Bogotá, Colombia – Mennonite World Conference is calling for urgent prayer for the people of Nepal. On Saturday, 25 April 2015 they experienced an earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale followed by many powerful aftershocks.
MWC has been in contact with its member church, Nepal BIC Church/Brethren in Community Welfare Society. On 27 April Shemlal Hembrom, the General Secretary of the church, shared, “Most of our BIC Churches are in eastern Nepal and all our church members are safe, but two people were injured in Kathmandu while running out of the church. Our church buildings and the homes of our believers have been affected. Please continue to pray for the grieving families and daily life.” To read the full email, click here.
Hembrom wrote another update on 29 April. In it he writes, “Thank God that, as of today, the earthquake tremors have calmed down and our telephone and internet system has begun to work. Yet, it is very sad to report that the tragedy of Nepal continues to increase. Currently 5,400 people have died, but the Prime Minister Shushil Koirala says, ‘The death toll could go up to 10,000 because information from remote villages hit by the earthquake is yet to come in.’ More than 8,000 are hospitalized; hundreds are getting medical treatment on the road and in open places; more than 2,000 people have been rescued alive who were trapped under fallen and collapsed buildings; and due to rain, the rescue teams are also encountering difficulties. According to the reports, ten million people across the country have been affected by this earthquake.
“Next to Kathmandu, the Sindhupalchok district northeast of Kathmandu has had the most casualties. Bimal Lama, our BIC pastor in Kathmandu under Tibbet Mission, comes from that same district where his mother and other relatives live. Saturday afternoon he was informed that most houses in his village have been destroyed, many have died, and that his mother was also injured. However, since then he has not received any news about her as there is no telephone connection in the area. Therefore he is very worried.
“We thank God that our BIC Church believers in Kathmandu are safe, except for some injuries. We are grateful to God and thankful to all of you for your prayer and concern. We believe the Lord has special purpose to keep us safe and therefore we, the BIC Executive Board, met together to thank God, pray for grieving families and to seek God's will, as God's people to do what we can to share His love. Though the needs are very great; if we can do small things for some people it would be great help to them.”
Hembrom further reported that the Nepal BIC Church are planning to send a team of 15 to 20 volunteers to the Shindhupalchok district, to provide 1,000 temporary tents, and to assist 4,000 victims with food and medicine for at least a month. They are also planning several reconstruction projects. Their total budget plan is $225,000 to $250,000.
“Please pray that God may open the door to provide these funds,” added Hembrom.
Mennonite Central Committee has also begun its earthquake response by working with a local organization in a remote area of eastern Nepal, providing food and other essential items to affected families. To read more about their response, click here.
MWC News Release