Nepal is broken. This 30-million-people country has been brought to its knees. Yesterday a tourist destination, an adventure hot spot, now a pile of rubble – land of broken dreams and dashed hopes.
It's nearly forgotten already. The pictures on the TV have stopped as the cameras and journalists have left the country. And so the charity dollar is drying up also. People respond emotionally based. Nepal? That was yesterday - off the agenda now.
But in some ways things are actually getting worse now for many of the people who have survived the first earthquake shock. Now is the time when depression, hopelessness, defeatism and grief sets in seriously. A short term emergency can easily turn into a life long burden or even tragedy. That's why AFA funds are also used for Bible-based counselling programs.
The Word from the Tent
For nearly one month the very leader and organizer of our relief work, Pastor Mukunda Sharma, had to survive in a tent - with his house not safe enough to return to. This is what he writes:
Yesterday at 14:47, 4.4 Richter scale earthquake (aftershock). Still in the tent. Feeling bad . How long will this continue? Mentally so depressing and disturbing. No energy. ONLY THE GRACE OF GOD can get us through. But one good thing, my daughter (who had just sat there, motionless, not talking) has started to talk again. Countless people are psychologically damaged now.
The true statistics: 9,000 dead, they say, official count, but insiders advise us: The true number is more like 16,000. The government keeps this quiet his its own reasons.
Interview on Radio FM: I had a call by 'Good News FM' for a live interview. Here I could share openly about the relief work we are doing. It was broadcast all over the world. It was a very good opportunity. After that I had a call from the Ministry of Information and we communicate with him now. After all that I got calls from many places. We are limited in our resources but we have a God who has unlimited resources. He is our provider.
AFA Nepal Action
$58,350 have so far been sent to Nepal by AFA - more than we had ever dreamt of being able to do. It's nearly $45,000US. It has empowered Christian Churches in their pain to become agents of light and hope in the district of Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley and further afield in the country side: in Sindhupalchok and Ghorka districts.
Please note: Yes, it's relief work for the churches and through the churches in order to relieve their pain, but it is also highly co-ordinated with other relief work done - and also note this: non-Christians benefit also. Our people are experienced and professional and are supported by many volunteers: in Bhaktapur alone by a team of 50 or more.
The response of the Australian Lutheran community is amazing both to the ALWS Appeal and to our appeal as well. The efforts of all of us are continuing as are the needs in Nepal.
Letter of Thanks from the Church President
Dear Pastor Fricke/AFA,
Greetings in Jesus’ name! Thank you for all you are doing for the NELC (Nepal Evangelical Lutheran Church) and the people of Nepal generally. I am grateful to the AFA team. I have visited twice the working areas of the NELC/TRANSFORMATION NEPAL relief teams. The teams have been doing hard work and good work for the people in this terrible situation. So you can see that the NELC is happy and supportive of this program.
Again, thank you, AFA, for your love and support. May God use you mightily for His purpose!
Rev. Joseph Soren, President NELC
THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE, YOUR FAITH, YOUR ACTION.
Donations can continue to be made by cheques or money orders to ‘Asia Mission and Relief Fund’ or by direct bank transfers. Please earmark, NEPAL RELIEF.