On April 25, I read the terrible news of the earthquake in Nepal. I traveled, built relationships, and worked in ministry there in different capacities over the last four years. Images flooded my mind. I thought of the ramshackle buildings, the makeshift homes, the lives crowded together in Kathmandu, the cliffside shacks, and the villagers who lived at the ends of long, dangerous mountain roads.
I watched the death count climb and monitored the Facebook accounts of my friends there, hoping to see posts that announced their safety. They checked in one by one over the next few days, and my thoughts turned to the grief, relief, and reconstruction work ahead.
Instability favors the violent. I prayed and worried for the impoverished girls who were already at risk for slavery and trafficking before the quake devastated their land. I worried about the impact of corruption and political rivalries on recovery efforts.
All of those fears have been realized. My contacts have complained that funds earmarked for relief are being confiscated by government bureaucrats. Aftershocks are further crippling exhausted police and army forces. And larger countries who have promised relief are delaying aid.
But I've also been hearing about effective on-the-ground work. Nepali NGOs and ministries are improvising solutions, facing danger, and working hard to get essential shelter, food, and healthcare to devastated communities. I've found this work inspiring and heartening in the middle of a terrible situation.
I've lost nights of sleep grieving for this, and I feel a distinct pain at being separated from the needs of Nepal. I wish I were able to help on the front lines. I long to travel and suffer with those who are hurting, put my hand to the work of recovery, and pray for hope alongside the people of Nepal.
But in terms of deep engagement with the cultural systems and the shattered lives in Nepal, local workers are the best-qualified to do good work.
So this is a time to support and trust God's work through His people in Nepal. Instead of spending thousands to rush over there ourselves, Ruthie and I have decided to give 20% of all Refugee Beads retail orders in the month of May to trusted, locally-run ministries doing good work in Nepal. All of these funds will go to organizations who have been on the ground for years before the quake, and who will be there for years to come.
If you would prefer to give directly to these ministries, just send us a note or give us a call, and we'd be happy to give you a few good options.
We long to do more, but for now, God has us praying, trusting and supporting His people in this time of need. Will you join us?