School of Justice in Nepal (Part Four – earthquake edition)

This is the final installment in a four-part series on the Vineyard School of Justice trip to the Himalayan Region Vineyard Churches in Nepal.

Unshakable Amidst Earthquakes

The spiritual vitality in the HRV defies the logic of the earthquakes and their aftermath. During our time, everywhere we went, we witnessed and experienced resilient, radical trust in God’s faithful presence, love, and power. There are some features of faith which are only discovered with experience, and the people in the HRV know what it means to place their hope fully in Jesus. Our time with these precious people reminds me of the Psalmist’s words in Psalm 46, words which the Holy Spirit – in some mysterious way amidst the shaking of the earth – has written indelibly on the hearts of the people in the HRV.

God is our refuge and strength
    an ever-present help in trouble
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God
    the holy place where the Most High dwells
God is within her, she will not fall
    God will help her at break of day
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts

The Lord Almighty is with us
    the God of Jacob is our fortress

Video and Photographs

Below, Pastor Uddav Thapa of Chhampi Vineyard describes his experience in the earthquake. Beneath the video, there are several photographs highlighting some of the earthquake realities we witnessed first hand.

Nepal Update: One Year Later

April 25 marks 1 year since the first of the two big earthquakes rocked Nepal in 2015.  Since then, the nation has been picking up the pieces, gathering its strength, moving forward and healing.  The Vineyard Earthquake Response has been a small but significant part in the overall earthquake recovery.  Throughout each of our three phases – Relief, Recovery & Rebuilding – we’ve reached over 20,000 people!  We’ve seen God move in miraculous ways.  We’ve seen families housed.  We’ve seen neighbours experience the genuine love of Jesus through gifts ranging from a sack of rice to a new home.  We’ve mourned with those who are mourning and accompanied people into very heart of their heart of their trauma.  In the midst of the rubble, inflation, political unrest, blockades and persecution we’ve moved forward in the strength and surpassing peace of Jesus.  It’s been difficult but also good.  Homes can be rebuilt.  Memories and fears take longer.  Thank you for journeying with us and praying for us!  God’s Kingdom is advancing and we are so grateful to be part of it.


In this update:

  • A Greeting from Noel Isaacs and David Ruis
  • A Quick Snapshot of what’s been accomplished in the past year
  • One Year After – a personal reflection by Nathan Rieger
  • Specific Items for Prayer
  • An Update on the Kathmandu Hub Project
  • The Other Side Project


Greeting from Noel & David:

Here Noel Isaacs and David Ruis give a 4 min update on the challenges and accomplishments of the past year.

A Quick Snapshot:

Here’s an overview of what’s been accomplished in the past year.  We are aiming to have the majority of the practical rebuilding efforts completed by the Fall of 2016 (excluding the Kathmandu Hub Project).

  • 42 finished permanent homes constructed.  We’ve provided 100% material & construction.
  • 141 subsidized homes.  We’ve provided parts of the materials or costs of rebuilding – adding to what the family already has.
    • 111 subsidized 25 – 50% of total cost (based on need).
    • 30 subsidized 5 – 25% of total cost (based on need).
  • Over 200 lots cleared of rubble in preparation for rebuilding.
  • 6 church buildings constructed.
  • 2 church buildings subsidized (providing building materials the congregation couldn’t afford – non-Vineyard friend communities).
  • Started or upgraded 25 businesses for the urban poor in Kathmandu.  This is the creative response to the housing crisis in central Kathmandu where there are no affordable safe houses.  These businesses will increase the capacity of our people there to secure more affordable housing for themselves.
  • Bikka Land Purchased – The Bikka are a people group found in the high mountain village of Gatlang, Nepal. They are low caste and survive as iron smiths serving the village. They have no homes and have lived as squatters on government land for generations. The earthquake destroyed their homes and consequently totally displaced them.  For years the government had been unsuccessful in removing them from the land.  The earthquake accomplished in a moment what officials had not been able to do for generations.  This not only left the Bikka people homeless, but without any space to live, and literally no place to go.  They lost everything.  Another implication of them being low caste meant they had no official ID’s and were unable to own any property or rent anywhere. In the Nepali world they are known as “the landless people”, and now, the quake had seemed to solidify this identity forever.  Well, under the direction and vision of Noel Isaacs, we were able to purchase land and give it to the Bikka.  The property was subdivided into lots, providing living potential for many.  They shifted from being a landless tribe, to people with land.  The Bikka people now own this land and will no longer face the overwhelming sense of displacement ever again.  11 of these families are part of our Dhakbari community in Gatlang.
  • Kids Helping Kids – Planned children’s centre in Gatlang (funded from Canadian Vineyard kids!).
  • Building a children’s park for traumatized and displaced children.
  • Recently, distributed over 200 sleeping bags.  
  • Throughout the past year over 7,000 rice bags delivered.  Tarps, tents, pots, pans and various and sundries numbering in the 100’s.
  • Health and hygiene packets have been designed, packaged and delivered all over the region. Special attention has been given to packages designed specifically for women.  A couple of medical outreaches including minor operations and treatment of illness’.
  • 5 km of road built to the epicentre village where we have a church.
  • Trauma counselling has been a huge part of the pastoral work across the region.  Our team has been nothing short of amazing in the amount of care and healing they have brought to body, soul, mind and spirit.  The toll on our care givers has been great, but the fruit is overwhelming.
  • Over 35% of all funds used to date have gone to families and people “outside” of our church communities – to our “neighbours”.
  • Over 20,000 people impacted through the HRV efforts!


