Nestled between Tibet and India, Nepal is home to the world’s tallest mountains and 28 million people. Known for their ability to weather both terrain and circumstance, the Nepalis have locked arms in recent weeks as they endure the aftermath of two major earthquakes. Both disasters, and the hundreds of aftershocks in between, have left over 8,000 families mourning and entire villages razed. The Nepalis’ strength continues to be flexed as they prepare for the threat of aftershocks, landslides and the quickly approaching monsoon season. Though the loss is felt deeply and the future uncertain, the church in Nepal continues to stand tall with a faith that cannot be shaken.
Once a Hindu kingdom, Nepal was closed to outside influence until 1951. When borders were opened, Christians were permitted to enter the country to administer medical care and education, but evangelism continued — and still continues — to be illegal. Even so, the small Nepali church survived through decades of persecution and cultural opposition. Major shifts in government in 1990 led to greater religious freedom, and since then, Nepal has become one of the fastest growing churches in the world.
TEAM workers have served in Nepal since 1968, providing much-needed medical care to the under-served western regions. Medical staff share countless testimonies of God using health care to build his church. One study even reports that half of the believers in this region trusted Christ after an encounter with a Christian medical worker or through miraculous healing.
Since the earthquake, TEAM medical workers have continued to join Nepali doctors in caring for injuries. After a day of triage, one TEAM worker reflected, “My biggest contribution wasn’t medical. I think it was in providing some comfort and compassion to people who had just lived through the most traumatic moment of their lives. Anyone could have done what I did that day, so I felt blessed to be the one given that opportunity.”
Outside the hospital, the work of healing continues without gauze or stitches. A TEAM worker describes the emotional task of piecing her disheveled home back together: “After a couple of hours of cleaning, I began to get a little overwhelmed — not just with the cleaning, but with processing what had happened and what was happening all over our country.
“I took a break and went outside with my guitar to play a little and unwind. As I started to play, they came. Old people, young people, children — they flocked in from around the neighborhood and stood outside my gate, peering over and listening.
“I don’t have very many songs memorized on the guitar, so I made things up. I sang about God’s love for us and how, though the mountains shake and the earth trembles, we don’t have to be afraid. I just sang and sang and sang. After I had exhausted myself and my fingers were sore, I stopped and smiled. One of the men who had been standing silently said to me, ‘You have brought solace to our hearts.'”
The work of relief in Nepal remains urgent and critical, but not without hope. As the Himalayan Mountains stand tall in the horizon, so does the Nepali church. In the weeks and months to come, let us continue to prayerfully remember our brothers and sisters in Nepal. If you would like to financially contribute to the work of relief, you can do so here. To learn more about TEAM Nepal and how you can partner with them, click here.
Pray for the safety of the Nepalese, as the country is still experiencing aftershocks – many as big as an actual earthquake.
Pray that those affected by the earthquakes will find peace and calm, and that a sense of normalcy will return quickly.
Pray for the relief efforts, and for the quick and efficient rebuilding of the many businesses, schools and homes that were damaged in the earthquakes.
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.