International Ministries

Walking Step-by-Step... with Renewed Strength

May 12, 2016 Journal
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The one-year anniversary of my arrival in Nepal, the day of the second earthquake, May 12, causes me to reflect on the events that have happened there this past year as I hold Nepal close to my heart. In that reflection the words of Isaiah 40:31 come to my mind:

“but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,

they shall mount up with wings like eagles,

they shall run and not be weary,

they shall walk and not faint.”            

I have seen the reality of these words in the lives of International Ministries’ partners: the staff at Human Development and Community Services (HDCS) and Asha Bal Bikash Sewa (ABBS), the center for children living with disabilities; Multipurpose Community Development Services (MCDS), the social welfare arm of the Nepal Baptist Church Council (NBCC); and the United Mission to Nepal (UMN).

Staff members and their recruited volunteers certainly mounted up with wings like eagles during those first days of immediate emergency relief: $25,000 of money from One Great Hour of Sharing provided food, tarps, kitchen and hygienic kits, and medical aid were provided to over 4000 households in rural areas. They all reached beyond their own experience and worked together to provide immediate relief to people less fortunate than themselves. They were affected people helping affected people.

The next few months ahead of the monsoon rains, leaders and staff ran and were not weary, working hard to travel to remote places to assess earthquake damage. Accurate information was needed to provide budgets: for reconstruction of damaged or destroyed homes, hospitals, hospital staff housing, and churches; for disaster trauma counseling programs; and outreach medical clinics to earthquake affect rural areas.

One of the major ways to help with recovery from disaster trauma is try to re-establish normal routines as soon as possible. Schools eventually reopened, people moved back into their homes after sleeping out in fields under tarps, holidays were celebrated, and special events were scheduled and held.

However, carefully made plans changed dramatically. The excitement of Nepal’s long-awaited new constitution didn’t last long as, as its promulgation in September triggered an unofficial blockade by India along its southern boarders.

Limited travel capabilities and non-existent reconstruction supplies during those long 4 ½ months led to a time of transition for earthquake relief activities.

With such extreme shortages of the basic needs of everyday life, the running turned into walking.

But yet, in my most recent trip to Nepal, I could see that they are walking step-by-step and not becoming faint!

Recovery from such a disaster as this takes a long time – a long slow walk to full recovery – emotional healing as well as physical.

They are walking stably even though there have been over 400 aftershocks with a few registering over 4.0.

They are walking stably as plans are moving ahead for Disaster Trauma Counseling Workshop for the NBCC pastors and leaders starting in the far eastern region.

They are walking stably as new assessments and budgets for reconstruction are in process.

They are walking stably in finding ways to integrate new information with a post-earthquake relief spirit as a result of a Conflict Transformation Workshop (CTW) held in March.

May these examples from the lives of the Nepalis give you encouragement to seek His strength so you, too, may mount up on wings like eagles, in whatever situation you are facing today.