Though the Earth Gives Way: Updates from Nepal

Villages, like this one a few hours outside Kathmandu, suffered the worst damage. Photo by a TEAM worker.

On April 25, 2015, Christians in Nepal were gathered for weekly services when a violent earthquake shook the ground. The 7.8 magnitude quake leveled entire communities and left a country mourning the loss of more than 7,000 lives. Nearly twice as many remain injured. TEAM workers in Nepal were among the first responders to the disaster, administering food and water and providing vital medical care. Below are their first-hand accounts from the days following the earthquake.

“From where we’re sitting we need to focus on what we know to be true, what will give hope, what will encourage and spur each other on to love and help each other. Nepal is an incredibly strong country with incredibly strong people. They are resourceful and survivors…. They are strong and together they will rebuild. It is going to be hard. It’s going to take a long time, we are going to need a lot of help, but it will happen.” – TEAM Worker in Nepal

April 27, 2015: “Some have tents or other shelter, but many do not. Nights in Kathmandu are still cold and last night it rained… The aftershocks are subsiding somewhat, but everyone is still on pins and needles, not knowing what will happen next.

Although rescue efforts are still underway and medical personnel are still very busy taking care of the injured, attention is beginning to shift to the desperate need for water, food and fuel. Planes with relief supplies and personnel are arriving from many different countries, so pray for calm, coordinated and fair distribution of what will still be a limited supply compared to the vast need.”

April 28, 2015: “Initially, as we walked home we saw very little destruction of our neighborhood other than compound walls being knocked down. We were thankful that all the buildings seem to be intact… Other parts of the city fared much worse with many of the temples destroyed and all the older brick/mud houses collapsing”

“We went to [the hospital] and volunteered with triage and treatment of the wounded that began coming in. There were almost hourly aftershocks, some quite big that caused a lot of public panic.”

April 29, 2015: “Essentially the whole city has been living out in open areas under the stars or under tarps… We slept on a badminton court with our neighbors. There was great concern about having another big earthquake, and no one wanted to be inside. Also, thousands and thousands of people are homeless after the first quake.”

April 30, 2015: “Life in Kathmandu is slowly returning to normal with shops opening back up and buses running again. School is scheduled to start again on Monday. Attention is turning to the hard-hit village areas, most of which have received no help as yet because of the bad weather and difficult terrain. Those that have been reached have had tremendous destruction and loss of lives.”

May 4, 2015:  “A topic of talk in town is the challenge of rebuilding destroyed homes. Plumbers, electricians, masons and carpenters have a backlog of work and are expected to charge premium rates. It will take time and money to rebuild. People are working on how to protect belongings salvaged from damaged homes. The rainy season begins in less than two months followed by the chill of winter.”

“Even as we attempt to return to our usual routines, we recognize things will not be the same. As a new normal emerges in the days ahead, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the dire predictions of earthquake-related catastrophes in the coming days: landslides triggered by the monsoons, epidemic outbreaks, rebuilding difficulties in a country fraught with instability and poor infrastructure. While the recovery will undoubtedly take years, we are reminded again to take things day by day.”


In the months ahead, TEAM workers will continue to partner with the local community to rebuild a stronger Nepal. Would you consider joining their efforts? You can give through TEAM and 100% of the funds will be used in the relief and recovery efforts in Nepal. Click here to make a secure, online contribution to support the people of Nepal.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” -Psalm 46:1-3 ESV

PRAY

Pray for the families who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and aftershocks.

Pray for the safety of TEAM workers and other workers in Nepal and South Asia, and that doors will open for them to share the good news of Jesus Christ!

Pray for the rebuilding efforts, that there will be enough supplies and workers willing to help.

GIVE

To financially support the disaster relief efforts in Nepal, click here.

The Global Outreach (GO) Fund benefits all TEAM workers and programs, including emergency response. You can give to the GO Fund here.

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About the author

Katie Back Salmon
Katie Back Salmon

Katie Back Salmon is the former digital communications coordinator at TEAM. Katie came to TEAM from the University of Georgia with a background in marketing and entrepreneurship. She is passionate about good conversations and good community and enjoys them online or offline. When she's not on the internet, you can find her exploring Knoxville with her husband, Brennen.

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