On Saturday April 25th an earthquake struck outside of the city of Katmandu, Nepal. Latest updates and information on ways the BWM will respond are below.
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Donations to help support Moravian Disaster Response (MDR) as it partners in the recovery can be made online by going to moravianmission.org/give. Please use the online giving form, and in comments designate the Donation for “Moravian Disaster Response.”
Donations can also be sent directly to the Board of World Mission at the address below. In the memo line of any checks please write “Moravian Disaster Response.”
Board of World Mission
PO Box 1245
Bethlehem, PA 18016
Canadian Churches may send donations to the following address, and they will be sent along:
Moravian Church in Canada
600 Acadia Drive SE
Calgary, AB T2J 0B8
NOTE: We are requesting funds be designated for general disaster response to allow the BWM to respond with the flexibility needed in this ongoing situation. All funds under this designation will be used for disaster response.
Please see the letter below from Shanti Pradhan.
Thank you for your prayers and concern. We are safe and staying together with Nagendra’s family some church member in the rice field. We have been out of the house again with much work to be done with both churches not safe for gathering. After shocks continue to come everyday which is hindering our normal day to day life. Everything has come to stand still and most workers have left the valley and unable to finish the work at school, shed, play areas repairs and maintenance. There are church families with little children and unsafe houses who have continued to move along with us in the paddy fields. Yesterday afternoon’s rain and storm tore down the tents, drenched sleeping materials etc. Its been touch at times. Going back to sleep in our apartments is possible for Nahum and both of us, but not the right thing to do with people and churches to take care of.
Church also has to move the open rice field for worship service. Last Saturday, the church community came together and setup tent for worship for both Baneswor and Khokona church. We were able to finish both services, and right after both services heavy rain and storm destroyed the tent. We have dismantle the place and will set up again for the next Saturday.
In the mean time: we are working towards building a temporary worship space that can hold 200 people. We were able to bring an engineers and surveyed the place and draw for us a simple design for the church. From today we will start the work. Please pray that we will find enough materials to finish the work in 20 days. This is where we need your prayers that we get enough strength to work on this with so much challenges.
We will be going for an visa interview on 19th May, 8 am NST. Please continue to pray for the visa interview.
Shati and Vani
Please see the letter below from Shanti Pradhan.
We are all safe. Thank you all for your prayers.We were in the school with the children and parents when the second earth quake came. Thankfully we were able to calm everybody down and send them home after a Birthday celebration.
Government has announced to shut all the school till 30th May.
Please pray for Nepal’s land to settle down and we are able to go on with our lives. We are once more in the rice field with the church group and hope to be back home as soon as earth stops shaking.In Christ,
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake has struck Nepal about 50 miles East of Katmandu. Trina and Ken Holmberg, currently serving in Nepal through the Board of World Mission, are working with Shanti and Vani Pradhan and their son Nahum. They have been in contact to let us know that they are all ok. Some buildings damaged in the April 25th earthquake did come down in the area of the Moravian ministry. However, the epicenter of this earthquake was was deeper than the last one, which can help reduce the amount of relative surface damage.
See this excerpt from an update posted today by our ELCA partners on their disaster response webpage:
As of publication time, at least 66 people are reported dead and at least 1,261 people are injured following today’s quake. These numbers may rise as there are many reports of people trapped beneath rubble.
Similar to the April 25 earthquake, today’s earthquake affected surrounding countries, with reports of loss of life, injury and structural damage in India and Tibet. Landslides were reported in the Himalayas. Many villages on the outskirts of Kathmandu have been severely affected by the earthquake, and they are only accessible on foot, making it difficult to carry out relief efforts.
Houses and buildings that were damaged from the previous earthquake have now collapsed after today’s quake, and new damage to homes and infrastructure is being reported across many of Nepal’s districts.
People are once again leaving their homes to camp out in any available space outside while aftershocks continue and fear of another large earthquake runs rampant.
This level and frequency of seismic activity is not unprecedented, especially in the region of Nepal. The U.S. Geological Survey predicted about a week ago that there was at least a 50 percent chance of a second strong earthquake. Every quake and aftershock causes disruption, which means that tremors will once again increase in frequency and intensity and could take weeks or months to die down. This activity is cause for concern as monsoon season in the region is quickly approaching.
Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,
We thank the Lord for all that you continue to do to support the Nepali ministry and the people through this ministry. We are slowly picking up where we left because we cannot live in fear all the time. We have continued to keep in touch with the both the congregations, school staff and children. So far all are fine, but its hard to get a clear picture of the school community until school reopens on May 15th.
