Luke McKee is Communications Coordinator for Partners International Canada. This week, he hosted a phone call with Bhim Lai, a partner in Nepal. Bhim Lal shared what life is like right now in the earthquake-stricken nation.
Since early in the morning on April 25, 2015, Bhim Lal’s life has changed. As the director of Good Friends of Nepal he has dedicated much of his life to sharing the love of Christ to a country that has not heard the Good News.
Since 1996 Bhim Lal and Good Friends of Nepal has grown from four Church plants to over 150, with hundreds of baptisms taking place. They have also been able to operate an orphanage, as well as reach others through the development of a literacy class. Bhim Lal’s work and life have made an incredible impact on the community that surrounds him. The New Vision Orphanage Home serves 20 children in Kathmandu, providing them with food, clothing and education. Good Friends of Nepal was expanding, transforming hearts and lives around the country.
On April 25th that all changed.
As a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck near Kathmandu in Nepal, Bhim Lal and his family were forced into the streets as houses began to crumble and thousands were trapped in the rubble, calling out for help.
In the days that would follow, aftershocks and tremors between 4.0 and 6.1 magnitude continued to devastate Kathmandu destroying homes, streets and lives.
We were able to connect with Bhim Lal from the Partners International Canada headquarters in Brampton within hours of earthquake striking and the scene that he described to us was a scene of sadness and loss.
With all of the building damages, Bhim Lal and his family were amongst the thousands who would spend the night in the streets, with his children sleeping inside of their car while he and his wife slept outside.
In our phone conversation Bhim Lal said he could hear people crying out for help, the situation remained chaotic and people began to simply try and survive as they waited for help to arrive.
Aid agencies across the country immediately mobilized to provide relief to those in Nepal.
For some organizations that means serving the immediate needs of those on the ground, for others plans began to take shape that promote mid to long term recovery.
Bhim was able to confirm that his family were safe, as well as the incredible blessing that all of the children staying at the orphanage were also safe. There remain 20 Good Friends of Nepal workers that are in rural areas that he has yet to hear from. Bhim Lal’s request in our first conversation with him, “Pray, prayer is always good and is the first thing, the second thing is food, clothing, and shelter.”
In our most recent conversation, he has expressed that the situation continues to get worse.
With the death toll rising, Bhim Lal has stated that the government in Nepal is unable to help with immediate aid being provided by Chinese and Indian relief teams, not by the government of Nepal.
The hospitals have become overwhelmed and are unable to handle the thousands of injured that need help. His biggest worry is the amount of drinkable water available to them. They are currently surviving from a groundwater well, but given the community use, they are unsure how much longer their clean source of water will last for. On top of the potential shortage of water, food is also difficult to come by and many families are fleeing Kathmandu to the countryside to avoid buildings that have been seriously damaged by earthquake.
The situation the Bhim Lal has described is grim. With over 8 million people affected by the earthquake (including 1 million children) people like Bhim Lal in Nepal need the prayers and support of Canadians. In a moment of great darkness, we have the opportunity to shine a light and help Nepal recover, both now and in the future.