On 25 April 2015, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal, killing more than 8,000 people and injuring almost 20,000. A second major earthquake occured in Nepal on 12 May 2015 causing further destruction.
Shortly after the first quake in April, we received an update from our colleagues at the Nepal Bible Society. Thankfully they and their families are safe – and remain so after the quake in May.
As has been widely reported in the news, buildings have been substantially damaged and many are unsafe to enter due to the continuing aftershocks. Tents are being used for shelter until it is safe for people to return to their homes or what is left of their home. According to Nepal’s home ministry, so far half a million people have been displaced.
There is no power and mobile phone reception has been severely disrupted. However, through a telephone conversation, we received an update from Tej Jirel, General Secretary of the Nepal Bible Society. In summary, he said:
- Bible Society staff and their families are safe, though they are spending the nights outside in the cold and rain, and in shock;
- From outside, Bible House looks intact but inside the building there seems to be substantial damage. It is too dangerous at present to fully assess the damage. Further damage was caused by the second earthquake with large cracks now visible across the exterior. It is thought that the Bible Society will be unable to work from the building again.
- People need water, food, shelter and medicine. Thankfully the main airport remains open but there is a lack of expertise and people to distribute the aid. The Bible Society is using its church and volunteer network to help with this.
- As soon as it is possible, the Bible Society will begin to facilitate the replacement of Bibles for churches and Christian communities who have lost so much. They expect there to be a demand for Bible portions to provide comfort to those who are grieving as well as Scriptures that address the trauma of living through this devastating earthquake and the effects on daily life.
Please pray for this situation:
- For comfort and healing to the millions of people affected by these earthquakes;
- For the relief effort meeting the needs of the people – reaching everyone who is in need;
- For the Bible playing a central part in restoring the nation.