I write this to you after departing from the field and safely returning to the USA. However please know that relief operations are still in full swing, and a second team is in place journeying still to the quake epicenter regions despite the continual threat of landslides, collapsed structures, looters, unruly mobs, and the constant potential for another major quake bringing further destruction. Pray for them. Please. This is not only a physically dangerous mission and region, but spiritually in great darkness with much opposition to true efforts to show compassion in Christ’s name and proclaim His message of truth in word and deed. We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers and support up to this point that has allowed us to distribute almost 20 tons of rice, hundreds of tarps and water filters, and other much needed aid. But the work is far from over.
A Dwindling Window Of Time To Help
There is a great urgency you need to know about. The mission out there is far from over, and the current team on the ground has a race against time to help these affected villages and reach them before it is too late. What will be too late? In less than three weeks the yearly monsoons will come, bringing with them a great deluge that will cause countless landslides, floods, and make impassable for weeks or months several of the only roads that lead to the remote villages in most need of help. The local news is already reporting that few communities damaged by the quakes will have enough food or shelter to survive being cut off by the monsoons for weeks. A vulnerable people are about to become even further removed from any prospect of help. There is no way to stop the monsoon. All we can do is race against it and reach as any of these remote and decimated communities as fast and thoroughly as possible. The recent quakes have already unsettled much of the hillside as well, so tremendous landslides are predicted that will likely destroy even more villages. Pray.
Racing Against Human Traffickers
There is another urgency that made the headlines in Kathmandu the day I flew out. Human traffickers are also racing against time to exploit, kidnap or deceive countless girls and their parents who have lost everything in this quake, and hold out hope their daughter will have a better life with the visiting stranger (human trafficker) that promises them a better situation working or going to school in India or China. Once these girls are sold by their parents to the trafficker (who often tells them they’ll be working as a servant in a house, or be in a school somewhere) they are often sent to Mumbai, India or occasionally parts of China and sold as sex slaves. The existence they enter into is horrific and inescapable for many. And human traffickers are fully exploiting these destroyed villages to grab all the girls they can. Can we truly fathom the depth of man’s wickedness and cruelty in this part of the world from our safe, secure and stable suburban homes of the USA? What I’ve said above often passes through our ears as we can barely comprehended the horror and darkness in the lives of these poor girls, but know that it is an awful reality for tens of thousands each year being newly sold into bondage.
Hopes For New And Expanded Girls Homes
The Nepali Christians we have been working alongside to provide relief to affected villages are, during non-disaster times, a ministry already focused on the rescue and rehabilitation of these trafficked girls. When we weren’t camping in some quake-leveled village at night, we stayed back in Kathmandu on the compound where they teach and care for thirteen such girls. There we were able to teach them daily during their morning devotions about a Savior who loves such dejected needy sinners as they, and see the bright smiles on their faces now months or years after they were brought from poverty and being sold into sex slavery. There are real hopes and plans to try to rescue more girls from the grips of these traffickers, or find them before they even get to that point, but laborers to undertake such an expanded work is few. There is another ministry we are friends with seeking to open another home in a different part of Kathmandu hoping to also house these girls, but they are having delays in government approval as well due to the quake. Pray!
Pressing Ahead For Now With Tin Sheeting
The current team will aim to press on with a third rotation of fresh replacements in a week or so to finish out operations up to the point of the monsoon. The primary need expressed right now by both villagers, government officials and even the local newspapers, are getting in shipments of corrugated tin roofing to allow villagers to make temporary structures that will survive the brutal rains of the coming monsoon and house these families while they rebuild more permanent, generational homes in the months ahead. We were able to, by Gods grace, complete our first full tin sheeting distribution to one of the most decimated communities we had been working with in the northern epicenter area. They got enough tin for about 170 families across 4 different villages in that immediate area. What is that among the needs of 500,000 destroyed homes across the nation? Not much. But it is something, and the villagers were truly grateful, both Hindus and Christians both, for our organization being the first one there to provide these much needed materials. There is much need for prayer though for both ample supply of tin – a nationwide shortage has made it really hard to find adequate amounts for these villages – and for the resources to keep purchasing it – taking care of one family is about the equivalent of $40-50 USD – but we trust that if we seek God first in this matter, He’ll in the end provide all things needed. Having money to buy tin, but no tin available to buy, is a real problem. Just the opposite, having bunches of tin available but no funds to purchase, is equally problematic, and both scenarios are alternating realities at times. Pray!
I do thank everyone who has been supporting this effort with prayer, people or materials. Eternity will tell the true impact of these efforts to help these poor people in Nepal. But isn’t it worth laboring towards eternal ends!