Click on the pics to see full size & captions


One Year After – A personal reflection by Nathan Rieger

Nathan PlaysNate is on the pastoral team at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard and was in Kathmandu when the first earthquake hit.  He was reaching for the microphone when the ground began to shake…

When the solid earth crumpled, the waves of chaos following it will always be written in my body’s memory:

The windows begin, they rattle, or rattle and shatter. The dogs and crows howl and shriek. Then, the humans, just a shade slower than the animals, cry out: men shouting for their families, mothers calling for their children, and the rushing of a million people into the streets of Kathmandu. In my memory there is also near-instant sound of a crowd calling out to God, prabhu Jesu! (Lord Jesus!)

And the earth groans, it grabs you and shakes you like a monstrous, drunken thing.  You land on your knees or your face, or maybe manage to crouch. Maybe a crack opens up. It can open anywhere, far above you in the mortar (it’s just mud) of a wall that peels off and lands like a missile beside you, or in the ground itself. It can open a space between two walls, as they tilt away from each other.  And always, it opens a crack in your heart, and fills with a mixture of fear and courage, alertness to help and self-preservation instinct.  And the irresistible urge to run.

Though I only experienced this for a week, maybe a hundred times, beginning on this day one year ago, most of those cracks have still not healed. Neither in the buildings, the walls, or the hearts. The cracks in one’s faith, if the earthquake shook that too, also are still healing in some.

Most unhealable are the gaps left in the absence of a family member, crushed under some door, or brickfall, or mudfall. Not that grieving hasn’t begun to stitch our hearts together, but where a family of five is a family of four now, one year does not begin to change the definition of how many should be here. It’s still five, and the other one is …somewhere else.

Its. So. Slow.

Yes, all who contributed to the massive outpouring of help should be proud of the quickness of the response in the Vineyard: after our first post online, there was a steady stream of tarps, bags of rice, and Hello Kitty blankets to the needy. Between relief, and recovery and rebuilding efforts, the relief was by all measurements the speediest, and needfully, thankfully slow. Pastor Raju, former village bully in his 20s, drove through cracked roads, a mudslide, and monsoon torrents to arrive in his own village Nareshawr at midnight, where a terrified village had all gathered in hopes someone might come. In the rain, with a bleeding face from the encounter with the mudslide, Raju set his village under blue tarps for the night, while the aftershocks rumbled and roared on right there at the epicentre. We had been there only the day before the earthquake, right at that violent centre, and he was the first to return.

Politics and and short-sighted officials stepped in, and should have helped but instead hugely hindered.  When the constitution, wrangled about for 7 years, was hastily ratified for the sake of recovery, it appeared to marginalize the people of the southern plains, and India promptly blocked all petrol trucks from entering landlocked Nepal.  So at the time when diesel was most needed to get supplies to homeless people – there was none. One of our brothers patiently waited for three days and nights at a lineup kilometers long at a garage, to buy several litres of petrol, at many times the normal price.  The work of rebuilding was stalled and resumed in the new year.

Despite the delays, there are hundreds of families that have now rebuilt houses with our help.  Shiny tin houses, earthquake (but alas not yet wind) -proof, have grown up all over the land and blue tarps have given way to blue-painted tin, seen from Google Earth. These new dwellings came up with a mix of prayer and bricks, concrete and cooperation, and of all the moneys sent through the Vineyard, at least a third was given to neighbours of the recipients.  The generosity was astounding – though people had barely enough for themselves, in typical Nepali hospitality they rebuilt their neighbours houses with their own.  At the epicentre, a place where Hindus and Christians had had tension previously, now there is a new road, the Hindu-Christian road, where villagers reached across divides and built a way to bring reconstruction supplies.  Evidence of new life, not just new houses, abounds.

May the cracks in the ground be filled with earth.  May the crack in the walls be repaired.  And may the cracks in our hearts be filled again with peace.




Prayer has been paramount in the Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding efforts.  Our team is dependent on God’s provision practically and internally.  Here are some critical ways you can partner with us in prayer:

  • Pray for healing.  The cracks in walls can be fixed (or torn down), but the cracks in hearts, only God can heal.
  • Pray for wisdom to manage the resources well.  In the big scheme, the needs are overwhelming.  In the bigger scheme, God is in control.  We must effectively follow his leading and not go a step further.
  • Pray for people to come into the Kingdom and encounter Jesus’ love as a result of our efforts.  While responding practically, we also want to disciple people into the Kingdom!
  • Our church in Nareshawr, Gorkha, near the epicentre of the first quake, is hosting a regional conference in October!  Imagine that!  Pray for God’s blessing on this time – even though its 6 months away we have a sense that God will do some amazing things there.
  • Pray for the pastors and leaders of the various churches.  Pray for the HRV leadership team and for Sherab & Lazwani Bhutia (aka. Noel & Dona Isaacs) as they lead.
  • Supplies and gas (diesel for driving and gas for cooking) are still in short supply.  While not an uncommon hardship, the situation is accentuated in recovery and rebuild mode.  This is especially true in the remote villages.
  • For partners for the Kathmandu Hub Project (more below).


Kathmandu Hub Project:

The Earthquake Management team have agreed to put a portion of the Earthquake Fund toward the demolition of the two buildings on the Kathmandu property which were severely damaged in the earthquakes.  The 3 story residence and the main sanctuary both need to come down due to structural deficiencies.  The residence remains evacuated.  We continue to use the sanctuary.

Rebuilding these two structures is a major undertaking and will require large donations beyond the scope of the Earthquake Disaster fund.  Plans are currently underway to establish a new 35-unit guesthouse which will generate income for the HRV and an accompanying sanctuary / kitchen complex.  This is a large project and will require approximately 1.1 million USD to complete.  If you are interested in contributing to this project, please contact Winnipeg Centre Vineyard.  We will have more details on this project coming soon.


