Many thanks to all you who have reached out to me in the last twenty-four hours in support, prayer, and to make sure I was alright. As you probably know by now, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal in the Lamjung region at 11:56 am local time yesterday, April 25th, with extensive infrastructure damage in Kathmandu and a death-toll estimated at over 1,800 people thus far.
Thankfully, our UMN team (including many of those based in KTM) was together for our annual retreat in Pokhara this weekend, so while we felt the quake and its ongoing aftershocks, no one was hurt. We are really thankful to be together for comfort, support and decision-making as we move forward from here.
An event like this has actually been predicted for a while, given the 70-year geologic earthquake cycle in this region. (The “next big one,” I discovered – unnervingly, during my orientation week – was thought to be long overdue, as the last large-scale earthquake to hit Nepal was back in 1934). In light of the fact that quakes in Nepal are probably more like the massive Pacific-rim type that struck Japan four years ago, but with an infrastructure here that more closely mirrors that of Haiti, we’re thankful that the damages and loss of life haven’t been even worse.
Please pray for the thousands of Nepali’s affected by yesterday’s earthquake – for comfort to all those grieving lost family members and friends; for provision and shelter over those who’ve found themselves suddenly homeless; for peace to cover those who are fearful in the ongoing aftershocks; for safety in the continued damage and rescue efforts; and for the church to reach out to these needs around her with the love, strength, healing, and hope of Christ.
Please also pray for myself, our colleagues, and folks around the world as we seek to respond wisely to the growing needs across Nepal. I have been asked to go with a small team to Gorkha district to help with medical relief efforts closer to the epicenter, so please keep close to us in prayer as we travel there either later today or tomorrow.