Dear Family and Friends,
I slept with my clothes and shoes on last night ready to run out the door. The after-shock that hit at 9:37 last night when I was writing your update was different from the others. It started with the normal haunting rubble, but then it hit with a jolt that made me feel like either the earth was opening up or the house was coming down on my head. Thankfully, neither happened. Since I have pondered on it, perhaps what actually happened is that a large plate under the earth moved and the jolt was it landing on a final resting place. That’s what I am hoping for at least.
The whole city of Kathmandu is on edge. Almost everyone slept outside again. With much persuasion the cook at the training center came in today to fix us lunch, but she prepared the meal before noon because many people were believing that a major quake was going to take place at 12pm. Some “expert” somewhere supposedly predicted this. It obviously didn’t happen, but people here are still waiting for “the big one” where tens of thousands will die.
The death toll has risen to 4,252, almost double from yesterday. Many people in the rural areas still have not been accounted for.
I and our national partners have been reaching out to pastors and church planters in remote villages all day to understand the situation in the hardest hit districts and how we may help the most. Reports are already being printed in Kathmandu newspapers that the international relief is going to the city and not to the villages. This is a tragedy because the greatest number of people that need help are in the villages.
The feedback we have received has helped us put together a strategy which will enable us to help people in the villages in the seven hardest hit districts. In essence, what we plan to do is to get a count from the pastor/church planter of the number of families in their church and village who desperately need help. We have estimated that it will cost $120 to help a family of four with essential items (cooking pot, water jug, plates, blankets, and plastic for shelter) and three weeks of rice and lentils. If we help fifty families in a village it will cost $6,000. Once we get a count of those in need we will wire the pastor the money and they will go with the people to the nearest “market village” to purchase food and essential things. Our understanding is that these market villages still have these things. The pastor will then account for the money given and spent and will report to our national partners.
Right now the most urgent need is for food and essentials. If further help is needed, we will see how folks in the United States respond and we will go from there.
We are stepping out in faith and Donna will wire me $15,000 today which will be distributed tomorrow because the vast majority of folks in the villages don’t even have food. We trust that your response will match at least this amount.
We also greatly need your prayer for the following matters:
- Wisdom and a pure heart as the pastors purchase, transport, and distribute the goods to help the church and village where they live
- That Satan would be defeated and Christ would be exalted in the whole process of helping. I’m sure some difficult choices will have to be made since resources are limited.
That people who are isolated and in very difficult situations would be discovered and rescued. Communication networks are still poor.
That food supplies would open again from other districts and countries.
- That the love poured out from western Christians during this tragedy might be used to change the mind of many Nepalese that Christianity is only a disguise of the American government to take over Nepal. This belief is widespread in Nepal.
Much thanks to those who have already given to our earthquake relief fund on our website, ghmission.org. For those who missed the last update, you may now contribute online at our website through PayPal. Thanks also for interceding for us. We face many challenges but believe that through your prayer for God’s help we can overcome these obstacles.
For the Glory of Christ,
P.S.-At the end of my day I was taken to a hospital to visit with a pastor who oversees a handful of churches in Kathmandu. One of his pastors with his youngest son and sixteen other church members were killed in the quake. The pastor’s wife and oldest son fell three stories but escaped alive. Please remember many of our brothers and sisters in the Lord whose family and friends died. A whole Hindu nation is watching how they walk through their suffering.