The after math
Thousands dead, buried in rubble. Many more injured. 600,000 or more without homes with many still abiding in tents. For a brief period of time, we were numbered in the homeless as our house had been condemned. We were blessed to have very gracious, though very new friends who allowed us to stay with them…again.
However, thanks to our supporting churches who graciously and generously contributed to our set-up fund and now relief fund, we were able to leave the home we had only lived in for 10 days and move into another beautiful home that the Lord provided for us in the same neighborhood. As many things remain closed down, it has been a slow go re-setting up, but things are starting to take shape. When we get discouraged, we remember all of those that are sleeping in tents each night as they mourn the loss of those dearest to them. And we are thankful, so thankful.
But like the walls of our former home, we are also broken. While we had only lived in this city, Kathmandu, for a brief period of time, and had never actually planned to be here (more on visa issues in another blog post, I suppose…), the Lord had already opened our eyes to the need here and given us a heart for the people lost in idol worship. We were so burdened to think that nearly all of those who lost their lives to this detrimental disaster did not open their eyes to see heavenly glory. Instead, they met a fate far more gruesome than any natural calamity. Like an earthquake, Hell is no respecter of persons.
How could we comfort those who had no hope that their families were safe? We couldn’t. We met physical needs (food, water, shelter) as we could, provided financial assistance as it flowed in from aforementioned supporting churches. We ministered as much as our language allowed. I prayed in the only language I know well, thankful that God understands all dialects, praying that He would touch the hearts of those I brought before Him.
The existing needs
After enduring 200+ earthquakes with small ones occurring each day even now, the task of rebuilding the city is slow and tedious. Buildings come down brick by brick as temporary shelters are put up just in time for rainy season. Those outside of the city continue to wait for assistance.
These deceived people think they just need to be more religious. You should have heard the bells ringing and seen the crowded temples within minutes of the earthquake! Many blamed having Christians in the country for their gods’ wrath here (prayer for non-tightened laws regarding our stay here is appreciated!). They also think that living in a tent next to a bent-over home will save them, but anyone standing 10 feet away knows better! Perhaps some think that getting out of this country is the key to a better, safer, happier life free from the chaos of a country battered by government instability and now a major natural disaster.
But we know it’s not. And how do we hold this knowledge and not do something about it? I don’t know that I’ve ever truly been able to sense a hopelessness like I have seen in the eyes of these people in observance of the destruction left in the wake of this violent storm.
I wish all the people on airplanes zooming over here to provide physical assistance brought the gospel too. Because while these temporary measures prolong the lives of those they are able to reach, their lives are merely extended until some other natural force pulls them out of this world and they spend eternity in a Christ-less misery that would make you wish you were in the midst of a never-ending earthquake.
Death is real. Hell is real. And our responsibility to reach the world with the gospel is more important than ever. The Lord could have brought any building in KTM down on me on any number of days (and still could, right?). But I have the hope of the Cross. So many others, here and all around the world, will die without that hope. How can I keep that to myself?
And so I study. And make myself look like a fool in front of Nepali people. I sound like a child all day every day, but I beg God to plant this language into my heart so that I can share what He has brought my family here to share. I can endure any trial if I keep this motivation in my heart. Will I need to be shaken up again? Maybe. Probably. I pray the Lord will take the measures needed to do so.
What will it take to shake you up, to open your eyes to the need of the gospel around you? Don’t wait until real suffering occurs all around you to do something for the Lord! You will never regret serving Him with your life! In the midst of all of this chaos, I have a peace I can’t put into words. This life is crazy, and awesome, and scary, and rewarding! I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I am here, where God put me (visa denial and all) doing what God has me to do. Being a blubbering idiot for now and offering smiles and hugs and whatever else He allows me to give. For now, that’s all I can do.
What can YOU do?
Open your eyes to the suffering of the world and to the need of those in the midst of it. It will hurt and it will take hard work, and at times you will wish for your cushy life back. But this is a battle and there are souls on the line! Once you realize the need around the world you won’t be able to walk away from it. It may just change the way you talk to your neighbors or your gal-pals at PTA , use social media, raise your kids or start your day in prayer but that’s something, isn’t it?
Please continue to pray for Nepal and for our family and for others that labor here. We are humbled and grateful, but we are tired as are so many that work for the Lord, and as I’m sure you are too. Grace to you. With Christ’s power, we can make a difference in this world for the sake of the gospel!