Earthquake Devastates Nepal
UPDATE 5/12 -- The Nepal Assemblies of God continues to conduct relief efforts among a growing number of towns and villages in the aftermath of a second major earthquake (magnitude 7.3) following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the southern Asian nation April 25.
At least 39 people were killed and more than 1,100 injured in the May 12 quake that struck eastern Nepal near Mount Everest. Repeated aftershocks are forcing the nation into a state of unrelenting high alert.
Greg Mundis, executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions, has been in regular contact with AG personnel in the region since April 25, and immediately made contact following news of the second quake.
“We need to pray that God will uphold our personnel spiritually, emotionally and physically,” Mundis says. “The constant anxiety about another potential quake weighs heavily on everyone who is working so hard to provide relief.”
“Many believers in Nepal are among the injured and bereaved,” says one AG relief team member. “Yet, they are on the forefront of sharing their resources and the gospel with grieving members of their communities. God is using national church leaders as well as laypeople in local villages to effectively reach out in this time of crisis.”
Since the initial April 25 disaster, U.S. Assemblies of God churches have responded to appeals with generous support to AG World Missions. A Convoy of Hope team helped with initial assessment and especially focused on coordinating relief in the hard-hit community of Lamosangu.
Steadily escalating reports now place the number of dead since April 25 at more than 8,000 people with at least 18,000 more injured. Masses of Nepalese are homeless, with more than half a million homes either completely destroyed or damaged.
“My home district of Sindhuplachowk is the worst hit,” reports one Nepal AG leader, “with nearly 3,000 people killed. The stone house where my 91-year-old mother lived collapsed on her. Miraculously, she survived.”
About 350 tarpaulin sheets have been sent to Sindhuplachowk to give temporary shelter to families there, since nearly the entire village was leveled.
The church leader is helping to coordinate the efforts of 32 AG churches in offering relief to villages throughout the immediate area.
“We have been able to send relief materials to 15 villages so far,” he reports, “and 40 to 50 volunteers are serving daily from our local churches.”
As relief projects become more established, the AG leader says, about 350 Nepal AG churches in central Nepal are expected to become relief centers with their members volunteering to distribute relief supplies.
Relief and recovery efforts are planned in three phases.
First, teams will address immediate critical needs of food and tarps for the next four weeks.
Second, as funds are available, teams will offer intermediate food and shelter for 60 days to a projected group of 2,500 families.
Third, a long-term response will focus on more than 100 churches damaged or destroyed among the 1,250 churches of the Nepal Assemblies of God, and whatever else can be done effectively.
AG World Missions continues to raise relief funds to address Nepal’s critical need. To give online click here, or call 877.840.4800 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST) or 866.470.9514 (24/7). You can also mail your gift to AG World Missions / 1445 N. Boonville Ave. / Springfield, MO 65802. Please designate “Nepal—AGWM Crisis Response Acct. #891167 (68)” in the memo line of your check.
For updates on relief efforts and prayer needs, check with AG World Missions Facebook and Twitter as well as Pray4Nepal.org.
— Scott Harrup