Tonight, I dropped my boys off at the church where they were fed supper before youth group. Next, I went to an event at a nice hotel, and then drove through McDonalds for an Artisan chicken sandwich. As I sat in a long line of cars waiting for my food, it occurred to me that I don’t have to worry about food or water for my kids, nor do I have to be concerned about whether the roof will come down on their heads after I kiss them goodnight tonight, … and tears ran down my cheeks.
Saturday morning (April 25), we woke to the heart-stopping news that Nepal had been struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. It seems that things are now marked in time by “B.E.” (Before the Earthquake) and “A.E.” (After the Earthquake). These last five days have been mind-numbing, and we are on THIS side of the ocean. For those we love in Nepal, well, there simply aren’t enough adequate adjectives to describe their experiences.
If you’ve followed our family for any amount of time, you know that my daughter Kadi and I went to Nepal with Tiny Hands International in March of 2014. I was doing research (and she did the photography) for a book, which I’ve been working on ever since: “Intercepted: Letting the Needs of a Broken World Wreck Your Comfortable Life.”
You see, when we saw the plight of those who need help most in Nepal, we asked God, “Now that we know, how far do you want us to go to live out our convictions and call to ‘be His Kingdom’?”
[Tweet “Now that you know, how far does God want you to go to be His Kingdom? #TinyHands #HH4N #PrayforNepal”]
What did we know after our trip last March?
B.E. (Before the Earthquake)
We learned that Tiny Hands International works in two ways.
1. They are a non-profit Christian organization intercepting women and children at the border checkpoints of countries with high trafficking ratios. An estimated 30,000 people are trafficked into India from Nepal and Bangladesh every year and are sold as slaves—some as young as six-years-old. Through their transit monitoring programs, they have prevented thousands of women and children from a life of torture and unimaginable brutality. The number of crimes involved in a single case of trafficking (rape, kidnapping, murder, among others) and the fact that it is perpetrated on helpless and innocent victims and carried out systematically, day-after-day makes trafficking the greatest injustice in the world today. Tiny Hands border monitors (Nepali people) intercept these individuals before they are raped, as many as 40 times a day for ten years, experience the worst kind of torture daily, and robbed of everything an innocent child should possess.
2. Tiny Hands’ second ministry is to children. Throughout the developing world, children are cast aside by poverty, war, and the destruction of families. Orphaned, abandoned, and abused children often become drug addicts, prostitutes or succumb to disease and violence. Tiny Hands finds these children and places them in loving homes with carefully chosen parents.
That was B.E. (Before the Earthquake). Oh, Tiny Hands is still working in these two ways, but it’s going to look different now because … the earthquake.
A.E. (After the Earthquake)
According to the National Emergency Operations Center, Ministry of Home Affairs in Nepal (as of April 29), there are currently 5,582 dead, 11,175 injured, and $415 million (Currency: U.S. dollars) needed for humanitarian relief. These numbers are expected to climb.
On our own, we are undone, but God …
God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
A river brings joy to the city of our God,
the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.
The nations are in chaos,
and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.
[Tweet “We will not fear when earthquakes come – The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us. #TinyHands #HH4N”]
So now what? We know that A.E. for Tiny Hands will look different for a while. Now, in addition to the ministry Tiny Hands has always done, we are also joining the relief efforts. We are going to start where we are. With that in mind, we are first meeting the needs of those who are already connected to Tiny Hands.
While we have reported that all of our 15 children’s homes were accounted for, and the children and their Nepali parents are safe, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been significantly impacted.
The families living in the four children’s homes in Kathmandu were sleeping outside in the first days after the earthquake, but have now moved back inside. Cyrene Home was blessed to receive a tent from the Red Cross earlier in the week. (Thank you, Red Cross!)
When our Tiny Hands staff found the Peace Home family, they were in a “tent city”, but were without shelter. The staff was able to round up tarps, rope, clean drinking water, medicine, and mats for them to sleep on for the next few nights until it is safe to go back inside. Peace Home had damage and may need a new home to move back into. So we believe we will need to find at least one new permanent home for our children.
Many of our Nepali border monitors have lost their homes and all of their belongings. For the time being, these border monitors, their families, friends, and communities are living outside with no covering. They desperately need water, food, and basic supplies. We don’t have numbers yet, but they will all need our help. We have had no word from our Tibet border monitor team. We fear the worst, and ask that you please join us in praying for these partners in ministry.
As we see it, we need at least $100,000 for immediate relief. We need tents, buckets (for water), food, medication, and much more.
Here is the harsh reality of life A.E. in Nepal … disaster creates additional chaos in a country, and that leads to increased exploitation of the vulnerable. We anticipate there will be a significant increase in trafficking and orphaned/abandoned children in Nepal, resulting in the need for more children’s home placements and greater border monitoring staffing. The long-term recovery is going to be substantial.
Tonight, my kids are going to bed in their rooms, with full stomachs and plenty of water sloshing in their bellies. Yours too?
What if your littles had been born to you in Nepal? What if you were among the 8 million affected people? What if you were among the 126,000 pregnant women? Here’s the most important question, “Now that you know, how far does God want you to go to live out your convictions and call to ‘be His Kingdom’?”
Will you learn all that you can?
Will you pray?
Will you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Tiny Hands as we offer healing hands for Nepal?#HH4N
Will you give?
Friends, I’m simply asking you to do what you can, from where you are, with what you have.
[Tweet “We are asking you to do what you can, from where you are, with what you have. http://bit.ly/1JDNX3K #HH4N #TinyHands #Nepal”]