The baneswore church building does not have major damages, but the engineer has advised to avoid big gatherings. Khokona buiding is no longer safe for church gatherings so we are now meeting for worship in a paddy field. All evening and weekly fellowships have been discontinued due to lack of space. We are now looking into a permanent space for church beginning with a one year lease agreement.
The pre-school building does not show major damages but there are cracks and broken down walls that needs fixing. Tomorrow an engineer is coming over to the school to check and give us a safe or not safe decision. A huge number of people have left the city and there is dearth of skilled workers so fixing broken things might take a while. This can affect the school session. Please pray for all of this.
We are also attaching few pictures to share our story. These pictures allow us to see the situation in Khokona village. The Moravian church is the only church here and our witness important. There are videos and more pictures which we will try to send as soon as we put it together. (Note: Pictures mentioned here have been added as the PDF Document inserted below.)
So much has happened. Nahum’s IGCSE English exam started today. We have also applied for US visa. we are scheduled for an interview onMay 19, 8 am.
Please click on the document below to read a letter sent by the Executive Director of the BWM to congregations informing them on the latest developments of the situation in Nepal and Moravian response efforts.
4.29.15: The temporary camp has been packed up, and people are beginning to return to their homes. Aftershocks continue in close proximity and some planning to return home have decided to spend another night in their vehicles as a precaution. Some aid has begun to arrive. The BWM has sent $1,000 in initial support to join with support being sent by the British Province of the Moravian Church. Donations have begun to arrive at the BWM and we have the ability to quickly turn them around and get them to the area of need as they are passed on to us. Communication continues with the Holmbergs and the Pradhans, and we will continue to update this post as we get further information.
Please read this update received today from Bob Hopcroft on behalf of the British Mission Board:
I spoke to Vani Pradhan this morning as I was unable to get through to Nagendra. They are in the process of leaving the camps in the countryside and making their way back to Kathmandu. Yesterday they were allowed to go back for a short time to collect a few belongings and as there was only one minor aftershock last night they are being allowed back again today, hopefully to stay and begin the clean up.
The homes of Vani and Shanti and of Nagendra and Kemelesoorie are habitable but all of their crockery and other items are smashed. They have food and fresh water and are very, very grateful that the BMB and HMH have sent funds which will be available to them when they return home.
The people from Khokana, which is a small village, are not being allowed home yet as the devastation is Khokana was more severe, the houses are older and not as strong as the homes in Kathmandu. I then lost contact with Vani (I think her phone died!) but was able to call Shanti who went on to say that they have been able to buy food for the people from Khokana, before leaving for Kathmandu and that at least six families from Khokana have lost their homes.
I will be contacting the Pradhans tomorrow, once they have returned home to get an update but it is important now that we remember everyone on our prayers as they begin to rebuild their lives, grateful that all are safe unlike the many thousands in the more rural parts of Nepal who have died.
4.27.15: The BWM spoke with brother Shanti Pradhan and brother Nagendra Pradhan in Nepal. They (the Pradhan family, Trina and Ken Holmberg and about 30 more brothers and sisters from the Kathmandu Moravian congregation) are camped out in tents out in the rice fields near Khokana (a few miles from the city). Many people in Khokana lost their homes. The Pradhan’s home was not destroyed, but has a lot of interior damage. They are not allowed to go home at this time. Relief efforts have begun, so they are receiving some needed food and supplies.
Brother Nagendra says that now when he preaches or teaches about the Israelites in the wilderness he will have a better understanding of their situation! They ask us to continue to pray for the many others who have lost loved ones and for restoration and healing in their nation.
In the moment, we are asking for prayers for those in the area affected by this disaster. Pray for the responders seeking to find those trapped in damaged buildings, for families dealing with death and injuries, and for God’s presence to be felt through all of those reaching out to help respond.
So close to this disaster it is hard to know the full extent of the damage caused by the earthquake. Death and injury tolls continue to rise, with thousands already confirmed to have died. Beyond Nepal, damages and fatalities have also been reported in India, Tibet and Bangladesh.
However there is much damage in their area and as they were without power, are just beginning to be able to assess the needs in their area.
The Board of World Mission is monitoring the situation and is in contact with our mission servants in Nepal and partner organizations as immediate and long term needs are assessed. If you are feeling called to help respond, please see avenues for donating below. As the BWM receives more information about the situation on the ground we will be able to share more about specific needs. Check back on this website for the most up to date information.
If you have any questions about the Board of World Mission’s response, please contact the BWM by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.