An undetermined number of Baptist Christians have died in Nepal after the devastating earthquake that affected the South Asian country on April 25. They died after the church in which they were collapsed.
Some 144 Christians are known to have died in the earthquake in the predominantly Hindu country. As of April 30, the quake has claimed more than 6,000 lives and injured more than 12,000.
At least seven Christian church buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. Two of these were Baptist church buildings.
The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) sent an initial sum of US$10,000 for emergency relief. Baptist World Aid, the relief and development arm of the BWA, is coordinating the global Baptist response for Nepal. Assistance is being given to all affected persons, regardless of religious affiliation.
A Baptist search and rescue team from Hungary, and North Carolina in the United States, arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, on April 27. “Our team has safely arrived … they are at work together with the Nepali Baptist brothers,” a member of the Hungarian rescue team, Rescue 24, told the BWA. “Today a doctor and an SAR (search and rescue) specialist joined them from North Carolina Baptist Men.”
The Rescue 24 team has set up a camp to provide medical services in collaboration with the Nepal Baptist Church Council (NBCC), which formed a disaster response committee to deal with the crisis.
NBCC informed the BWA that the urgent needs are for shelter, water, food and medical services.
The Christian affiliated group, Micah Nepal, told the BWA that the urgent needs are for food and 5,000 tents, blankets and mattresses. There is urgency for more medical camps. Trauma counseling is also a need. “After missing family members, relatives and property disaster, affected people are suffering from internal and mental trauma,” a needs assessment by Micah Nepal indicated.
Rescue 24 made purchases for food, blankets, bedding materials and tent canvas for distribution, but these and other items are in short supply.
There are also difficulties in reaching many of those in desperate need. “The main problem is that rescue workers cannot get to the outer areas of the city and other parts of the country as the roads are practically destroyed,” Rescue 24 reported.
BWA was told that authorities were confining international teams such as Rescue 24 to the capital.
Donations may be made online at www.bwanet.org/give or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
Co/Baptist World Alliance
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
Baptist World Alliance®
© April 30, 2015