Earthquake Update – Day 11

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Here’s the update on the efforts of the Himalayan Region Vineyards in Nepal.

High Mountain Villages:

Prem (the pastor at Gadlang Vineyard) and the rest of the Gadlang team arrived home late Monday night.  They were able to drive 60% of the way to Gadlang.  They walked the remainder which took them two days.  It looks like the road may open up completely within the next few days.  Let’s pray the monsoon rains do not wash it out again.  When the road opens up we will be able to bring relief supplies as well as needed building materials to help the villagers construct shelters which will help them weather the monsoon season, which is typically from May – August.  Plans to airlift supplies into these villages have not materialized.  Because of high prices and difficulty in transportation from Kathmandu, we will be buying supplies from China and shipping it from the north.

Demolition, Reclamation & Shelter:

Done deal!

Another shelter completed!

In Chhampi and Kothgaon there have been teams working at safely demolishing damaged homes and reclaiming materials that can be used for building temporary emergency shelters.  It is a boon when someone lifts up a pile of bricks to find a stash of rice, garlic, or corn cobs (for burning).  It’s like hitting the jackpot, because they represent a lot of effort to initially acquire and their scarcity now.  The government is asking that demolition not begin in Gorkha until they have completed an assessment.

Chhampi, Kothgaon and Gorkha churches are meeting tomorrow to discuss how to help their neighbours.  All shelters up until now have been constructed with volunteer labour.  After these meetings we will hire local workers from each village.  It will be the local churches helping local people.  Each location will have teams of 4-5 workers who will be able to construct 4 shelters per day.  Each shelter costs approximately $150 USD to build (labour and material costs).

Here are a few numbers so far:

  1. Over 13 houses have been cleaned up (combination of demolition and reclaiming materials).
  2. 2 temporary shelters built in Gorhka
  3. 6 temporary shelters built in Chhampi and Kothgaon
  4. There is a shipment of 30 tents coming from Europe (thanks German Vineyards and Kinderhilfe!).  These will be distributed where most needed.
  5. Approximate costs to construct 1 shelter: $150 USD (labour and material to supplement salvaged supplies)

Raju (pastor at Kathamdu Vineyard) says:

“Religion that our God Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans, widows and helping people who are going through difficulties. This moment my country Nepal is crying because many people are going through difficulties and hard times, they are fighting with death to get life.  Jesus called us as an army of his kingdom so every day we are serving and helping those people who are going through difficulties.

Today we cleaned three collapsed houses and made one hut for another family at Kothgaon village. Praise the Lord!”

These pics document the construction of a temporary shelter.  Click on the images to view the full size gallery.

Rebuilding will commence after the monsoon season in 3 months.  Plans for suitable prototype structures are commencing.

Food & Aid:

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A team heads out

Relief supplies continue to be distributed as needed.  We are careful not to create “distribution events” where people line-up at the back of a truck and scramble for hand-outs.  Rather, we are working within our existing relational networks, helping our people to help other people.  We are not a big NGO.  We are a church and we want to continue to be relational in our response to the needs around us.  Please pray for wisdom.

Trauma:

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Life goes on, but the stress runs deep

Surviving an earthquake – losing one’s house and belongings – losing friends and family… these are big issues the whole country is dealing with.  Most people are in a stage of heightened trauma.  Leaders are leading, workers are working, stuff is getting done, but it’s crisis management mode.  There is a hidden toll in this disaster.  Please pray that there will be moments where our people can begin to process, grieve, thaw, heal.  Pray that God’s comfort and presence would be very real.  Pray that their deepest hurts and the unfolding trauma from this event would be processed in a healthy, thorough and deep manner.

Please continue to PRAY.

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