Rebuilding in Nepal

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Two Years Later: Rebuilding Nepal After Devastating Earthquakes

Samaritan’s Purse continues assisting Nepalis in remote, rural villages.

As Pastor Iman closed in prayer, the ground started to shake. Confusion quickly gave way to panic as pastor and congregation fled the church building to wait out the most agonizing moments of their lives.

 

“We went outside and were praying to God together,” Iman said.

Pastor Iman’s home, like most in his village, was destroyed in the earthquake.

Iman’s family and about 10 others had just enjoyed a morning of worship in their remote Nepali village. Although few compared with the overwhelming number of Hindu families, these Christians are faithful to gather together.

Once the earth ceased trembling, and the mighty Himalayas were once again quiet and still, the congregation scattered throughout the mountainous community.

They were anxious to get home, yet fearful of what could be waiting to greet them.

Half a Million Homes Destroyed

A second wave of terror came May 12 when another earthquake hit Nepal.

Ghyalsang grew up in Langtang, where more than 300 people died in a quake-sparked avalanche. Samaritan’s Purse rebuilt his home.

The death toll from back-to-back earthquakes ultimately surpassed 8,000. Some villages, such as Langtang Valley, were completely wiped out.

Samaritan’s Purse immediately responded in the hardest-hit areas by distributing desperately needed relief supplies.

In the past two years Samaritan’s Purse has transitioned from emergency relief to long-term recovery in Nepal. Our staff is bringing physical relief and spiritual comfort through efforts such as rebuilding homes and schools; water, sanitation, and hygiene projects; and livelihood skills development.

New Homes Rise from the Rubble

Iman and his family were one of the first to move into a home built by Samaritan’s Purse. The 34-year-old pastor, his wife, and three sons live in the home with Iman’s parents.

They all lived in a temporary shelter for nearly a year after the earthquake.

“The shelter was small and cramped,” said Iman’s father, Shanti. “I give thanks to Samaritan’s Purse for building us a house. I feel blessed.”

Shanti became a Christian several years after Iman came to faith in Jesus.

Shanti, 75, wasn’t happy when his son decided to follow Jesus 13 years ago. Iman was living in India at the time and felt a burden to know God. “I received a Bible and I read more and more,” he said. “I received Christ.”

After a few years, Iman returned home, continued praying for his parents, and, eventually, they also came to faith.

“I felt bad for Iman,” Shanti said, “but now I’m a Christian and I’m very happy for him.”

Samaritan’s Purse is rebuilding 150 homes in Shanti and Iman’s district, and throughout Nepal we’re rebuilding hundreds of houses for earthquake survivors.

Offering Clean Water

Before the earthquake, it was not unusual in Nepal for women and children to walk hours every day to fill water jugs and haul the heavy jugs home in overwhelmingly large baskets on their backs. When the earthquake destroyed water sources in areas where water was already scarce, desperation increased among earthquake survivors.

Samaritan’s Purse is providing clean water in a number of earthquake-affected communities.

Samaritan’s Purse is providing clean, accessible water in earthquake-affected communities. In one village, our team built a collection tank around a natural spring.

“The tank is an enclosed chamber and is cleaner and safer for the people. Their health has been improved,” explained Nikita, a Samaritan’s Purse engineer in Nepal.

The new water system serves about 60 families and not only provides clean drinking water, but also eases the burden of routine tasks such as washing clothes and cooking.

Building Back Better Schools

Some children walk two hours every day to attend the school where Chandra is principal. Chandra has worked more than 25 years in education and served at this school in Sindhupalchowk District two years.

Samaritan’s Purse is rebuilding schools in remote, rural villages hardest-hit by the deadly quakes.

“As a child, I wanted to be a teacher,” he said. “I love working with children.”

The school is the only one in the area for 80 families. Classes immediately halted when the earthquake destroyed the school building because teachers and students had nowhere to meet.

Thousands of schools throughout Nepal were damaged or destroyed during the earthquake. Samaritan’s Purse rebuilt Chandra’s school, and we’re rebuilding others in areas where teachers are still leading classes outside or in cramped, temporary shelters.

Investing in Community

In a village in Gorkha District, one of the closest districts to the earthquake epicenter, Samaritan’s Purse recently built a house to host a community women's group. The women want their village to be known for healthy families and safe, loving homes.

Alcoholism hounds the village, as does family conflict. The earthquake became the push these women needed to renew their resolve to fight for their village.

“We are more active now,” said Kali, group chairperson. “We want to make changes for our village.”

The Gorkha women’s group was thankful to receive a house from Samaritan’s Purse.

For these women, their new meeting space is more than a physical structure. It’s a place to create memories, bond with neighbors, foster healing, and encourage community. Samaritan's Purse plans to continue working with them on projects such as hygiene training.

In another area of Nepal, our staff are working to provide goats to marginalized men and women, so that they can use them to support themselves and contribute to the local economy.

Please pray for the millions of Nepalis affected by the 2015 earthquakes. Pray also for our staff in Nepal as they not only rebuild homes and schools, but also strengthen entire communities.

READ MORE ABOUT
OUR WORK IN NEPAL

Let the Children Dream
Restoring Dignity to Disowned Nepalis
After Deadly Quakes, Villagers Start Over in Nepal’s Langtang Valley
Women Not Forgotten in Nepal

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