Several hundred students from Nepal attend the University of Central Oklahoma. Rosemary, a Nepalese student, has come to our home Bible studies and attended our church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, since she arrived last year. She is majoring in nursing. This sweet girl is very quiet and has become very dear to me.
Rosemary’s father is the pastor of an independent Baptist church in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. When the first earthquake hit Nepal, Rosemary couldn’t reach her parents. Very worried, she kept trying. Finally, hours later, her call got through. Her father was ministering at one of the four village churches where he also preaches. It took him two hours to walk back home through the debris.
Her parents and sister, who live at the church, are okay. With houses fallen down around them and fearful of aftershocks, they moved outdoors to the churchyard where they sleep and eat.
Church members began to show up at the churchyard, homeless, with their houses gone or uninhabitable. One church member, a young girl, died in the earthquake. Many church families came to the church for a place to get food, to sleep in the church yard, and for safety.
Rosemary’s parents began to help the people living on the church grounds. Food prices have skyrocketed, and most jobs are gone. Rosemary and friends collected a little money to send for the emergency need, but it will take a long time for Nepal to recover.
Through the aftershocks, the church walls cracked more. Now it’s too damaged to repair and too dangerous to inhabit. The church will have to be torn down and rebuilt. One of the four village churches where her father ministers was destroyed, the one in Tuper.
Rosemary’s family still lives in the church yard because they cannot move back into the church. With no place to go, they need shelter soon because the rainy season will begin around the end of June.
My heart goes out to Nepal, to this church, and to Rosemary’s family. Does anyone know what we can do to help encourage and rebuild this fellow Nepalese community of believers?
You are loved, kathryn