These are just a few of the powerful lines of a poem written by BMS mission worker Jenny Saunders that so perfectly captured the heart cry of Christians in Nepal and around the world after two earthquakes hit in April and May 2015. Jenny is a counsellor who was living and working in Nepal at the time and she wrote the poem in response to the earthquakes that caused mass destruction – killing over 8,000 people and injuring over 100,000.
Lives were devastated, but today we can see hopeful signs of restoration in a broken country. God stayed close to the Nepali people following the disaster, and BMS did too. We know that the scars left behind by a natural disaster might never fully heal, but our support is making a real difference.
In total, BMS has provided more than £700,000 to support Nepal’s post-earthquake recovery. The money has helped Nepalis in a wide variety of ways. Straight after the earthquakes BMS support went towards providing emergency medical care, giving essentials like temporary shelters, food, water and hygiene packs and, co-ordinating relief efforts with partner organisations on the ground.
But healing takes time and in addition to an emergency response a long-term commitment to supporting Nepal was vital. “We knew that supporting Nepal after the earthquakes had to be so much more than providing blankets and tents,” says BMS Deputy Director for Mission, Steve Sanderson. “We wanted it to be about building the future resilience of the Nepali people.”
Recently, BMS authorised two additional relief grants amounting to over £40,000 to continue to support relief efforts in the country. A grant of £8,633 was given to the Multipurpose Community Development Service (MCDS) in Nepal to support their important work in areas such as disaster risk reduction and relief. There was also a grant of £33,000 to BMS partner, the International Nepal Fellowship (INF) to support a project called GRACE that is providing services and advocating for people with disabilities.
Chris Drew, a BMS mission worker who is serving as the Country Director for INF International in Nepal says that the GRACE project is going to make a big difference. “It’s all about helping people re-establish their lives. Even though the earthquakes happened almost two years ago, there are still so many people in need of help. People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable after disasters.”
The goal is to help over 11,000 people through the project, specifically focusing on people with disabilities. Many of these people were injured during the earthquakes, but the project is also helping those who had disabilities before the disaster. We're working to rebuild homes and schools that were damaged during the earthquakes, ensuring these buildings have proper facilities for people with disabilities. So far, five schools have been resconstructed and 105 homes are being rebuilt.
Beyond rebuilding homes and schools, we are also helping people with disabilities find jobs. “When the earthquakes happened many people lost their homes, but many also lost their way to make a living,” says Chris. “We’re doing what we can to help them rebuild that part of their lives too.”
“We haven’t forgotten the communities across Nepal,” says Steve. “We know that people are still recovering physically, emotionally and spiritually and we are committed to walking alongside them in solidarity.”
Much like that line in the poem, our support for Nepal remains unshakeable. Thank you for your support, we couldn’t do it without you.
Your prayers and gifts are making a big difference in providing hope and healing to people who need it most. Because of regular giving, we’re able to step in as soon as disasters strike to provide immediate and long-lasting support. You can give to disaster recovery today!