers. Saints from different parts of the world have been praying before the Throne of grace. They came forward to help in the relief effort. Some even thought it appropriate to make known the need to those who were willing to help. We thank God for these dear ones for their sacrificial contribution in different ways.

On our part, immediate needs of our contacts were met. Food items and drinking water were arranged; some were given tents, tarpaulins and tin sheets to live under a roof. There are quite a few pregnant women. Some needed medical help. Mosquito nets, blankets, clothing etc. were arranged for many. The relief work is continuing. We are now prayerfully considering to help some to build their houses. The task is enormous. The three brethren are finding it hard to cope.

One of the sisters in the Lord has been doing tremendous work in the area where she is staying. The house she was staying in collapsed fully; forgetting her own need, she has been helping others. She took it upon herself to report the need of the neighbourhood through media since no help came. Ultimately the government sent the rescue team, etc. She did this because of her love for Christ and for those who are living without Christ. We visited this site and the whole area is in utter devastation. Except for the residents, no one is allowed to enter there.

The contacts we have are of different ethnic groups who speak different languages. The three brethren mentioned above are in regular touch with them and communicating the Gospel as the Lord leads. Some of these contacts have not heard about the Saviour. Brethren Kurien and Eddie Teo from Singapore who visited them preached the Gospel to some of them. In one of the places about 40 adults were present at the Gospel meeting. Gospel literature and Bible Correspondence courses were distributed.

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015 early morning at 6 am, there was a violent tremor. On the same day in the afternoon at the residence of Pushpa where there is a regular weekly gathering, we had a Gospel meeting for unbelievers and a ministry meeting for believers. There were some who came for the first time to hear the Gospel.

In short, there is a great work and the three brethren need much wisdom and guidance from the Lord to follow up the contacts. Above all, the time has come to look for a meeting room and place for the visitors to stay.

We should not forget those who have lost their dear ones – then those who are injured and yet to recover. As for their properties, most of the buildings which were constructed in the old method without concrete pillars have collapsed and they are beyond recovery in many places. These houses are in ruins. Rubbles are the only evidence that there were houses.

People in some of these areas live as a community with a temple right in the center of each locality. The irony is that it is not only the residential buildings, but even most of their community temples that are reduced to dust. The challenge before us is, to let them know about the One and only true living God and His love for them. This is a very closed community; ignorance and orthodoxy abounds. Much prayer is needed.

Now there is a frantic request from a reliable source asking Vikram to visit a village which requires a long bus ride. Here there is a group of people who are not helped by many due to caste prejudice. God willing, Vikram and others may visit them shortly to assess their need and extend some help for their rehabilitation. Giving humanitarian help is one thing, but the condition of these areas drains one’s energy a lot and it affects the morale. In short the scene reminds us of the documentaries concerning the 2nd world war.

The government has promised to give some cash for rehabilitation purposes; everyone is hoping to receive it soon. Recently the three districts of Kathmandu valley have been declared as crisis hit zone by the government for one year. In these districts 73,317 private houses have become rubbles and 67,871 houses are partially damaged. 307 government buildings are fully ruined and 546 are partially damaged. Several cultural heritage sites have also been either destroyed or damaged.

Land in most of the villages in the epicentre area have become unusable for cultivation. The locals do not know whether it will be possible for them to do farming in their land again. The tourism industry is almost at a stand still. The government is trying to give a face lift and restore some of the heritage sites to attract tourists. The nation and the city which mainly depend on tourists are in a crisis.

While helping the household of faith, we should not ignore the needs of others. They are suffering not because they have rejected Christ and the Gospel, but because they are kept in the dark by the enemy. Our true love for these lost souls cannot be proved just by preaching alone but by genuine action motivated by the love of Christ.

While we are thankful to all the saints who have become the co-workers in this work by their sacrificial giving, we are grateful to Him who has opened this door. So finally brethren, pray for us.

The earth quake of April 25, affected North Bihar and West Bengal in India as well. Siliguri experienced 7.4M and the repeated after shocks. Strangely on April 27, the epicentre shifted to Mirik about 40 kms from Siliguri on the hills. Though loss of human life was limited, many buildings were damaged. Pradhan Nagar area in Siliguri was affected most. The two buildings in Asha Kendra in Salbari too have suffered cracks.

Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep.” Though it is normally applied to the saints, we want to look beyond. Can we confidently say that we have been able to identify with the sorrows and ordeal of these common people of Nepal? Do we really desire to be a comfort to their soul? These are the recurring thoughts in my mind while writing this report.

If such devastation is possible in less than a minute, what will be the condition when the Lord comes to judge the world?

Report by Evg. R. Raghu
June 2015

EVG. R. RAGHU
ASHA KENDRA
DR. NANDALAL THAPA PATH, SALBARI
PO SUKNA, SILIGURI, INDIA – 734 009.
>>TEL: +91-353-2574338
MOBILE +91-9434001527
E-mail: ashakendra@gmail.com
________ ashakendra@hotmail.com

[Adelphoi News – June 26, 2015]

Leave a comment

You must be Logged in to post comment.