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by Graydon Colville - International Director
Already the Nepal earthquakes are off the news in Australia. Indeed, even for many in Nepal, life is starting to get back to normal - but not for all. Throughout the country 700,000 homes have been destroyed. Another 2 million have been 'declared' unlivable. Schools, hospitals and other vital services have been disrupted or destroyed. Cities and rural villages have been affected. Approximately 10,000 people have died and more will die from suicide and 'downstream' effects as the harsh realities of the future set in.
The after-shocks seem now to have stopped but the fear and anxiety will take longer to fade and recovery is a distant dream.
Clearing the rubble and rebuilding will take many months. Many have lost whatever savings they had and have little capacity to rebuild.
As the monsoon hits, those living in overcrowded tents and temporary iron shelters will face a new level of challenge. Many have lost the ability to earn an income and are already dependent on handouts. Business and tourism have all been hugely affected.
There are some bright spots! Countries around the world have responded with generosity and 'aid' is getting through. Nepali people are remarkably resilient. It was a real encouragement to see them helping each other. Hopefully this will last.
It has been a great opportunity for Christians and churches to demonstrate the love of Christ in practical ways. This has had a big impact on many, even on some who have been negative towards the Christian faith. God will bring great things out of this tragedy.
Through the generosity of many, GRN Nepal has had the privilege of reaching out and providing a helping hand to many in need. Even though several of the staff have had their own homes damaged, they have been involved in delivering emergency food supplies, tents and tarpaulins, water tanks and filters, hygiene packs and medical supplies.
Staff have been able to clear rubble and help in the construction of temporary housing and toilets. In the midst of this they have also been able to continue with some of their recording and other ministry projects! It was a privilege and a delight for me to sit with each of the staff, hear something of their stories, pray with them and, on behalf of the wider GRN family, pass on some practical cash help. They too have been encouraged and blessed by the love shown and say a big 'thank you'.
The challenge for all of us is not to forget too quickly! The TV won't remind you but you may choose to find a way of reminding yourself to pray - for the country as it recovers, for the work of God there and for the GRN staff as they continue their service for God in that place. If you would still like to contribute financially to helping the people of Nepal through GRN, this can still be done...