Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Pastor Tej Rokka returned Monday night (May 25) from several days in East Nepal for training among the churches. His wife, Bidhya, spoke to more than 60 women, presenting them with gifts delivered by Leanne Bohn and Elaine Fallesen during Mission: Nepal 2015 in March. Tej taught about 45 pastors and church leaders about the making of disciples.
“Let me thank God for what He has done through us in the midst of such a situation,” Tej said, referring to the work that goes on amidst the recovery from devastating earthquakes.
“I know very well how it was possible. We are able to stand and serve others only because of prayer and the support God’s people offered through C4C. I want to say thanks to everyone who are connected and came through Climbing For Christ and C4C Canada. Your each and every drop of prayer, help and encouragement is like precious diamonds and gold in the sight of God, and it has made a great impact.”
Tej reported that the children at the C4C-sponsored orphanages are well. “We are giving them English class and counseling classes at home because schools are still closed,” he said.
There has been work done on the damaged and cracked walls in the orphanage outside of Kathmandu. There is still a need for painting, plumbing, and repairs on the solar power at the house.
Tej has proposed to buy land and build a smaller home for the other orphans living several hours south of Kathmandu. “The house we were renting is risky now,” he said, adding it would cost an estimated $25,000.
He also is eying these projects:
- Buying land and building an earthquake-resistant orphanage in Kathmandu. ($60,000)
- Helping 20 families from the church at Dapcha rebuild homes. ($500 per family)
- Proceeding with plans to send Dapcha church leader Krishna to Bible college in June. ($900 per year for four years)
As Tej says, “Please pray and consider taking part in it.”
Monday, May 25, 2015
“I made a temporary shelter on our church ground,” said Megh Gurung (in photo above taken on May 23 at the Milap church on the outskirts of Kathmandu). “Some of the believers are sleeping there at night.
“Every day there is shaking in the places affected (by earthquakes) and Humla had an earthquake a couple of days ago, too. They were not affected – just a little only.”
Megh is preparing to travel to Langtang to survey the damage in areas where Climbing For Christ has ministered. We are praying also for Humla, which until now was unaffected by the earthquakes that began one month ago. The purchase of land is underway for the construction of the first church in Simikot.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.” – Psalm 30:11 (ESV)
Amidst all of the sadness and suffering in the three weeks since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, countless aftershocks, and a second major quake on Tuesday (May 12), there have been moments of joy and rejoicing in Nepal.
The church at Dapcha – still standing – on May 9.
Pastor Tej Rokka, a Climbing For Christ member in Nepal since 2009 and the founder of C4C-partner ministry SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians), visited the village of Dapcha on May 9. Dapcha is located less than 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Kathmandu. It is where Climbing For Christ built its first Nepali church in 2011.
Tej delivered earthquake relief to members of the church at Dapcha. “Most all lost their houses, though the church is still standing except for one side crack,” Tej said. He distributed tents to 40 families and gave each some money to buy food, masks for protection, and first-aid kits.
“It was a great blessing to them because they were neglected by other relief help due to their faith in Christ,” Tej said. “I am sure there are at least 200 people who directly benefited. Praise the Lord and thank each one who stood for us through C4C. God bless you all.”
Nearly 100 people have donated to Climbing For Christ’s Nepal Earthquake Relief fund.
While Tej was in Dapcha, he was visited by Sumitra – our poster child for ministry in Nepal (CLICK HERE to watch the video: Dapcha Testimony) – who walked from her home outside of Dapcha to the church. There was a time when she could not walk. In 2007, Sumitra was paralyzed and her father carried her to a little house church that was meeting in Dapcha. The handful of believers who existed then prayed over Sumitra and she was healed. Sumitra and her family became Christ followers.
Sumitra with Tej on May 9.
Despite the hardships on everyone in Central Nepal, Sumitra wanted Tej to send greetings to C4C members who have met her on past Mission: Nepal trips.