Other Side CD Project:

Other Side Back CoverWorld Vision was a leader in delivering aid relief in the days after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake and a devastating second 7.3 earthquake hit the country. This album is a joint project between World Vision Canada and Vineyard Worship Canada and it celebrates the resiliency of the Nepalese people and is a reminder that rebuilding efforts are on going.  It features Western and Nepali musicians and worship leaders.  It beautifully captures the sounds and heart of Nepal.

“Much of this album was recorded in the Kathmandu Vineyard courtyard surrounded by school kids, barking dogs & running mopeds… definitely an interesting recording atmosphere. When people hear the songs, I hope they are reminded that our faith unites us with the Nepali people. I’m honoured to be part of a project that’s benefitting families and communities in this beautiful country.” – Ryan McAllister, musician.

>>Purchase the CD here

You can also find it on iTunes and Google Play.  The net proceeds are split 50-50 between World Vision Canada, and the Vineyard Earthquake Fund.

Other Side collaboration




Nepal Sunday

April 25 marks one year since the first big earthquake rocked Nepal.  The nation was shaken – our friends and family were among the thousands displaced.  This coming Sunday, we are going to look back and see what has been accomplished in the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts and we will look forward to what still needs to be done.  We are going to host a special screening of a documentary jointly produced by World Vision Canada and Vineyard Canada which features many of our Vineyard people in Nepal.  And, we are going to pray for them as they continue to rebuild their country, their homes and their lives.

After worship and the kids are released, the Upstairs Gathering will join the Downstairs Gathering in the Main sanctuary to watch the documentary.  Here’s a trailer:

Rebuilding Nepal // Trailer from SJ Finlay on Vimeo.

Other Side: Hope From the Rubble

World Vision Canada and Vineyard Worship Canada have just collaborated on an amazing new worship CD called “Other Side”.  It was recorded in Kathmandu last September using local talent and Nepali instruments.  It features David Ruis, Noel Isaacs, Andy Park, Ryan McAllister, and many other amazing Nepali and Canadian talent.  It’s a fundraising CD sales being split 50-50 between World Vision and the Nepal Disaster Earthquake Fund.

You can hear and purchase it here.  It’s currently available on iTunes and Google Play.

Nepal Update: Hope from the Rubble

It’s been about 10 months since the first earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015.  Since that time much has emerged from the rubble.

In this update:



He says: “The Blockade is Over!”. The truck on the bottom: “The Black Market”. And the people go without…

One of the major stories of the Fall and Winter have been the blockades restricting supplies coming from India into Nepal. They are politically motivated but have severely hampered daily life throughout the country. They have led to shortages in fuel, cooking gas, medicine and other goods and have limited the earthquake rebuild. There are normally about 300 fuel trucks entering Nepal from India every day. Since the start of the blockades on September 23, 2015 that number dwindled to 5 – 10. Of course the black market has flourished under these conditions, which has resulted in highly inflated prices. The blockades ended 2 weeks ago, however shortages and inflated prices remain. Please pray that the market returns to normal quickly.

Besides the daily inconveniences for the people of Nepal, the inflated prices have significantly increased the cost of rebuilding. Thank God we have not been shut down and work has progressed despite the hardships and unforeseen circumstances!



Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.45.23 PMTo date we have rebuilt 38 new permanent earthquake proof homes in 5 villages.

Local construction crews have been hired for most of these. Many church members have helped with the rebuilding where they can and in some cases contribute their own resources. This is welcome and indicates ownership of the process.

The Earthquake Management team works together with local pastors and leaders to carefully weigh all considerations when determining which homes get rebuilt and which ones are subsidized. Sometimes a family will have all the material they need except for a tin roof. There are many who are simply destitute and have nothing to contribute. Of course, we are more than willing to help these out – especially those single mothers who have no other options and the poorest in the communities in which we’re working.

(Click on pics to enlarge – hover to see captions)

To date we have subsidized to 65 households through providing supplemental building materials.

So far, 6 church buildings have been rebuilt. There are two remaining projects in the remote mountain village of Gatlang, and the main campus in Kathmandu (more below). The demolition and rebuild in Gatlang will begin in March.

Helping Our Neighbours:

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.47.34 PM

Distributing sleeping bags in the cold Himalayas.

The earthquake rebuild has enabled us to reach out in unprecedented ways. Initially, we were housing and caring for many people. The needs have not stopped and we continue to practice hospitality and demonstrate care to our neighbours.

35% of the total amount we’ve used in relief and rebuilding has gone to our neighbours! This means that while we are caring for our own people, we’re also caring for and demonstrating the practical love of Jesus to our neighbours. This includes everything from food and medication to permanent homes, temporary shelters, subsidies and small business start-ups (more about this below).


Bikka Land Deal:

As we reported in August, there is a caste in the village of Gatlang called “Bikka”. There are 11 Bikka families in Gatlang and all of them are Christians. They are also the lowest caste and poorest people in the village. Before the earthquake they had homes on properties they did not own. After the earthquake, they have not been allowed to rebuild homes on property they do not own. They were landless – now they are landless and homeless. Since the earthquake they’ve been living in temporary structures.

We have purchased a plot of land for the Bikka people. The land will be subdivided into 12 plots for the 11 families. On the remaining plot we will build a community centre for the children and youth (more below).

Currently we’re waiting for diesel so we can hire an excavator to level the plot.


Kid’s Helping Kids:

Gatlang kids

The poorest children in Gatlang will have a place to play!

Children and Youth from 5 of Vineyard churches in Canada have contributed to the Gatlang community centre project. To date, they’ve raised enough funds to build a great space for the kids of Gatlang to gather, do their homework and be kids together!

Thanks kids!


Kathmandu’s Unique Challenges

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.48.33 PM

Roadside stands like this one are the livelihood of many in the Kathmandu Vineyard.

