At this time last year Nepal experienced a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by hundreds of aftershocks and a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on May 12. Mission Network News reported that roughly 9,000 people were killed and more than 22,000 were injured. That was just the first of several difficulties that put the country into a tailspin. More than 800,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Historical sites and entire villages collapsed. Over 2 million people were affected, most of whom were instantly made homeless, orphans, or widows. Many organizations rushed to help the Nepalis, but the sad reality is that due to inaccessible roads, a blockade of the country by India, and demolished roads into China due to landslides, very little support actually made it to the people who needed it the most.
That’s where our ministry partners at Nepal Gospel Outreach Center came into the picture. Because of their contacts throughout Nepal and their access to remote areas through their ministry network, they were able to bring relief to many who were in distress. Here is the report we received from them in March in response to the aid that Hope Builders was able to send directly to them bypassing governmental bureaucracy and red tape. Thank you for your response to the desperate needs of the Nepali people.
On behalf of our friends and loved ones in Nepal,
Lance & Christie Thollander
Dear Ministry Partners,
During this year we went through much hardship and trouble. These included a devastating earthquake followed by the blockade along the Indian border and inaccessible roads to China due to landslides that brought the nation to a standstill. After almost seven months the blockade has been lifted and there are signs of improvement but overwhelming needs still remain. We want to thank you for your love and prayers and standing with us during those troublesome days. Despite hardships, we were able to serve earthquake survivors, orphans, widows and the poor in our community while preaching the gospel to all within our reach. While we are highlighting here the humanitarian work we have done, please know that hundreds have come to Christ through the preaching of the gospel that always accompanies our efforts. From those churches are being established and disciples raised up for Jesus Christ. Here are some of the activities we are involved with.
We have continued scholarship support for 18 school children. An additional 18 children received one time support at the beginning of the academic year. There are many more needy children because of the earthquake. Many of the mothers (single women) sobbed when they shared their stories of how we have helped. They shared the impact on their lives and the relief they experienced through the scholarship and support package their child received from our ministry support team, God’s Love for Orphans and Widows (GLOW). This picture shows children studying outside because their school building was destroyed.
The fifth batch of 23 trainees graduated after completing six months advanced tailoring training on March 20th. Since the start of this program, 79 participants, many of them widows, have completed the tailoring training. Many graduates are ready to start their own tailoring shops but need funds to purchase a sewing machine. The picture above shows the tailoring graduates.
GLOW has received a plot of land free of charge, to use for training farmers. We have started with banana and vegetable farming and hope to expand the project and move to other locations in the future.
Portable Water Filter Distribution
GLOW, in partnership with a local Christian organization, distributed around 360 plastic water pails with attached ﬁlters, which are simple to use and to keep clean. This will supply families living in remote villages with safe water, prevent gastrointestinal illness and reduce childhood mortality. Here is a water filter set being explained.
Testimonies From Those Served
We have many stories from those who have been helped. Here’s a testimony from one of the widows. “We lost everything in the earthquake including our home! It was winter and we only had what was on our backs. We were living in temporary shelter when I gave birth and the weather was getting unbearably cold. We had no other alternative than to cry. You brought us food, clothes for us, clothes for our children and babies, and quilts. I have felt huge relief now that our needs are met. I do not have the words to thank you.” — Reshma Tamang
Here’s another testimony from a village that we visited. Pastor Palsang and some of our team walked into the village. The pastor’s neighbors’ wife was in labor and called the pastor to pray for her. He quickly rushed there and as he was praying, she delivered a daughter in front of them. They walked back to the church and told us what happened. We returned to the house with infant supplies. There the mother and the new child were sleeping in a dark corner of a hut they had built after the earthquake ﬂattened their three level house. We learned that their two daughters died when the house fell and buried them during the earthquake. This newborn is their sixth child. This is a family of believers who attend the church in the village. They asked us to pray for them and thanked God for this new gift to their family, bringing them joy and healing of heart. It was good to be there to witness and celebrate life with them in the midst of all the pain and hardship they had been through.
Please be sure that the gospel message is shared in all our programs and trainings. For example, in the tailoring training, devotions are held every morning before they start their day. The training participants have learned much of the gospel and about Christ since joining the training. They ask many questions and ask for prayers for themselves and for their family members.
Truly, the Gospel is the real hope that can truly change people’s lives… our efforts otherwise will be in vain. Thank you for your wonderful support that enables to carry the Good News of God’s love and new life in Jesus Christ to these people living in the remote villages of Nepal. God is doing a great work here!
With love in Christ,
Resham and Sita Poudel and the NGOC team