By Prasansa Subha
A massive earthquake measuring 7.8 Richter magnitude struck Nepal on 25th April this year, claiming the lives of several thousands, causing property loss worth billions of dollars, and unleashing mental and physical health problems. Experts in the field had been anticipating earthquake in Nepal for decades but besides the awareness campaign, the country’s preparation for the disaster was almost zilch. Had the countrymen been a little more cautious and prepared, the disaster wouldn’t have led to a tragic end for many.
The sudden hit left the country in limbo and uncertainty took over in people’s lives. Just a few minutes earlier, people had dreams, hopes and aspirations but the earthquake shattered it all in no time. Although people were crushed, hurt both physically and emotionally, the earthquake opened an opportunity in each community. It broke the culture of silence that had been maintained for so long; it broke the rigid status hierarchy although not permanently; it revived the sense of humanity; it brought forth the people from different walks of life together: together for good. It was on news that the president and his security guard shared a tent for several days.
Fear still prevailed but the Nepalese (now described as the “most resilient”) returned to their daily life a few days after the earthquake. The hustle and bustle of the streets were felt again from the fourth day. No sooner had people come back to normalcy than another 6.8 Richter earthquake struck the country two weeks after the major earthquake. It was at this point that most of these resilient people broke down, got shattered. The death toll and the loss of property rose again, fear multiplied but the hopes of the people stayed intact because they knew that they hadn’t been left isolated. It was heart wrenching to see the global effort to help the already impoverished country.
As the earthquake wiped out almost everything in the hard-hit areas, the needs of the locals are increasing day by day. The rural parts of the country already suffering from lack of infrastructure are doubly affected. Many local and foreign agencies are trying their best to provide temporary relief in these areas. One such effort is of the South Asian Christian Youth Network (SACYN).
Nepal has been partnering with SACYN for several years now. In response to the emergency, SACYN provided certain funds to the Nepali representatives of SACYN-Nepal which helped reach a rural village in one of the worst-hit districts. On 14th June, in collaboration with Sundar Dhoka Church and Samaritan’s purse, SACYN provided relief materials including rice, blankets and mats, and health kits to 143 households of Koshidekha village. The relief materials distributed through four SACYN representatives brought a smile on the faces of the villagers. Out of appreciation, some of the villagers who had nothing even offered them shelter for the night.
The country, once flooded with media from all over the world, is slowly losing global attention despite the long-term effects caused by the earthquake. The country is still in grave need of support to rebuild the nation. Some areas in the capital are still in rubble; it’s unimaginable how people in the rural areas — the hard-hit areas — are managing their daily lives. The monsoon season just started and the country has already begun reeling from another disaster — floods and landslides. Please pray for the people’s safety, especially in the hills, from these disasters. Also, pray for the government, and the non-government agencies which have collected funds for the relief — may the Lord provide them wisdom to spend it in the right area for the right cause.
The emotional wounds are still fresh; psychosocial and mental health problems are seen in many. Pray that the Lord of peace may work in their lives so that they may find strength to look forward and experience His joy, peace and love. Some in the country have an understanding that the earthquakes occurred because their gods are angry witnessing the multiplication of Christians; others have revolted against the Christians for preaching the gospel in the name of aid. Pray that the persecutors may pursue the Truth and come to His Light.
If you wish to partner with us in reaching out to Nepal, make a cheque payable to ‘AsiaCMS Berhad’ (write ‘Nepal Donation’ on the back) and send to:
Unit 13A-11, Tingkat 13A, Menara Sentral Vista
150 Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, Brickfields
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Or make a bank transfer:
Account : AsiaCMS Berhad
Account No : 359-418407-101
Bank : HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad
Swift Code : HBMBMYKL
Reference – Nepal Donation “your name”
Prasansa Subha is a SACYN alumna in Nepal and part of the youth team through which CMS/AsiaCMS continue to walk alongside in Nepal’s earthquake relief work.