In the complex maze of streets and alleys in old Kathmandu, live about 65 families or single mothers from the Kathmandu Vineyard. Most of these people live in old tenement housing type structures that remain quite damaged. Because their livelihoods are dependent on income derived from the areas in which they live, they cannot move. There are no other safe, affordable alternatives that are close enough for them to get to their places of work each day. So, they remain in unsafe buildings propped up by wooden poles extending into the alleys and streets. These people have no other options. They simply trust God saying, “he protected us in the first two earthquakes – he will protect us now too!” Their faith is overwhelming – as is their situation.

It’s been difficult, but there is a strategy emerging. The Earthquake response has provided small bursaries to 15 people to help start or upgrade individual businesses. The goal is to increase the capacity of each person to care for themselves and their families so that they afford suitable and safe accommodation without losing their source of income. The businesses range from simple vegetable sales on the side of the road to carts selling a variety of foodstuffs.


Kathmandu Hub demolition and rebuild project

The Himalayan Region Vineyards were birthed from the Kathmandu Vineyard. It is the epicenter of activity for the entire region. Both the main sanctuary and the housing complex were severely damaged in April 2015. The sanctuary is usable for now, however one wall leans ominously outwards. The 2-storey housing complex is no longer fit for habitation and has been vacated. Everyone who was living there is now being housed in other rooms connected to the main single story gathering area.


You can see the 2 story apartment block to the right and the low single story sanctuary roof to the left. Both need to be demolished.

It is clear that both structures need to be demolished and rebuilt. Builders and engineers have confirmed this diagnosis. They are irreparable. We are so thankful that a few years ago, the top floor of the housing complex was removed (there used to be 3 stories) and the roof in the sanctuary was reinforced. Previous earthquake events had caused damage, which, if it had not been repaired, would have resulted in both buildings collapsing in April. This would have meant hundreds of deaths and injuries. Thank God for his wisdom and proactive protection!

Rebuilding these two structures is a major undertaking that will require large donations beyond the Earthquake Disaster fund. Plans are currently underway to establish a new 35-unit guesthouse and a new sanctuary. This is a large project and will require approximately 1.1 million USD to complete. More information will be forthcoming regarding this project.


Other Side CD Project:

Other SideThere is a partnership between the Vineyard and World Vision in the works. One exciting arm of this collaboration is a worship CD project called “Other Side”. It features songs & sounds of the Himalayas and includes artists: David Ruis, Andy Park, Ryan McAllister, Noel Isaacs, Ben Isaacs and a host of other local and international talent. After the initial release, the net sales from this CD will be split 50-50 between the Vineyard’s Earthquake Disaster fund and World Vision. It’s a great way to support local talent and contribute to remaining needs of the recovery.  Go here to purchase the CD – or find it on iTunes and Google Play.


Mark’s Report – USA Partners:

Mark Morgan and the Vineyard Community Church in Gilbert Arizona have been working with the HRV and Winnipeg Centre Vineyard in this earthquake response. They’ve been great partners. Here is Mark Morgan’s report from his most recent trip:

I just returned from Kathmandu. This was my first visit since the earthquake. Every time I make the trip to Nepal, there are surprises. The past two weeks was no exception. At first glance, I thought things looked better than I imagined they would after the huge earthquake. Much of that impression was surface appearance. I know that basic needs for food and shelter are still very much an issue. It is going to be a long-term project for the Vineyard tribe to continue to help families rebuild a safe home and a sustainable life. A closer look reveals damage to the integrity of nearly every home and building. If not totally destroyed, many have been left “unlivable.” We have begun the long process of rebuilding homes. These are simple structures that should withstand future quakes.

The bigger surprise for me was the resolve of the Nepali people, and in particular the followers of Jesus. They are a determined people who are busy putting their lives back together. They are characterized by thankfulness, not complaint! I truly believe they see this whole earthquake event as “light afflictions” rather than impossible obstacles. I learn so much each time I spend time with them. Their spirit is solid. They don’t complain. They greet you like they love you, and they do! They embody the truth of Romans when Paul says: “nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” (Not even devastating events like mammoth earthquakes…my interpretation). Their lives have been galvanized by enduring hardship like good soldiers. I am amazed at them!

The initial shock and emotional response to the earthquake has come and gone. The needs remain. They are significant. This is not the time for us to draw back and allow ourselves to take a breather until there is another disaster. This is the time to get our second wind and push ahead.

Mark Morgan – Vineyard Community Church, Gilbert, Arizona


More Than Earthquake Recovery – follow us:

There’s much more happening in the Himalayan Region Vineyards than recovering and rebuilding from the earthquakes. God is on the move and doing great things! Follow us on our Facebook Page to keep updated.

>Please PRAY.




Nepal Earthquake DONATIONS

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100% of donations will go directly to aid and relief efforts in Nepal.  They are administered by the Himalayan Region Vineyard Church’s “Earthquake Disaster Management team”.  There are 3 ways to donate to the Nepal Rebuild Fund:

  • Cheque:

    • Make cheques out to “Winnipeg Centre Vineyard” and designate them to “Nepal” or “Kathmandu Rebuild”.
    • Send cheque to:
    • Winnipeg Centre Vineyard, 782 Main St., Winnipeg, MB, R2W 3N4, CANADA
  • Bank Wire Transfer:

    • Please email us directly for banking information or call:
    • Lillian Poetker (WCV Bookkeeper), (204) 582-2900 x15
    • We will require verification of individuals or organizations prior to releasing banking information.
    • We are not able to accept E-Transfers.
  • Paypal:

  • The account name is: winnipegcentrevineyard(at)gmail(dot)com.  Please ensure this is the account the you are depositing funds into.
  • A personal Paypal account is not needed to use this service.
  • Please note that Paypal charges a fee.  Your tax receipt will be your total donation minus what Paypal charges.  If you want to avoid these fees, please send us a personal cheque.

