Churches rise from the rubble in Nepal
By Gary Fallesen
, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Feeling the earth move and seeing the reaction it caused in Kathmandu nearly a year after the devastating earthquake showed us how far from recovery the Nepali people appear to be. It was only a 4.5-magnitude tremblor, but it was the 445th aftershock of 4.0 or more – seemingly constant reminders of the carnage caused on April 29, 2015.
There were other reminders observed by our Mission: Nepal 2016 (Part 1) team:
People wait in Kathmandu’s tent city with empty fuel canisters sitting beside the road. (Photo by Elaine Fallesen, Mission: Nepal 2016)
- A tent city on the property of one of the city’s most exclusive hotels.
- News that much of the billions of dollars in international relief has not been distributed by a government more interested in writing a new constitution and then paralyzed by a fuel blockade by their overbearing neighbors to the south.
- Stories of remote mountain villages still living in rubble.
But God has used our much-smaller thousands of dollars in relief and recovery to improve lives.
In fact, while Hindus and Buddhists tried to blame Christians and the growth of the church for the earthquake that killed more than 8,000 (“the gods must be angry,” they said), the truth is Christians were the first to provide help.
Even a year later we are seeing the results: These three churches were rebuilt in that Himalayan nation with funding from Climbing For Christ.
Aarukhat church in Gumdi village, Dhading district. (Photos provided by Megh Gurung)
“It was collapsed by the quake and nothing was there,” said Megh Gurung, the long-time Climbing For Christ member and ministry partner who was approached for help by each of these villages. “They shifted (location), bought the land, and built the church with tin on the roof and around (the building), too. After building the church they are worshiping the Lord, and giving thanks to C4C.”
We thank the more than 100 donors who contributed to our Nepal Earthquake Relief (and later recovery) Fund last year. We were blessed to raise nearly US$30,000. This went toward rebuilding churches, orphanages, homes, and providing for so many daily needs from the days after the earthquake until this day. The last of these funds (more than $5,400) went to Megh in February for the reconstruction of these and other churches.
Mugling church in Darehok village, Chitwan district.
“This church was destroyed by the quake,” Megh said on April 12, the one-year anniversary of the second major earthquake that struck Nepal – a 7.3-magnitude quake that came three weeks after the initial 7.8 quake. “It is almost completed. At this time they are doing service inside the building.”
Church at Phulkharka village, Dhading district.
“This building is where I grew up on the mountain side,” Megh said. “Now this one is almost completed and they are doing the church service in the building.”
Megh will be returning to his home village soon to help his family rebuild his old house. He’ll also use this time to train people in the church. People trained to reach out and help others – physically and spiritually.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)