AFA Nepal Update No 4

Urgent Message from the President of AFA

Overwhelmed by need and shaken by the daily terror experienced by our brothers and sisters in Nepal, I lost my composure. I lost my calm. I don't know what to do. I wake up in the middle of the night seeing in front of my own eyes the agony of Nepal. Only days ago I said, "We are primarily not a relief organisation. We have highly important mission work to do in 11 countries. I am not calling for a second round of donations."

Now I am stunned and stumped. Daily communications reveal to me the bleeding hearts of countless Nepalese. Writes Pastor Mukunda Sharma - our Number One person in Nepal - from the NELC (Nepal Evangelical Lutheran Church), "As I write this, tears roll down my face. Aftershocks from our second earthquake last Wednesday still rattle us, last night once again. How terrible it is! Please pray for us! My family and I slept in the open last night. My own daughter now, traumatized, stopped talking. She just sits there alone, silent, obviously psychologically damaged. My wife is absolutely terrified. 

I am a social activist, a pastor and disaster specialist. I have to care for others - my church, many people. I must coordinate the relief work, move around, respond to the needs of churches and work with the government. Difficult to cope. But thank God for his mercy, love and grace: I and my family are alive - and He gave me one more day to live. Thank you, brother August, that you and your people stand with us here in Nepal - helping us, praying for us and crying out to God for us."

From Myanmar I just received this message in view of Nepal:

''Only God can turn ...
a mess into a milestone,
a test into a testimony,
a trial into a triumph,
a victim into a victory. ''

I feel helpless. Many of our AFA supporters have not even heard yet of our NepalAppeal. For they have no email - and we no money, staff and time to even tell them. We have more than enough to do without Nepal! If only a small portion of the large amount of money collected in Australia by Lutherans from Lutherans could go to these crying and dying fellow Christians in Nepal!

I really don't know where to go from here. In view of requests of sending more money urgently (if we can) we consider right now whether to clean out our AFA accounts (covering needs for all AFA projects everywhere) and just send it all to Nepal. We probably can't do that but what shall we do?

Somehow they are hoping - the whole NELC, many churches in fact - that we can send them another $35,000 as soon as possible. For as one of the pastors wrote, No one was helping us. Your help helps us to be a light in the community in such desperate times.

As the public forgets about Nepal, the media has moved on and journalists are leaving Nepal, the truly horrifying dimensions of the disaster only become known now: more than 15,000 dead with huge numbers injured and homeless.

Donations can be made by cheque or money orders to ‘Asia Mission and Relief Fund’ or by direct bank transfers. 

Please earmark, NEPAL RELIEF. Please give us your name and particulars if we don't have them. Donations in most cases are not tax-deductible - the same as most other church/mission related gifts going overseas.