American Donations:

We are partnering with the Vineyard Community Church in Gilbert Arizona for those who want to be receipted for tax purposes in the USA.

Click here to donate through them.

Please note:

  • Winnipeg Centre Vineyard can only issue receipts to Canadian Donors. We will gratefully Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 12.23.03 PMreceive funds from non-Canadians on behalf of the HRV, but we cannot issue tax receipts for these donations.
  • Due to sensitive and complicating factors on the ground in Nepal, we will not be publishing donation totals here.  If you have questions, please contact us.  We will continue to publish updates on activities.

Thanks on behalf of our family in the Himalayan Region!


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Nepal Updates: Stories in Video

There was a small team from Winnipeg on the ground at the end of August.  They recorded these videos to help tell the stories, report on and assess the situation and help those far away understand the situation in Kathmandu and the villages which were directly impacted by the earthquakes.  As they are processed they will be posted – newest will be at the top.  You can also view them directly from our Vimeo feed.  As you view them, please keep a prayerful posture!  Thanks for staying in touch – our HRV family deeply appreciates it – it’s more necessary now than ever.

Hope Keeps Multiplying

Here’s a short update from Hanna Pätkau who is visiting with her husband Andrej.  They are from the D.A.CH. Vineyard’s (Germanic Speaking Vineyards in Germany, Austria and Switzerland) who have been great partners in the recovery efforts!

hope keeps multiplying from Himalayan Region Vineyard Church on Vimeo.


New Home Tour – Hope for the Future

Here is a tour of the prototype sample home in the Kathmandu Vineyard courtyard. Homes like this are currently being built in Chhampi and Kothgaon and plans are being made to build them in Gorkha as well.  Homes in the remote mountain villages are another story (you can watch it in the “Mountain Village Part 1: Gatlang by Helicopter” video).

Nepal Recovery: New Home Tour – Hope for the Future from WCV on Vimeo.



Raju & Joy in Troubled Times

Here’s an interview with Pastor Raju of the Kathmandu Vineyard who talks about how he sees God at work post-earthquake.  Raju is a member of the Earthquake Management Team.

Nepal Recovery: Raju and Joy in Troubled Times from WCV on Vimeo.


Ramesh & the Miracle of Hope

Here, Pastor Ramesh of the Kathmandu Vineyard talks about the challenges and signs of hope in the earthquake recovery.  Ramesh is candid about what the HRV can and cannot do.  He is a member of the Earthquake Management Team.

Nepal Recovery: Ramesh and the Miracle of Hope from WCV on Vimeo.



Mountain Village Part 1: Gatlang by Helicopter

This is Part 1 of 3 videos taken in the High Mountain Villages. In this trip we visited Gatlang, Nessing and Tipling. This video we take flight and land in Gatlang where we see the effects of the earthquake and learn of some of the rebuilding plans – specifically among the low-caste “Bikka” people.  The Vineyard cleaned up the whole village!

Nepal Recovery: Mtn Village Part 1: Gatlang by Helicopter from WCV on Vimeo.


Mountain Village Part 2: Nessing & a New Building

This is Part 2 of 3 videos of the High Mountain Villages. This video is taken in Nessing. It documents some of the destruction and shows the rebuilt church.

Nepal Recovery: Mtn Village Part 2: Nessing & a New Building from WCV on Vimeo.


Mountain Village Part 3: Hope in Tipling

This is Part 3 of 3 videos of the High Mountain Villages. This one is from Tipling. At the end Andy explains some of the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Nepal Recovery: Mtn Vllage Part 3: Hope in Tipling from WCV on Vimeo.


Susila & Monita’s Story

There are many urban poor who are dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake. Even if their homes did not crumble about 80% of the buildings in Kathmandu have significant cracks, many are unsafe. But there are no other options. In this video, meet Susila and Monita, a mother and daughter who live in the centre of Kathmandu.

Nepal Recovery: Susila & Monita’s story from WCV on Vimeo.


Sonam & the Truck

A truck for delivery was one of the first large purchases we made after the earthquake. Meet the driver in this video.

Nepal Recovery: Sonam & the Truck from WCV on Vimeo.


Pieces of Kathmandu

Here, Andy shows some of the damage around some of Kathmandu’s most iconic places.

Pieces of Kathmandu from WCV on Vimeo.


Raju Explains Rebuilding Permanent Homes

While we were in Kothgaon (a small village just outside of Kathmandu), I asked Raju to explain the process for deciding who gets a new home.

Nepal Recovery: Raju explains rebuilding permanent homes from WCV on Vimeo.


The View from Chhampi

Here is a report and a few stories from the village of Chhampi (a small village just outside of Kathmandu).

Nepal Recovery: The View from Chhampi from WCV on Vimeo.


Kathmandu Vineyard Tour

Here is a quick tour of the Kathmandu Vineyard church.

Nepal Recovery: Kathmadu Vineyard Tour from WCV on Vimeo.


Temporary Shelter

Ever wondered how 1,000s of Nepali people are living in the aftermath of the earthquake?  This video shows a typical temporary shelter.  This one is made of tin, many are made of tarps or tents.

Nepal Recovery: Temporary Shelter from WCV on Vimeo.


Kothgaon – House on the Rise

Here is a new home being built in the village of Kothgaon (a small village just outside of Kathmandu).

Nepal Recovery: Kothgaon – House on the Rise from WCV on Vimeo.


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Nepal Update: Pray


The power of prayer is on display in the Nepali earthquake response. In the midst of such an extreme humanitarian crisis, it’s easy to get into work mode. It’s also easy to recognize one’s own insufficiency. We’ve realized that for as much work that gets accomplished, it’s not going to add up to much if God isn’t doing more. In other words, even in huge disasters like this, we must still do what the Father is doing. This thought has kept prayer on the forefront of our response and has undergirded all the activity this crisis has generated. Practical response and prayer are both critical, and remain so – perhaps more now than ever.