Tej also met with Dapcha church elder Krishna Lama and the newly ordained pastor Gopal, who C4C sent through Bible college in India the past three years. Gopal, who grew up in Dapcha, sent thanks to those who sponsored his college education. He is now prepared to lead the church while Krishna attends the same Bible college. A request has been made of C4C to pay for Krishna’s education at a cost of US$900 per year. Gopal also needs US$100 a month in support to pastor the church.
Krishna and his wife, left, with Gopal and Tej in Dapcha on May 9.
The church in Nepal is not standing still during the earthquake crisis. It is providing assistance and working toward a brighter future.
“I am wordless to praise God for how great and mighty He is,” Tej said. “He does impossible things and turns them possible. I want to thank Him as well as C4C for the partnership with SARA.
“Thank you for your prayers and support, especially the relief help.”
You can help by donating to Climbing For Christ, c/o Nepal Earthquake Relief, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290 USA. Or CLICK HERE and give online via PayPal, and send an email to info@ClimbingForChrist.org to earmark your online donation for Nepal Earthquake Relief.
In Canada, donations also are tax-deductible. Make checks payable to The Great Commission Foundation, and on the memo line add Climbing For Christ CANADA (Nepal Earthquake Relief). Mail your support to: The Great Commission Foundation, #3 – 1335 Trans Canada Way SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1B 1J1. Or give online at http://tgcfcanada.org/donate. Mark your contribution: “Climbing For Christ CANADA (Nepal Earthquake Relief).”
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal at 12:50 p.m. local time. This major quake occurred about 50 miles east-northeast of Kathmandu in the region of Mount Everest.
“This afternoon I was standing on the way and it started shaking everywhere and damaged many houses and killed many people, too,” Climbing For Christ member Megh Gurung said from Kathmandu. “We are safe, but what will be going on here? I don’t know.”
Megh spoke about the fear that is gripping the people in Nepal. “Every day was shaking on the earth,” he said 17 days after the initial 7.8-magnitude earthquake that claimed about 8,000 lives.
“I am saddened in this time. Many people are suffering and troubled by the earthquake. No stop is coming every day. It’s a terrible time. Please pray for us.”
Pastor Tej Rokka of C4C-partner SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) ministries said he was driving when the earthquake began. “God protected me from hitting people,” he said, because “all of a sudden everyone jumped over my car and I had to somehow control it.”
Tej’s family and our sponsored orphans are safe. “Though many houses nearby collapsed and people died and many are missing,” he said.
“Our outreach team from the Bible school we just took to Dapcha (where C4C funded the building of a church in 2011) is still out of contact. I trust in the Lord they are fine. I tried to call everyone but no connection.
“It is truly fearful and all (the people) are outside their houses. We have no other option except putting our whole trust in God alone. Please keep praying for us.”
Sunday, May 10, 2015
When Megh Gurung and his wife Bhim accepted Christ as their Savior in their home village of Phulkharka “so many people came to us and persecuted us,” Megh recalled. He has told the story many times on Climbing For Christ expeditions – how one day villagers came and dragged Bhim through the streets.
“She said, ‘Remember Matthew 5:44,’” Megh said about Bhim. “‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them despite what they do to you and how they persecute you.’
“We gave forgiveness to them for what they did to my family and our believers in the mountain (in the Dhading district). Now those that were persecuting us are now worshiping to the Lord.”
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
– Matthew 5:44 (ESV)
The village and villagers that Megh and Bhim forgave have also received their assistance in the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25. Nearly 8,000 people died and the damage done (physically and psychologically) is inestimable.
“I am taking some relief to the Phulakharka village again, would you help a little for those villages please?” Megh asked. “Last week Sunday (May 3), I and our church distributed food stuff in the Phulkharka VDC (village development committee) – three little villages only. They are expecting from the churches.
“I took permission from the chief office for the distribution. After they received food stuff, they were glad at that time.”
This physical relief is opening doors spiritually. Hindu and Buddhist people are seeing the love of Jesus revealed in the person of His church. C4C has provided some funding for assistance through Megh. More is needed.
We are attempting to get Megh back to the Langtang area as well. Hundreds were killed and hundreds more are missing and unaccounted for in an area destroyed by avalanches and landslides. Entire villages have disappeared and search-and-rescue teams have been plagued by more mudslides.
