There is definitely a great need where I work. I have attached a video of my village for you. We are located on the very North edge of Kathmandu Valley. We just started working this area in September 2014. We were in the middle of our morning meeting when the initial earthquake struck. We did not have time to get out, so we hunkered down while the building swayed and twisted like a pretzel. Afterwards, we ran out into the street and more aftershocks came. This was my first time feeling the ground beneath me sway - a very unnerving experience. We began to hear screaming and saw people running in terror. There were five of us guys who were at the meeting including me and my son. Together, we ran down to the old part of the village where we knew would have suffered the most damage. The video attached is of this area. What's left of the last home seen in the video is of a family who just started coming to our meetings. Their 20-year-old daughter came for the first time that day. If she had not come, she might have been buried in that rubble. There were five people that died right in that area. I personally pulled an older lady out myself - an experience I hope I never have to repeat. I was the only one with a 4wd vehicle, so I spent the rest of the day making trips back and forth and taking our injured to the closest hospital. It was very chaotic at the hospital. They had set up a triage in the parking area. There were hundreds of victims.
Having just happened, these people are not in great need yet, but they will be. The food will soon run out. They are very poor - eating what is grown in their own gardens. It is doubtful they have the money to rebuild. I can tell you for sure they will need help. I went back to the village yesterday with some tools planning to help with cleanup. However, no one is doing anything yet. The media is telling them to wait because of all the aftershocks and other earthquakes. There are also rumors of a larger earthquake coming. So everyone is afraid. They are just sitting around under makeshift tents.
If you start a relief fund and need boots on the ground to appropriate those funds, I will commit to doing everything I can. I know several others. I will talk to them when I can and ask them if they can help with this also.
Our family is fine. Thankfully our home suffered very little damage...
Undisclosed Recipient in Nepal
In my last update, I said I thought we were moving into the next phase of relief here. Well, I was wrong. I have done my best to give a clear picture of the situation here, but some things are hard to predict or understand.
Today was a very busy day. We were able to deliver two truck loads of food to three different villages where no aid has reached yet. We loaded and unloaded over 7200 pounds of rice along with lentils, cooking oil, beaten rice, noodles, and crackers. It brought smiles on the faces of many people, including mine. I would like to personally thank those that have shared with us in this ministry. You are making a difference.
The last village we went to was Nallu. I spoke of this village a few days ago. Surviving there is a 97 year old Christian man who lost his home. Before we left, his family said he was sick and asked us to come pray over him. It is quite a hike to his place (center top of hill in attached picture). When we arrived, we found out that he had a fever and had stopped eating. He looked very bad, so we brought him down and took him to the hospital.
Also while in Nallu, we received a phone call from one of the College students. She told us that she had just returned from her village and the people were in desperate need. She said they were out of food and only drinking water. It is another remote village near the China border in Northeast Nepal. We are going to load up and try to take them as much food as possible. She said the road was really bad. Please pray for our safety.
As I said before, we are also seeking God's will about building temporary shelters. The plastic tarps are not going to be sufficient during monsoon. They need something more durable. We are looking at building a Quonset hut style structure like the one in the attached picture. It only costs about $100 and takes only about 30 minutes to assemble. The bamboo shelter is approximately the same cost, but takes much longer time.
Over the last several days, we had been dealing with emergency needs in other villages that we were made aware of. Relief aid is now reaching some of the affected areas. It seems we are moving into the next phase of relief work, which is preparing an intermediate shelter that will withstand the wind and heavy rains of Nepal's annual monsoon season. This rainy season should begin in about a month.
Today we returned back to Sangla to observe how things were going. Food and supplies have not been an issue in Sangla because it is not far from the city where they are easily accessible. The problem is their inefficient shelter. Some people are living under plastic tarps and others are still living in a old chicken house. Neither of these options will be sufficient for the rainy season. The rebuilding of homes will likely not begin until after monsoon (September/October), so it is important to build a shelter that is durable and lasting.
We met with some of the men to try to understand if there was a plan in motion and how we could help. We expressed our desire to help and asked the men who we should talk to. They said they would try to assemble some of the leaders so we could meet. I was reminded again today that things don't work here like we Americans are accustomed to. I must be patient.
We were told that relief aid arrived a couple days before and bags of rice were handed out. While we were there, an army truck pulled up loaded with tarps and supplies. Soldiers and a police taskforce were going from site to site with picks and shovels to assess the damage.
After leaving Sangla, we returned back to the city and visited Bharat's father. We were told that he is slowly improving. His face lit up when we walked in the room. I could tell he was tired of the hospital bed and ready to go back to his home, though. Please pray for his quick recovery.
Yesterday was a very productive day. We travelled to Futungdanda, the village of one of the College students, (Bharat). All of the homes were destroyed and some of his family had passed away. Surviving was his father who went back into their building to rescue a disabled person after the initial earthquake. However, an aftershock caused a wall to collapse and strike him in the legs. One of his sons then ran in and rescued him and the disabled. Five days later, Bharat called Mr Bijay and said his father's legs looked very bad, he was in a lot of pain, and they could not get any help. He also said they were almost out of food.
As I said in my last update, Mr. Athem Khiang and Mr. John Paul Moses M.D., who are working with Operation Renewed Hope, went with us on the trip. It was providence that worked in this need.
We had to go up a very steep road to the top of a mountain, leave our jeeps, and hike in about a kilometer to reach the village. Some of the men met us at the jeeps to carry the heavy bags of rice. As soon as we reached the village, Dr. John went to work. He was able to assess and splint both of Bharat's father's ankles so we could safely transport him back to the car. As we expected, many others began to seek his help with their injuries.
One man was part of a group of men doing the traditional Hindu grieving ritual where one must shave his head, wear sackcloth, and for 15 days cannot be touched. This man had hurt his shoulder, but would not let the doctor examine him for fear of breaking tradition. But after Mr. Athem and Mr. John encouraged him, he agreed to be examined. After the doctor treated him, another man from that group confessed to Mr. Bijay, "I am tired of doing this ritual. It is boring and worthless."
A few hours seemed only like a few minutes, but we had to go. Night began to fall and a storm was moving in. We were so thankful that the Mr. John was able to help everyone who came forward. We were also thankful that we were brought safely there and back without incident. We took Bharat's father to a hospital here in Kathmandu and he is being treated.
I cannot thank you enough for your support. The more I travel outside the Valley to the villages, the more overwhelmed I become. The devastation is immense and we are only few.
Continue to hold the ropes for us as we try to serve faithfully.
Jason is home... New trip tomorrow for him to Kaphaldata village to assess the situation and take food. Please keep praying and giving. The needs are becoming more clear. Consider giving to the need.
Today, Jason traveled to Melamchi with three other men. Two members from our church and one of the Bible college teachers. They helped Durga Acharya to prepare a makeshift shelter because his home was destroyed. Many of the homes in this village area were destroyed. With monsoon fast approaching they need shelter. They also need food.
On an encouraging note, as Jason was driving to reach the 30 minute long walk path to Durga's remote home, children recognized him. They yelled, "Jason Sir! Jason Sir!" Jason took the time to take some pictures and love on them.
The main town we are trying to reach
Where our undisclosed contacts lives