Sunshine and monsoon clouds
Monsoon rain clouds
Terrace fields on mountainsides
Tent camps were flooded
Flood waters reach into the hospital
Travel is difficult
Relief work continues
A great kick!
The winning team
A college graduation
A Certificate of Theology graduate
Rainbow of Hope
“Don’t forget to bring your umbrella,” I would say to you every day this time of year as we would be leaving our house together, if you were with me walking in the streets of Kathmandu Valley. The sky can be a clear blue, a black cloud moves over our heads and it will pour for a short time. As we would continue to walk, we could even walk right out of the area of that downpour.
In Nepal now, the monsoon winds (a seasonal pattern of wind reversing its direction) blow up from the south bringing rain from the Bay of Bengal. This is the time for planting rice in the terraced fields on the mountainsides. Some times, it can rain non-stop for days. And other times, it can bring quick torrential rains resulting in flash floods.
And such a thing happened on August 27 in Kathmandu Valley. Hundreds of dwellings were inundated following a torrential rain, which caused flash flooding from an already swollen riverbank. At 5 am, panic was widespread as floodwater started pouring into the tented camps, and eventually flooding a hospital.
Monsoon rains also play havoc causing landslides on rural roads, making transportation in general very difficult, and now specially, making earthquake relief work very challenging. But, yet, as much as possible, relief continues…
…. and so does life.
One of the major ways to help with recovery from disaster trauma is try to re-establish normal routines as soon as possible. And just as important is to try to maintain good self-care.
Knowing that, I cheered when I saw pictures of a Fustal* Tournament in which my friends participated. It truly seemed they were enjoying themselves and the winning team was very jubilant!
Tears filled my eyes when I received pictures of a college graduation service celebrating 17 students: 5 received their Bachelors of Theology degree. There were also 12 who received their Certificate in Theology – a special study of education for those living in very rural areas with very limited resources. The college had been closed for nearly 2 months. It finally reopened and there are now nine new students beginning their 4-year theology study.
The principal reported that the college’s staff and students volunteered in the ministry of relief. He goes on to say, “At one of the relief distribution centers one of the earthquake survivors said, ‘We are homeless, but not hopeless. Since we have friends like you who have come to help us in our needs.’ My heart leapt with joy to hear those words of gratefulness. We are indeed "Hope Bringers."
And you are also “Hope Bringers” as you continue to pray for Nepal, and support the Nepal Earthquake Relief. And as you pray for me, my ministry there, and give to my support.
*a modified form of soccer played with five players per side on a smaller field
Photos of flooding from : http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2015-08-27/bhaktapur-settlements-inundated-photo-feature.html