“There is no way to get to Gatlang, Golchung and Tatopani,” Megh said, referring to villages C4C reached in 2012 on an evangelic expedition. “Where we trekked along the villages not any houses are standing. All fell down to the ground.”
Megh is trying to contact people we met – and led to Christ – in Gatlang. We will need several thousand dollars to provide relief assistance in this area, and also permission from the district office to distribute aid. “Government policy is very bad in Nepal,” Megh said. “Please pray for me.”
In the meantime, Pastor Tej Rokka of partner ministry SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) is visiting Dapcha and other areas east and north of Kathmandu. Climbing For Christ funded the building of the SARA church in Dapcha – our first building in Nepal.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters working on the ground in Nepal. Help us if you can.
Friday, May 8, 2015
Gatlang village in Langtang in January 2012. Reportedly this village was destroyed by the April 25 earthquake. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
We are praying for an opportunity to survey the destruction and need along the Tamang Heritage trail in Langtang, where a Climbing For Christ team trekked during Mission: Nepal 2012 (January-February). Nepali member Megh Gurung, who has been serving in the Dhading district where he grew up, will be sent – if possible – to the destroyed Rasuwa district north of Kathmandu near the Chinese border.
Megh spoke to a man at the guesthouse where our team stayed in Sybrubesi, the jump-off point for the 2012 trek. “He said all the houses are gone in Gatlang, Golchung, Thuman, and Timure, too,” Megh reported. “So many people died – local and foreigners in the Langang village (farther east). I think [there is] more need in those places. But how to get there? I am praying for that.”
C4C trekked to Gatlang, Thuman and Timure, leading at least nine people to Jesus in 2012. Our hearts ache for those we were unable to reach at that time – or after. We pray for the lost as well as those whose hearts were captured by Christ’s love.
Funding continues to be received from members and friends. In turn, we send this to our brothers in Nepal, who are on the ground ministering in ways that outsiders could not. We ask for your prayers and any other support the Spirit leads you to give.
The house where Megh Gurung grew up in Phulkharka – as we reported (below) on Wednesday. (Photo by Megh Gurung)
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Pastor Tej Rokka says some sense of normalcy is returning to Kathmandu 12 days after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal’s world. The goal now is to rebuild damaged lives before the monsoon season begins in a few weeks.
Tej with relief supplies.
“I am pleased to say that God has given me an opportunity to serve Him and His people,” Tej said, reporting the distribution of tents, mattresses, facemasks, and food to some 500 believers and non-believers. “We also distributed medicine for 120 families. Praise God for all who gave freely to relief us.”
Climbing For Christ has provided funding to the relief effort and now is contributing to rebuilding – both in and out of Kathmandu.
His and hers tents provided for the children.
We rejoice in the news that the children at Tej’s C4C-sponsored orphanage are all well. “I am glad that our children at the orphanage got two big tents,” Tej said. “We have started repairing and rebuilding our orphanage.”
The family of Tej’s wife Bidhya is being comforted as they attempt to recover from the loss of life. At least two family members were among the nearly 8,000 killed in the earthquake.
We ask C4C members and supporters to pray for those traumatized by the quake. “There are still small shakings,” Tej said about the after-shocks that can measure above magnitude-4.0. Donations are also still needed for rebuilding and as more destruction is realized in outlying areas. Tej will be visiting the C4C-funded church at Dapcha – among other places – in the week ahead.
“Dear friends,” he said, “your help has great meaning to us and it is so accountable to God’s sight.”
Update from Langtang: The popular trekking area of Langtang Valley was devastated by landslides and avalanches after the April 25 earthquake. Hundreds are dead and hundreds more missing. The area our Mission: Nepal 2012 evangelized was not as severely affected. Megh Gurung, who guided that team and several other C4C expeditions into remote areas, said he “heard Thuman village also damaged.” How badly, we do not know.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Megh Gurung, a Climbing For Christ member whose immediate family, house and church in Kathmandu were unharmed by the magnitude-7.8 earrthquake, has returned to his home village of Phulkharka in the affected Dhading district west and north of Kathmandu.
