Dear Family and Friends Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 6:30 pm
Yesterday was a good but difficult day. We visited and brought relief to five new villages and churches in Sindhupalchowk. Four of the churches had members killed in the quake while they were having their worship service. Forty-three perished altogether.
What was difficult was to hear their stories. One lady lost two of her three children. One man lost his wife and daughter. Another man lost his father. Three children from one family ran from their house as it was collapsing in the first quake and took shelter in the church. But when the second quake came shortly after, the church collapsed killing all three of them. A lady in the church pondered as she was weeping, “We don’t know what happened to these three children. They were from an unbeliever’s home and we don’t know if they believed in Jesus Christ.” I told her, “We do not know, but we can surrender this into the Lord’s hands and trust that he will do what is right.”
We shed many tears with these believers, but we also encouraged them in God’s Word. God is sovereign over all things and he is good in his rule over our lives, so we can trust him. We don’t understand why some things happen but we confidently know that Jesus suffered more than any one of us to fulfill all righteousness with his life and to drink the cup of God’s wrath against our sin through his death. So he is able to whole-heartedly sympathize with our suffering. And as we see what he suffered for our salvation, we know that even in our suffering he dearly loves us as he is accomplishing great things for his glory. So we can be confident of his love even as we suffer in this world.
We reminded them of these things, but what I heard were words of encouragement TO US that told me they had already grasped and believed these realities. Their peaceful surrender was taking me to school as they suffered some of the greatest losses in this life, the loss of loved ones and their homes which were completely demolished. And they don’t have insurance, so their loss will be felt more deeply than we will ever know.
When we arrived in Kathmandu at 10pm I was spent, but I was also encouraged. We got to be Jesus to these folks, today, not only his hands and mouth, but also his heart. Our dear brothers and sisters in Nepal were lifted up today because they were reminded that they do not stand alone. Your generous giving to Gospel Harvest Mission continues to enable us to help supply life-saving food and essentials. We are standing with them, and more importantly, so is the Lord. His presence is very real.
Keep Praying, We Are Still Quaking
I have heard that the US news has already moved on to Baltimore and other sensational things, but please don’t forget to pray for us. Two days ago, we had another “after-quake” (5.1). Even yesterday when we were coming down the mountain we had a strong shake. Sadly, the quake two days ago brought down the side of the mountain in Rasuwa and two hundred more people died.
We continue to travel to remote villages where many still have not received government or international help. Sadly, the Nepali government has forced all the NGOs and international organizations to distribute relief materials through their governmental bodies, and this has created a terrible bottleneck to help people. The Lord has given us wisdom though to bypass all this nonsense by having a team go to local pastors who form a team from their church to distribute food or funds to the most needy both in the churches and villages. It is working wonderfully, and many people are being helped and shown the love of Christ.
I wish we could say that we have a team of many thousands of believers helping hundreds of thousands of people but there just aren’t that many believers in Nepal. But we have made a difference through seventy churches so far to around two hundred villages. We are in a groove where one day we connect with several more pastors who oversee a dozen or so churches which impact at least a couple dozen more villages, and the next day we send a team to bring relief. So we are little guys facing giant challenges with the most efficient team doing, what we trust, is the most good possible. I do know this: We are reaching people in the name of Christ who have not been helped so far with food and essentials that will save their lives. And that is all that matters to the people right now.
Tomorrow we will send out two more teams. One team will go to two northern villages in Sindhupalchowk and another team (which I will be on) will go to a tribal group in Makwanpur, south of Kathmandu. No one cares about this people-group because they are the poorest of the poor and once lived in the jungle. But the gospel has begun to be proclaimed among them and they now have twelve churches. They still are despised by the Brahman government so they have received no help. Tomorrow, Lord willing, they will. Please pray for our safety as we travel for twelve hours, if all goes well, and pray that the love of Christ will be known.
Strengthened By Grace,