Noel recounted to me the incredible sight of people worshipping in Chhampi. They were totally given to worship, even while their own homes were in shambles. They have come to know God as, what Psalm 91 calls, their “defender and protector.” Their attitude isn’t a normal response to devastation of this magnitude. Despondency and hopelessness would seem to be a more natural result, however the opposite is their reality. Yes, there is trauma, which will take years to work through. Yes, there are moments of despair. Yes, there are homes and livelihoods that need to be rebuilt. But each and every person is being bathed in prayer, which has made all the difference. Our prayers have lifted them. This is the power of a praying community.


Thank you for your prayers. We’ve received wisdom, grace, strength and even strategy as a result. But most of all, we’ve seen Jesus as we follow him into the lives of those hardest hit and work together to see his Kingdom come in the Himalayas as in heaven. Please keep praying! The work is only just beginning.

  • Wisdom – for local leaders determining how and who to help
  • Protection – from corruption & thieves
  • Hope – for everyone affected
  • Rest – for the leaders
  • Provision – to accomplish all God’s set out for us to do


One unfolding situation that needs both prayer and practical response is the landslides.  The Earthquakes and daily tremors have disturbed the ground conditions which are now being saturated with monsoon rain.  These have triggered many landslides.  Reports indicate that in recent days over 70,000 people have flooded into Kathmandu from the villages to get away from these unstable conditions.  Many have family in the capital who are staying in unstable structures, but others are simply setting up tents and tarps in available space. This is putting strain on the capital region and has the potential to develop into a full-scale crisis.  Please pray into this pressing situation.

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Nepal Update: Jesus, Lead Us

Columbus Meet-Up

If you’re going to be in Columbus for the Global Vineyard Family gathering, you’re invited to our meet-up.  Join Noel Isaacs (HRV Director) and Nathan Rieger (WCV) as they share stories of the earthquakes.  You’ll hear firsthand tales of survival and faith as well as what’s happened in the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts since as well as plans and opportunities for the future.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (EDT)

Ramada Columbus North/Polaris
6767 Schrock Hill Court
Columbus, OH 43229

More details and registration for this event are here.

Chhampi Building Dedication

The inside of Chhampi church

The inside of Chhampi church

The Chhampi Vineyard has a new home!  Their old one was demolished in the first earthquake.  A few weeks ago they finished constructing a new building.  Noel says: “While I was at the Chhampi church building dedication service I saw women who have lost their homes and are sleeping under temporary tin roof shelters… they were singing, dancing and worshiping Jesus.  Unbelievable!  They’ve realized that the JOY of the Lord is their strength.”  This is a big boost for the community as they recover from the earthquakes.

Pre-Fab Homes


The frame of the prototype home that will be built after the rainy season is over.

A template has been developed which will be used in Chhampi, Kothgaon and Gorkha.  There will have to be significant adaptations for the high mountain villages due to transportation and construction issues.  The frame is 20 feet by 12.5 wide and is 8.5 feet high.  It will be pre-made in Kathmandu in pieces and assembled on site.  In order to stretch funds as well as to provide opportunity for home owners to customize and contribute to the rebuilding, they themselves will construct the floor, walls, windows and doors from reclaimed brick and timber.  It’s a low-cost rigid structure which will withstand shaking while at the same time being sensitive to the local standards of living.


Tipping is the most remote village we are working in.  The people here have trekked two days crossing rugged mountains to deliver supplies.  From the air it looked like a trail of ants marching up the mountains.  An appropriate home design is still in the works for this region.  However, the community has already come together to rebuild their church building.  We have sent tin for the roof.

Jesus, Lead Us

A few thoughts from Noel:

“My fear was that our people would swing to negativity.  I thought these earthquakes would kill the spirit of our people.  I didn’t  know what kind of message I needed to give – I didn’t know how to lead.  I still say I don’t wanna be in this situation ever again.  How can you lead when you are just as shaken?  Now everyday I say “Jesus lead us”.  He has.  He was with us in the earthquakes.  He spoke to us and gave us wisdom and strategy.  He has mobilized the family from around the world.  I have heard many of our people say ‘at the end of the day nothing will protect you.  Even your riches, pride, and so on.  It is only in DSC_0460the hands of Jesus that we find safety!’  Yes, I can say the Himalayan Region Vineyard Churches are shaken – but not dead.  We don’t look to the earthquake – we look to God because that’s where our helps comes from.

I personally want to say a big “thank you” to everyone who took time to remember us and open their pockets.  May God bless you so much.  I know that if an earthquake hits your place we will be there to help you!”

HRV Online Presence

We’ve kept both the HRV website and Facebook page disabled due to continued sensitive issues on the ground.  It’s part of exercising diligence and wisdom and we don’t want to create undue hardship for our team and community’s there.

>Please continue to PRAY.

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Earthquake Update – Krishna’s Story

Below is a story gathered from an interview with Krishna Kumar, a member of the Kathmandu Vineyard.  It’s written by Matthias Floreck, an HRV friend with  of the German NGO Kinderhilfe International who provided us with a shipment of durable tents.

On April 25, 2015, Krishna and his family were gathered at the Kathmandu Vineyard. Everyone except his father had made the 2-hour walk from their home to the church building. Krishna’s father, who would normally be sleeping at home during this time, felt a kind of inner unrest. He couldn’t sleep, so he got up to go outside. As he left the house the earthquake struck, destroying the handmade brick structure. The collapsing ceiling would have crushed him. Krishna hurried home to find his father alive. He believes God saved his dad.

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Krishna (in the white shirt) with his family.

