Earthquake Update: One Week Later

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It’s been one week since disaster struck the Himalayan Region.  Here’s the latest on the HRV team’s activities as of Saturday evening, Nepal time.

Grateful:

We are so grateful for the widespread response from the Vineyard family around the world.  It’s amazing to see us mobilized in this way.  Thank you!

Noel says, “We have been very blessed by the prayers and support that we have received from all over the world.  In these times, when the needs are so great, it is tempting to see “big” amounts of support as special provisions of God to us.

The other day, I heard that the drop-in community in Winnipeg – made up of people who are homeless and street-involved – took an offering for us. They raised a small amount of money by the world’s standards, but when I heard what they had done it really shook me.

I was humbled that these people who have nothing were giving to us – giving to Jesus even – out of their poverty. God again reminded me that his kingdom operates differently to our world. We are to remember the poor and I am so touched that the poor are remembering us. We are very honoured and privileged to receive their gifts.”

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Kathmandu – the community gathers:

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One week after the quake rocked Nepal, the Vineyard community gathered in the Kathmandu courtyard for a powerful time of worship, prayer and sharing together.  The churches from Chhampi and Kothgoan also gathered in Kathmandu – just to be together and to be somewhere safe.  Chhampi’s building collapsed and Kothgoan’s building is unsafe.  We are not meeting in the main building in Kathmandu because there continue to be significant tremors (another 6.2 earthquake was reported in Gorkha and two more in Kathmandu).  God, how long?!  Many poor people are coming to the Vineyard and rice is quietly and discreetly being distributed.  20% of the shops are open.  The city continues to stink as bodies are still being recovered from the rubble.

Relief Efforts Continue:

The clean-up efforts are ongoing in Chhampi and Kothgaon.  Demolition, retrieving personal belongings, and creating temporary shelters out of repurposed materials is a big job.  Just yesterday two more houses were cleaned up and another shelter erected in Kothgaon.  Tomorrow it’s back to Chhampi.

A leader from Kathmandu was just sent to Gorhka to oversee the efforts in Nareshawr.  He will be helping implement the salvaged shelter design we’re using in Chhampi and Kothgaon.  About the picture,

Raju, a pastor at the Kathmandu Vineyard, says “Old mum – now she is homeless and she lives in a tent in the open field.  She is old and sick. When saw her difficulty, it touched my heart.”

Nessing, Gadlang, Tipling and Sertung are still inaccessible.  There are thousands of villagers across Nepal who are unaccounted for in high mountain communities like these.  The people there are cold and hungry.  We are poised and ready for when the road opens up.  There may be possibility of a road opening up from the Chinese side.  The church buildings in both Nessing and Gadding have collapsed.  Sertung does not have a building.

The believers in Tipling had just finished the last prayer of their service last Saturday, and everyone came outside to warm up and say “Jaimashi”.  Just then, the earthquake struck.  The whole structure collapsed right when the last person exited!  God is good.

Collaborating & Rebuilding:

The HRV Earthquake Management Team is fully operational and is in continual contact and collaboration with the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard team.  Daily reporting and accounting is taking place.  They are also working together with agencies on the ground to ensure effective responses.

Beyond the pressing concerns of providing food, shelter and other supplies to those directly affected, plans are in development for long-term rebuilding.  Many villagers have indicated they would rather have their schools up and running before their own houses are rebuilt.  We are keenly aware of the dangers of disparity and want to engage in rebuilding efforts in a sensitive, wise, and collaborative way in the villages we are active in.  Additionally, we are also very aware of the amazing opportunity to spread God’s love to our neighbours in very practical and compassionate ways.  Let the Kingdom come!

Please continue to PRAY.
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