Amazing Initial response: You may be delighted to know that on the basis of two emails alone about $25,000 has already come in so far - and that most of the money is in Nepal and more is being sent. [Also, if necessary, we can borrow some funds but only for a week or two.] We had to hasten slowly to make sure that everything was ready on the Nepali side. I believe they did not expect church-to-church. Now they are empowered to become helping and healing Good Samaritans themselves to both Christians and others. Top people of the small Lutheran Church are involved. They all know where there are predominantly Christian communities that are easily forgotten. They are experienced and seem an absolutely competent team.
You may remember that the NELC (Nepal Evangelical Lutheran Church] drew up a well prepared submission for AFA asking for around $70,000. We said that this is too much for us. All we can do is our best in Jesus' name.
Donors beware! If we don't have your email or mailing address, we cannot send you a receipt. We would like to thank you as well. Unless you want to give autonomously please send us a note. The banks will not reveal any details about you.
You may want to spread the word. Relatively few people in our churches know about this. Lots of pastors, to start with, don't. We are happy about our church supporting the ALWS appeal - and I mean that! - but we would like our church to know about this also - not as an alternative but as an extra challenge. I have talked to, and will keep talking to the relevant leaders of the LCA and ALWS. Realistically, I do believe that the ALWS appeal will lose a small amount of money through our action but most of the money we receive would simply not have been donated otherwise. So it could be seen - from a broad perspective - as a win-win situation.
SUMMARY OF WHY AFA IS PRESENBTLY IN NEPAL:
1. Belated AFA Action unavoidable: We did not expect to have to do this appeal. AFA does not work in Nepal. But after finding out the full facts and after painful research and after being in constant touch with the NEPAL EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH we started this appeal timidly and belatedly. From the point of view of a good conscience, we had to act. The question in the end was, If we don't help the church in Nepal, who will?
2. Long term struggle: NEPAL IS ALREADY DISAPPEARING FROM OUR TV SCREENS. People's memory is short. But the pain and the disaster keep going for months to come. For the people of Nepal, and the people of God, it will be a long term challenge and struggle.
3. The big relief organisations: We do not compete with the big organisations and they must do their vitally important work. That includes LWF/DWS (ALWS) for whom Lutherans have a special heart for. The churches in Nepal cannot handle the large scale relief work that has to be done. So groups like World Vision essentially do it themselves while LWF/DWS (ALWS) help through their non-faith-based partners in Nepal. We could call them secular. They work like Oxfam, the Red Cross, Save the Children and others. Christ works through them also.
4. How AFA works: We work differently small scale. We work with the church, for the church and through the church - and do so in 11 countries. The church itself too has expertise. Our love, our prayers, our money empowers it. Christ works through his church in a special way for the healing of the world - including shattered Nepal. It starts with comforting and healing our brothers and sisters themselves. That is exactly what the Christian Church has done generation after generation. We believe in holistic relief work that does not exclude the Gospel as a high priority.
WE EXPECT OUR FIRST PROPER UPDATE FROM NEPAL IN A DAY OR TWO - AND YOU WILL BE INFORMED AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
Welcome to a journey of faith!