My son Jeremy and I have just returned from visiting with the earthquake victims in Nepal. The country was still experiencing aftershocks and tremors during our time there.
I am no stranger to devastation – having been in Nicaragua just after a hurricane ravaged the nation and in southern India and Sri Lanka after the tsunami and having personally gone through a tornado in Indiana and two horrific forest fires in Colorado. But I was still broken by the desperation that I saw in the country. Thousands of people are still sleeping in makeshift tents even though the monsoon season will have begun by the time you receive this letter. Not only have they lost loved ones and everything that that they owned, many have lost hope because there is no way they can afford to rebuild.
One ray of hope comes from the generosity of the friends of Teach All Nations. We are excited that we have obtained five more brickmaking machines to expand the work we are doing with the two machines that were already available. Eight workers who are employed full-time are currently producing about five hundred bricks per day for the construction of a church and several homes in Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu valley and in Charikot in eastern Nepal. Workers and production will be multiplied as soon as the new machines arrive.
I was overwhelmed as I looked through my photos of the trip to prepare this newsletter. I suppose that I was just too much in a state of shock when I was actually present at the scene. Today, I can see things in photos that just didn’t comprehend in person. The latest report I have received from Nepal is that the construction is underway and the monsoons – that could delay the work – haven’t set in as of yet. I think we all know the biblical principle that what the devil intends for evil can turn out for good. The two churches that we are constructing will become full-time community centers rather than part-time churches. Prior to the earthquake, the congregations were actually in rented halls that they could only use for their services. Now that we will actually own the buildings, the congregation will be able to use the buildings seven days a week to minister to the needs of the community through classes, clinics, etc. As the community becomes comfortable with the services that the Christians are supplying, there is no doubt that we will see the neighborhood become more and more accepting of the gospel.
Please read the archived report to get the story behind the gentleman in the picture listed as, “Delron with the pastor who pulled the dying woman form the collapsed building.” He is the pastor of one of the congregations that will get a new church because of your gifts, prayers, and love.