This information is compiled from a few phone conversations with Noel and Nathan, Monday evening, 9pm Kathmandu time.
We are glad that still no fatalities have been reported from among the Vineyard communities in the Himalayan region.
A team of Nepali and Canadian people spent Monday in Champi and Kotgaon. These are two villages in the mountains on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Both have Vineyard churches. They spent the day visiting all the Vineyard families, offering comfort and distributing 1,250 kg of rice along with other necessities like salt, noodles, blankets, tarps and love. Champi has about 100 houses in the whole village. 95 of them are destroyed – 19 are members of the Champi Vineyard. Many houses are unsafe to enter due to structural damage. Many of these are in danger of collapsing with further tremors. 6 people from the village have died.
Kotgaon is in a similar situation. Most people are working at building temporary structures out of bamboo, tin and tarps. These shelters are critical since it gets cool at night, as well as the threat of coming monsoon rains.
Phase one in the disaster response is the delivery of emergency supplies – food and shelter.
Phase two is cleaning up the rubble. Many houses are unsafe to go near. The team there is working on hiring teams of local people who will tear down remaining houses and clean up the rubble. It would take a team of 6 people, 5 days to tear down one property. This will help avoid unnecessary fatalities. This work will begin as soon as these teams can be formed. Again, the monsoon rains are critical since the newly exposed mortar on most of these structures will turn to mud when wet.
The Himalayan Region Vineyard leadership has created an Earthquake Disaster Management Team. This team will help assess needs and coordinate response.
Regarding the 5 villages we have not heard from – Prem, the pastor from Gadding, is on his way to Kathmandu to give word on how they are doing. Initial reports from Gadlang indicate that all the houses are down, but the church building is still standing providing shelter for many. 6 people from Gadlang have died.
The Indian MBS students left on a bus and are on their way home to Sikkim.
Here are ways you can Pray:
- Hope. “Determination, grit and sweat” are seen on people’s faces. Yet their spirits are shaken. Many are “daring to hope” but are also “struggling with hopelessness and depression”. It’s a devastating situation that affects everyone.
- Protection. Aftershocks, landslides, the coming monsoon season, and unstable remains of houses provide a significant threat. Also, as desperation sets in, there are reports of theft and corruption.
- Wisdom. The Earthquake Disaster Management team need wisdom to navigate a very tense situation. How to help, who to help, and the degree of help are all items that divine wisdom.
- Those Who are Poor. The marginalized are always the worst hit. Our HRV communities are full of people who are poor. We are so grateful that none in the HRV family have lost their lives, but they still need protection, advocacy, provision and justice.
- Miracles. Times of crisis can also be times of breakthrough. Noel says, “We want people to encounter Jesus like never before.”
The common refrain is “we share your sadness – we’re in this together – God is with us”.
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