Nepal Earthquake Relief: Sankhu

Today was another emotional roller coaster here in Nepal. The scenes of devastation we saw seemed straight out of a WWII movie. The village of Sakhu appeared to have been bombed in an air raid; residents were sifting through the rubble trying to salvage what little is left of their possessions. But on a much higher note, we were able to bring 125 families here a week’s rations of rice and lentils. Nepal has a very long road to recovery ahead. However, for months to come our local native team will continue to serve these who have lost everything. If you have not already done so, please consider making a contribution of any size to Peace Gospel‘s Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund using this link. It really will make a difference.

We started the day searching for rice and lentils in the city. We had to call dozens of shops before we located one that had stock available. Then we made our way out to the Sakhu area where we distributed rations in two locations.

Here are some shots from the first location. We used a makeshift tent some families have been sleeping in as our distribution point.

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Some of the children who were playing around while their parents waited in the queue for rations…

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Life inside the tent where these will be living for quite some time…

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As we then drove and walked across the village to get to our next distribution point, these were some of the shocking scenes we discovered…

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You can see where this resident is sleeping out on a mattress in front of their home. While the home is still standing, it will need to be torn down because it’s no longer safe to live in…

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We then reached the other side of the village where we found a much-needed calming view…

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When one of the women in the field saw me, she came up to me explaining that her house had fallen down in the quake…

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My friend Cody helping unload the mini-cab into our distribution point, this time, a local church building…

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As we waited for the families in need to gather, I had the chance to take some portraits of those who were arriving…

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These boys made their own swing set using some cord they had found in the rubble…

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Now the families had arrived and we began to distribute the rations…

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On the walk back to our truck, we assisted in whatever ways we could as the residents tried to salvage what they could out of their homes. This family was fortunate in that, although condemned as a tear-down, their home was still standing, making it easier to rescue their belongings. Cody was able to help them get some furniture out…

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I’ll leave you with more scenes of the catastrophic devastation we witnessed as we departed. This is our Nepal director Bimal surveying the aftermath…

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Nepal Earthquake Relief: Sindhupalchowk District

Catch up on why I’m here in Nepal and how you can help, too, by reading my previous post if you haven’t yet seen it. Today we made our way to a tiny village in the Sindhupalchowk District, pretty close to the China border. Bimal has a friend from that village who reported that nearly all the village residents had lost their homes, were sleeping under a long goat shed and desperately needed bedding supplies. So yesterday we scoured the markets in Kathmandu for what little supplies were available, and managed to come up with enough foam padding and blankets to get them a bit more comfortable arrangements while they are in the process of rebuilding. We set out at 6am for our journey to reach them…

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On our way, we witnessed a quite bloody motorcycle accident. I have photos but I’ll spare you because they’re quite gory. We applied first aid and loaded the two victims into our truck. Bimal and our friend sped them off to the local hospital while Cody and I got to know the villagers and their amazing foot bridge you’ll see below. In this first photo (check out his t-shirt!) you can see the crowd still assembled around the point of the accident… (note that you can click or tap on any of my photos to see a larger size)

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Before we knew it, Bimal and his friend had returned from the “ambulance” run. So we were back on our way to Sindhupalchowk, and these are some of the scenes of devastation we encountered…

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The juxtaposition of such destruction against a backdrop of breathtaking beauty was surreal. I am not quite sure which two peaks these are, but this range runs along the China-Nepal border of Sindhupalchowk District. The peaks are just about 30km from where I took this shot (at Irkhu). Typical elevation of this range is around 7,000 meters, or 23,000 feet.

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We then finally reached the village where we conducted the supplies distribution. The people, especially the children, were humble, grateful and precious souls. We first began by unrolling our huge sleeping pad material and cutting it into pieces for distribution…

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We also brought first aid and water purification supplies. The kids played around with us and absolutely loved the makeshift mattress padding…

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We also passed out new blankets for each homeless resident of the village…

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This sweet lady volunteered as the coordinator to make sure that all residents who had been left homeless by the earthquake received their supplies…

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Nepal Earthquake Relief: Dhading District

A friend and I left Houston for Nepal on Tuesday, April 28 and arrived after a few delays on Thursday local time. I’m the Executive Director and Founder of an organization I began in 1993 called Peace Gospel International, and its sister-project here in Nepal called She Has Hope. Although my trip was already scheduled as part of my work, it was timely in that I could bring desperately needed relief supplies for our local team here. Thursday we delivered supplies to the Peace Gospel orphan home, Friday to the She Has Hope trafficking rehabilitation home, and yesterday we went out to our farmland to deliver supplies to our staff there while also checking on the condition of the villages. It was devastating. While I have some great photos to share from our first two days, it was yesterday that was the most poignant of the three, and today is the first chance I’m getting to publish. So this post covers just day 3 of my visit. If you’d like to give directly to our relief efforts, we would be most grateful. Please donate here.

Our fearless Nepal director, Bimal, got us started on our journey at daybreak…

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As we made our way out of Kathmandu, the scenes of devastation became more and more frequent and shocking. (Buildings in Kathmandu are constructed with relatively more modern materials and thus not as subject to total collapse as the lower-quality village homes)…

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Some of the men, women and children we met along the way…

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More sobering scenes of the devastation…

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After a rough road with many obstructions just barely cleared, we made our way to a trailhead which brought us to the Peace Gospel Nepal farmland located in Dhading District, near the epicenter of the earthquake. We backpacked in some food and supplies for our farmland staff and our neighbors who suffered terrible losses. The farmland provides fresh, organic ingredients for our program beneficiaries’ meals, as well as profits for our programs.

Our farmland director, Dhandahadur, gears up with some of the provisions we brought…

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A man I met along the way points toward his home which was destroyed in the earthquake…

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We made our way along the trail to the farmland…

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I was very sad to find our dear neighbor’s home destroyed, all that was left was the front wall and door…

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Down the steep switchback trail, finally we reached the farmland, visible here…

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A glimmer of good news and a sign of blessing and renewal in the midst of much despair, a baby goat had just been born just a few minutes before our arrival…

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Our dear neighbor, whom we have given shelter in our storehouse, was kind enough to cook us a delicious meal…

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Our Nepal director was happy to present our farmland director with the gift of a new lamp we brought from Houston. The power is expected to be off for another few months as a result of the earthquake…

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Our farmland staff sent us back to the orphan home and She Has Hope rehabilitation home with fresh, organic tomatoes just harvested…

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