However, gratitude was mingled with a great sadness. Everything his family had worked so hard for was destroyed in an instant. Krishna works for the city of Kathmandu. His wife works as a cleaner. Both make just enough money to take care of their two children and Krishna’s father and sister.  They just managed to pay for the children’s school fees – barely enough to survive. Now nearly everything was broken underneath rubble. The kitchen utensils, furniture, pots for the harvest… everything.

Krishna and his family received a tent for temporary shelter. When he was asked about the future Krishna and his wife were very grateful. They said the tent was like heaven for the family. The first nights after the earthquake they were sleeping under a tarp. It was dangerous, especially for the children. There are leopards that come down to the village at night to hunt. They said they heard a leopard 5 meters away from where they were sleeping. The tent provides more security and will enable them to weather the monsoon season.

Krishna doesn’t know how to go on. He will not be able to rebuild his house alone. He estimated that he could save money for 5 years and then start to build a new house. This sounded like an expression of desperation to me.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 7.29.03 AM

Krishna helping to distribute rice to the people who live on the riverbed in Kathmandu.

Krishna says to all of you, “Blessings to all our friends and please pray for us. Don’t forget us and help us rebuild our lives. You shared in our pain and our suffering. We will never forget this and we will pray for you.”


Krishna is a member of the Kathmandu Vineyard and the overseer our new church plant at Goldhunga.  Everyone from the Vineyard is engaged in helping their neighbours.  Even those who have lost their own homes are helping others in need.

Below are some pictures of a recent trip to the “Riverbed” – a place where the poorest of the poor live.  Since the earthquake, the population of the riverbed has increased.  We regularly minister there.

If you’re viewing this message on the website, hover over the images to view captions – click on the images to see full picture.

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Nepal Earthquake – God is Bigger than those Cracks

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It’s been nearly one month since the initial earthquake rocked the Himalayan Region.  There has not been one day without significant aftershocks and tremors – some of which have been classified as earthquakes.  During my latest conversation with Noel and Raju, they stopped in mid conversation as the dogs started barking, people outside began calling to each other, and the earth reminded us all of its tectonic unrest.  Yet in the midst of all the shaking, hope is being found and formed.  Noel showed me a crack in the Kathmandu Vineyard building that is getting wider with every earthquake.  It’s ominous, but as he said, “God is bigger than those cracks”.  Indeed.


Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 2.31.38 PM

This girl said to Raju, “with money you can buy beautiful house and good food, but not peace and joy. Only Jesus is the prince of peace and joy.”

A few days ago the first outside help reached Nessing.  An awesome team from Hawaii, working with the HRV, arrived and treated over 300 people for various injuries.  Thanks Dr. Tim and Tara and the rest of the team!  This was the first relief that has reached this remote mountain village.

Two villagers died in the earthquake.  All of the buildings are down – except two.  The church building will be usable when the ceiling is reinforced with local timber and one of the church elder’s homes was left standing (although it will likely have to be demolished).   We have 17 work crews active in Nessing.  They have built over 8 temporary shelters and are working on cleaning the whole village.  There was no rice in the village until 2,300 lbs were airlifted in – this is cause for celebration.  They also had a beautiful time of worship.  The whole Nessing church were very grateful and there was a tangible sense of God’s presence as they thanked him for protection.  They are actively cleaning the whole village and are being a wonderfully tangible sign of God’s hope to all.

Ramesh says, “We bring the love of Jesus to remote villages of Nepal… through food supplies, medical help and temporary shelter… that’s what people need now… these are small things that we will be doing for next couple of months..!!!”

Tents & Tarps

A large shipment of tents has just arrived.  Thanks to the DACH Vineyards in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and to Kinderhilfe for the donation.  They will be used to keep families dry during the monsoon season.  They will also be used for school rooms.  Education is a high priority and it’s important to get back to a regular routine, even if it means studying in a tent in the rain.  The tarps were donated and imported from His Feet International (thanks Todd!).  They will be distributed where needed the most.

Other News

Silas Rai, the senior pastor at the Namchi Vineyard in Sikkim, India (a small part of India that is part of the Himalayan Region), arrived today.  Silas is part of the Earthquake Management team and will give Raju a much-needed break.  The team will rotate oversight responsibilities to make sure each gets the rest they need.  Please continue to pray for them.

This young girl lost her sister in the quake.  Here she is showing Raju the remains of her house "where she used to play with her small sister who died that day..."

This young girl lost her sister in the quake. Here she is showing Raju the remains of her house “where she used to play with her small sister who died that day…”

Operations continue in Gorkha, Chhampi and Kothgaon.  We will continue to supply necessities until people regain self-sufficiency.  Temporary shelters continue to be constructed.  The road up to the high mountain villages remains closed.  There are many landslides, and even reports of helicopters crashing due to dangerous land conditions, falling rocks, etc.  It’s dangerous work.

By the Numbers

Here are a few numbers for you to crunch…

  • 40 households cleared in Gadlang
  • 17 shelters built in Gadlang
  • 470 homes in the whole village of Gadlang – Pastor Prem wants to clean them all.
  • 3 months to clean the entire village of Gadlang
  • 17 work crews active in Nessing
  • 2,300 lbs of rice delivered in Nessing
  • 7 Helicopter transports have already been taken to Gadlang and Nessing
  • 200 homes need to be cleared in Tipling (will begin next week)
  • 172 Vineyard people’s homes destroyed throughout the region


Thanks to all who have donated and prayed.  Your money and your prayers are making a difference.

A note to Canadian donors: Monday, May 25 is the deadline for the federal government’s matching program.  We qualify for this program.  For every dollar donated by a Canadian to our Vineyard Disaster fund, the federal government will deposit a dollar into their own Nepal fund (it doesn’t double our money, but it does insure more help will reach Nepal).

Remember that 100% of donations we receive go to relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts on the ground in Nepal.

>Please continue to PRAY.

