The death toll from the massive earthquake in Nepal on April 25 has now killed more than 5,000 people. It has been estimated that 8 million people have been affected by the earthquake. Vast tent cities are springing up in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital city. Relief agencies focus on the basics of food, water and medicine. This is not a time for feasting in Nepal nor is it a time for despair.
Prior to the earthquake, College Church member and missionary Anita Deyneka was in Kathmandu for a Nepal Without Orphans Summit. Typically, Anita spends much of her travel time in meetings, but she had the joy of meeting the Kabi family, who have adopted 14 orphans. The parents both grew up in Christian families, in a poor village in eastern Nepal. Even after they moved to Kathmandu, the couple would return to visit their village, where they realized there were orphans living in caves. The mother told Anita that she wanted to adopt all of these children to give them a family and to help them know God; they instead adopted 14 of the children. (Anita is pictured below with the children.)
Today, these children want to be doctors, nurses, teachers, artists, pilots and followers of Jesus. Says Anita, "Unprompted these children talked a lot about God. They were delighted with their English copy of Ken Taylor's My First Bible. Now sons and daughters of the Kabi family and their heavenly Father, dreams they had never dared from their cave days can come true."
On April 28, Anita (who serves with Mission Eurasia and World Without Orphans) and the staff of partner organization A Family for Every Orphan received an email from Tek Prasad Rijai who is in Kathmandu. Tek reports that
- Two churches collapsed during the quake and people died while worshiping.
- People are trying to return to their villages but there are no buses.
- Communication remains spotty at best.
- The cost of goods is increasing as the demand increases.
- The immediate needs are for food, water and temporary shelter because people are unwilling to return to their homes.
Tek asks prayer for the most vulnerable victims--children, the elderly and the sick as they sleep outside; prayer for the many who are grieving as they continue to search for loved ones or who have lost loved ones in the earthquake; prayer for the families and individuals who lost their sources of income in the earthquake; and pray that outbreaks of disease will be kept at bay with a weaken systems for medical care and sanitation.