Most of us are aware of the tragic earthquake in Nepal. The strength of the quake was 16 times that of the one in Haiti. How is this affecting our missionaries and partners in that region?
The disaster struck at 11:56 am on Saturday, right when many churches were conducting their weekly services. Most people panicked and rushed out of church, causing mass injuries as they did. Some churches collapsed, killing many Christians. For instance, Christianity Today reports that a church on the outskirts of Kathmandu collapsed, killing at least 70 people.
Elizabeth Smith, one of Cedar Springs supported missionaries, is in Kathmandu. She was riding her bike through the city when the tremors started and immediately dismounted and headed for the middle of the road. Looking back a little later, she saw her bicycle crushed by the falling debris of a nearby building. The house of a Christian co-worker, Pradeep, was severely affected. Many of his family’s belongings were smashed and his walls badly damaged. His house is effectively condemned and they are now living outside under a tarp. His 4-year-old son said:
Papa, all our stuff is destroyed, but it doesn’t matter – look, rich people who had lots of stuff are also sitting outside, the same as us.
Jonathan Young, a CSPC missionary to Bihar which is about 200 kilometers south of Kathmandu, wrote this:
You undoubtedly know about the recent destruction in Kathmandu due to the earthquakes that happened there this past weekend. We’ve felt those tremors and aftershocks here. Many people in our city have been terrified and ran outside when things start shaking. Quite a few people have even chosen to sleep in the huge central square of our city. Other than a couple of cracks in the outside of our mall (and a few little ones in our office), we aren’t aware of any damage in our city. In the northern part of our state, closer to the Nepal border, there have been quite a number of deaths and reports of some damage. But none of this compares to the pictures that we are seeing in our newspapers and on TV news of the damage in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal.
So what is Cedar Springs doing to help? We have set up a fund that people can give to. Any checks written to CSPC that memo the “Nepal Relief Fund” will go towards helping the victims of this terrible disaster. Most of the money will be directed through Samaritan’s Purse but we will give to other organizations too. We are sending money through Elizabeth to Pradeep’s family. At this stage, sending people there to help is not recommended, with the possible exception of medical personnel. You can also give online here.
Image: Destruction in Bhakaptur, Source: World Vision
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