“My house is disappeared now,” Megh said today about the place where he grew up.
Thank God none of his extended family was hurt. His mother, brother and sister’s families still live in Phulkharka – the place where Megh came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Wrecked houses in Phulkharka, Dhading district, where at least four church structures were destroyed. (Photo by Megh Gurung)
Megh is delivering aid. “I took some food packages for the people and they were so happy,” he said. “They were so happy. We distributed to Christians and non-Christians, too. I announced this relief came from the church and shared the Good News for the people.”
The church is shining through the darkness cast over this predominantly Hindu and Buddhist country in the wake of a disaster that has claimed at least 8,000 lives. We continue to pray and raise funds for relief while our Nepali members are on the crumbled ground ministering to the many in need. Please lift them up help us if you can financially
Sunday, May 3, 2015
The plastic tarp that has served as home to the SARA orphans since their orphanage was damaged in the April 25 earthquake. (Photo by Tej Rokka)
Funds are being raised by Climbing For Christ to repair the orphanage. To help, please send donations to Climbing For Christ, c/o Nepal Earthquake Relief, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290. Or CLICK HERE and give online via PayPal. Follow up your PayPal donation with an email to info@ClimbingForChrist.org stating that the gift is intended for earthquake relief. Dhanyabad (thank you)!
Saturday, May 2, 2015
It has been one week since a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake changed life in Nepal. “We are safe and preparing for the help to the people,” Climbing For Christ member Megh Gurung said via Facebook on Thursday.
Megh, whose Kathmandu-based Milap (“reconciliation”) church was not damaged in the quake, and Pastor Tej Rokka of C4C-partner SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) ministries have been busy for the past week helping those inside the body and those outside. SARA properties (the C4C-sponsored orphanage and many churches) were badly damaged, and there was a loss of life among family members.
Climbing For Christ has been raising funding for relief aid and began providing this support on Friday. (See below for how you can contribute to Nepal Earthquake Relief.)
Trekking in Langtang in January 2012. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
Our concern has grown for those outside of Kathmandu, especially in the Langtang region north of the capital near the Chinese border. Mission: Nepal 2012 (Jan.-Feb.) included a five-day trek in Langtang. Sketchy reports from the region in recent days speak of horrific destruction, including villages buried by avalanches, hundreds dead, and the majority of houses destroyed. Our prayers are directed for those we encountered in this area, whose memory weighs on our hearts.
One story from our time in Langtang was shared in The Climbing Way (Volume 24, Spring-Summer 2012). CLICK HERE to read “Here comes the Son.”
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
(9:55 p.m. Kathmandu time
“Thank you very much for prayers afforded to help and deep concern for us,” said Pastor Tej Rokka, a Climbing For Christ member and the founder of SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) ministries.
“So far we are fine physically. Children (at the orphanage) are still under the plastic cover. Slowly, shops and other things are beginning to open and people are trying to comfort themselves. I am helping believers with basic needs, like food, tents, mattresses, masks, etc. I praise God for funds that you are raising. I am grateful to C4C and all the team for standing with us in this situation.”
We asked Tej if we should send people – as well as funding – to help those in need. “I appreciate your thought to send a team to help the orphanage,” Tej said, “but right now I think it is too risky for members due to water shortage and inconvenience in so many ways. So please pray from there and we will work here to get things right.
“Please thank everyone who are praying for us and supporting us in this time. Thank you for loving us so much.”
We ask everyone to keep praying for Nepal and help us if you can with Nepal Earthquake Relief.
Monday, April 27, 2015 (11:15 p.m. Kathmandu time)
CLICK HERE to read Pastor Tej’s report “The need for Nepal is great.”
Monday, April 27, 2015 (8:20 p.m. Kathmandu time)
Another day has passed in Nepal – with the death toll continuing to rise (nearly 4,000 at last count) and news from more remote villages sketchy at best. When asked how Monday went for him and those close to him, Pastor Tej Rokka replied:
“It was a first-time experience. It was a dark and black day in our history. Fearful. Tragedy. End of life. Without hope. It also broke all barriers and brought together all castes, color and gender. Feeling desperate need of help. Even we do not want to remember it. That’s how we felt.