>Click here to donate.

>Click here to access resources and our Strategic Plan.

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Nepal Earthquake – High Mountain Villages Update

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Long Awaited News:

Many of you have been anxiously awaiting news from Gadlang and the other high mountain villages beyond it.  Meanwhile, the community in Gadlang has been anxiously awaiting supplies and contact with the outside.  A small team was able to spend Friday in Gadlang – thanks to a helicopter ride.  The devastation equalled the early reports.  Every house is in rubble or very unstable – that’s 400 homes.  As you can see from the pictures, the houses were built very close together, many even sharing walls.  The “dry-stone” construction (no mortar) was no match for the earthquake.  Clean-up will be very difficult because there is no space to move the rocks.  They may have to relocate the entire village.

The people there were very happy to see the team.  There were many words of encouragement, prayers and organization.  The doctor from Hawaii (sorry I don’t know your name!) treated 80 people with various small injuries.  Asher, Noel’s son, dispensed medicine.  Beyond the physical injuries, there is enormous emotional shock and trauma among the people.  They are living in the streets under make-shift shelters.  The situation is dirty and unsanitary.  Our people will work to improve these conditions.

Noel & Raju met with the elders from Gadlang and Nessing (another village a day’s hike away).  They oriented 24 Work crew members in safe demolition techniques.  They also left enough supplies to keep the work crews active.  We hope to bring more supplies as soon as the road opens up.  Even though it was only one day of contact, it was worth it.

Where Does My Help Come From?

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Solar cell phone charger is a huge hit.

We tried so hard and had so many people working all the available channels to secure helicopter services.  Dead-ends seemed to be around every corner.  Instead of coming from an NGO or other large organization, a helicopter materialized from the most unlikely place – an old friendship of Noel’s.  A 4×4 truck which was secured, ended up getting sold before we could buy it.  Another one ended up being sold to us for $5,000 less from an unknown generous Christian Nepali brother.  An accident on the road to Gorhka ended up paving the way for the first shipment of supplies to reach Nareshawr.  The small jeep wouldn’t have made it past the landslide, but the big truck which happened to come along right after the accident, and also happened to be empty, gave them a ride and made it past the landslide.  Even a solar-powered cell phone charger seems like a miracle to !

Kindness extended.  Supplies shared.  Prayers prayed & answered.  God’s tangible presence in healing and comfort.  Our Nepali friends are very grateful of all the support, prayers and aid they are receiving.  But they know the answer to the Psalmist’s question:

“I lift my eyes up to the mountains – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, creator of the heavens and the earth!”  Psalm 121

By the Numbers:

  • 400 homes lost in Gadlang, home to 2,000.
  • 80 patients were treated.
  • 8,100 kg (17,850 lbs) of rice distributed.
  • 3,000 kg more rice is ready to go.
  • 3,500 kg of other food items (oil, sugar, salt, noodles) have been distributed.
  • 100s of tarps and blankets – many more are ready to go as the situation develops.

In Other News:

The efforts continue in Chhampi.  We will begin building a new church building which will have an attached shelter for Uddav & Pooja, the pastors there.  This will give the community a suitable space in which to gather.  Other shelters continue to be built.

Click on images to enlarge & view gallery.


>Please continue to PRAY.

>Here is Nathan sharing about some of his experiences and stories during the earthquake.

>Click here to donate.

>Click here to access resources and our Strategic Plan.

>Make sure you check out our Google Earth Video – you can see Gadlang & Nessing on it.

Nepal Earthquake Update – Airlift, Work Crews & a Truck

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The service of a private helicopter was secured today.  Tomorrow, Noel, Raju, a Doctor friend from Hawaii and a few others will be flying into Gadlang to assess damage, bring rice, and provide first aid.  This is a huge answer to prayer!

Rice will be purchased in the nearest larger town and will be delivered to Gadlang and the surrounding villages.  The team from Gadlang was active in Chhampi and Kothgaon for the first week after the quake before they were able to make it home.  They have gone back to the mountain villages with both knowledge and the emergency shelter prototype that was developed in Chhampi and Kothgaon.  This strategy will supplement already existing local efforts.

Work Crews

The churches in Chhampi, Kothgaon and Gorkha had community meetings yesterday and have organized their own management teams.  These on-the-ground, local teams will assess need and manage the work being done in each village.  The HRV Earthquake Management team will continue to provide overall coordination.  Now that work crews have been hired and prototypes of shelters have been developed, demolition and temporary shelter construction will shift into full gear.


Speaking of shifting gears, we just purchased a truck to help in the transportation efforts!  Until now, we’ve been using hired drivers and jeeps.  Since we anticipate the demolition and rebuilding phases to last well over one year, owning our own truck will help with availability and long-term cost effectiveness.

Noel indicated that the purchase was a bit of a God story.  When he initially called to inquire about the truck, he accidentally mentioned that he was from a church.  Usually a higher price would follow this admission.  Instead, the man on the other end of the line immediately replied, “Jaimasi!” (a greeting only Christians use).  It turns out he was another pastor who ended up giving us a great deal on the truck.  Thanks brother!  And thanks, God!

By the Numbers:

  • Currently there are 8 work crews of 4 – 5 local people per crew.
  • $150 USD per temporary shelter (includes additional materials and work crew labour costs)
  • Kothgaon has 2 work crews
  • Gadlang has 4 work crews
  • Nessing has 2 work crews
  • Chhampi and Gorkha are organizing crews.
  • 4 houses in Gadlang were cleaned today.
  • 100 bags of rice will be bought in town and delivered to villages.


Click on the images to enlarge.

>Here is Nathan sharing about some of his experiences and stories during the earthquake.

>Please continue to PRAY.

>Click here to donate.

>Click here to access resources and our Strategic Plan.

>Make sure you check out our Google Earth Video.