Here we go again…
We praise the Lord for His continuing protection and sufficient grace. Yesterday, the ground beneath us shook as another major earthquake of 7.4 magnitude and several aftershocks hit. It was about 12:50PM. Levi, Isahak, and I were on the mountain in our village.
We were visiting our neighbors and trying to determine how we can help them. Many of them have already built bamboo shelters with metal roofing. Some of them are very nice and secure with locks on the doors.
Some are living in Red Cross tents given out by Nepal Army. We talked with Prakash, a man who has visited our church a couple of times. He is living with 18 other people in one of these eight-man tents. He showed us their tent. Other than being very hot in the sun, we also noticed they are not holding up very well under the heavy rains we have had. They will not be sufficient in monsoon.
Prakash also showed us the home of one of the people we took to the hospital (see attached picture). Two days before the first earthquake, the young woman had her appendix removed and was laying on her bed recovering from the surgery. She almost made it out the door when the floor above her collapsed on her. Prakash was the one to dig her out. He informed us yesterday that she was not seriously hurt and was recovering well.
We also saw some still living under tarps. One man we talked to told us that they do not have the money to buy materials for a better shelter. When I asked him how we could help him, he was not sure how to answer. He said that he did not own the land where they put the tarp and, if he builds a more permanent shelter, he thinks the landowner may kick him off his property. He said, either way, the neighbors would be angry with him because he got special treatment.
Trying to understand how we can help is difficult right now, but we are trusting God to give us open doors.
We traveled from there higher up to visit a elderly couple that we knew lived alone. We were pleased to hear that some of their neighbors came together and built them a shelter. As we sat in front of their broken house, the old man told us how he got the money to build it. “In the village, when a man works for a landowner for more than 25 years,” he said, “it is customary for that landowner to provide the land and money for them to build a home. This is how we were able to build this house. And now it is gone. We worked most of our lives for this house. This was all we had.” Then, suddenly, the ground started shaking and pieces of brick and mortar began to fall from the front part of the house which was still standing. We were sitting right below it! So Levi and Isahak carried the old woman and I helped the old man to escape. As we got out into the open field, the old man was calling to his wife saying, “Come here woman! If we are going to die, we should die together.” Thankfully, no one was hurt. The man thanked us and said, “If you had not been here to help us, we might have been hurt or killed.” Please pray for this elderly couple. They know the gospel, but still do not understand their need to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. We will keep visiting them.
I was thankful to be able to call my wife and learn that her and our children were all okay. Our earthquake alarm did its job again and gave Mom and the little ones a few seconds’ warning to get out of the house. My oldest son, Ben, was on the second floor taking a nap. He rolled off his bed and crouched down on the floor. Their study on earthquakes last week helped them to be mentally prepared.
Praise the Lord, our home seems to remain unaffected by these earthquakes and aftershocks. We still have water, electricity, and internet. We also have our two dogs, Chief and Momo, to guard our home and keep us company. God has been very good to us. Though the ground shaking thing is getting really old, the children are getting pretty used to it. Even Gabriel isn’t afraid like he was before. Thank you for praying.