“As a child of God I consider it as a fulfillment of the word of God. God is preparing us for greater challenges.”
For now, the challenge will be rebuilding: the Savior Alone Redeems Asians (SARA) orphanage, which is supported by Climbing For Christ; 10 of the 40 SARA churches; homes of brothers and sisters in Christ, and unforeseen needs. The estimates are only just beginning and already in the tens of thousands of dollars. We’ll share more about this later. On Sunday, after announcing the need for Nepal Earthquake Relief, C4C received US$1,500.
Please pray and help us if you can
Sunday, April 26, 2015 (9 p.m. Kathmandu time
Megh Gurung, a Climbing For Christ member and participant in Mission: Nepal since 2012, is alive and well following Saturday’s horrific earthquake. “We all are well,” he said about his family. “My house is very well – no cracks, nothing broken.
“Some people from our church lost their houses.”
Megh shared some of the many terrible stories circulating – through word of mouth, social media, and general media – as more than 2,300 are reported dead so far. He spoke of a church located near Pastor Tej Rokka’s that collapsed and claimed 75 lives. “My countryside, where I was born and baptized, one pastor died,” Megh said.
Megh lives on the outskirts of Kathmandu in a hilly area that overlooks Kathmandu Valley. Tej lives across the city in the heart of the earthquake damage. He and his wife were ill before the earthquake so now they are dealing with sickness as well as tragedy, including the loss of several members of their extended family. Tej had to have those family members cremated today.
The orphanage Tej oversees and C4C supports – located outside of Kathmandu – experienced some structural damage, but still is standing. (There may have been social-media reports seen by some in error that the orphanage had been destroyed. It was NOT destroyed.)
Tej asked for prayer. We also need funding to assist with reconstruction. “We need at least four tents: two for boys and two for girls,” Tej said. The children at the SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) orphanage are spending their second night outside under tarp for fear of returning inside the building. Tej said it was beginning to rain, making the situation worse.
“We need special solar lights,” Tej said. “Need to fix the house and solar, water and light system. So far one week of school is off. Need to take the children for special counseling.”
The children, like many in Nepal’s capital and surrounding areas, have been traumatized by the quake and after-shocks, including one that registered 6.7 on Sunday. This quake is the strongest to hit the region since a magnitude-8.1 earthquake centered near Mount Everest in 1934 killed more than 10,000 people. Saturday’s quake also has caused major loss of life on Everest – with at least 17 climbers reported dead so far
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Nearly 2 million people live in Kathmandu.
“An earthquake with magnitude 7.5 occurred near Pokhara, Nepal at 06:11:25.80 UTC on Apr 25, 2015.” – U.S. Geological Survey
This earthquake has caused massive destruction and loss of life in Kathmandu, about 50 miles from the epicenter.
6:36 p.m. Kathmandu time
Pastor Tej Rokka, a Climbing For Christ member who lives and leads a ministry (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) in Nepal, called to update us and ask for prayers. The children at the C4C-supported orphanage are OK, but scared and unable to go back inside the building that houses them outside of Kathmandu. Most people are staying out of buildings because of after-shocks. Tej’s church, which C4C helped build, has been damaged. His home also has been damaged.
5:55 p.m. Kathmandu time
We have heard from Pastor Tej Rokka of partner ministry SARA (Savior Alone Redeems Asians) in Kathmandu. He responded to our texts asking if he and his family were OK, texting at 5:55 p.m. local time: “Hi. Pray. Lots of damage.”
“I am in the hospital now,” Tej texted at 6:05 p.m. local time. “Lots of damage. Bidhya (Tej’s wife) sister-in-law died. Church cracked. Home cracked and solar (power) completely damaged. Children are outside (of orphanage). None hurt.”
11:56 a.m. Kathmandu time
Earthquake occurred in Nepal.