Every other month our CLC Board of Missions updates us with recent news from various mission fields.
This past August, South Asia was devastated by major flooding during the yearly monsoon season. While seasonal monsoon rains, a lifeline for farmers across South Asia, typically cause some loss of life and property every year between July and September in the region, this year’s flooding was the worst in many years. In Nepal, in what the United Nations has called the worst flood in a decade, approximately 150 people lost their lives and more than 460,000 people were forced to leave their homes. In mid-August, Pastor Raju Bhitrakoti reported that approximately 350 families from the congregations in our sister church body, the HCLCN (Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession, Nepal), were badly affected, having been displaced by flooding and landslides.
In order to help with relief efforts, the Board of Missions authorized $5,000 to be sent to Nepal from the Mission Development Fund. Raju, along with other members of the HCLCN in Kathmandu, acted quickly to provide aid to those in need. As soon as it was safe to travel, they went, first, to the mid-west section of Nepal. In the Dang district, they were able to distribute rice bags, lentils, and cooking oil to more than 120 families. In the Tulsipur area, they handed out relief materials to thirty families. On their way back to Kathmandu, they distributed relief aid to another fifty-four families.
Upon returning to Kathmandu, they gathered more relief materials from Eternal Life Church and went southeast to Bardiabas in the Mahottari district. This district was among the hardest hit by the flooding. Most of the houses were damaged and uninhabitable. The government was providing some food in that area. Raju and his team were able to provide rice, oil, and lentils, as well as other needed relief materials such as tarps (to make shelters), flashlights, mosquito nets, and clothing. Approximately one hundred fifty families were assisted.
Raju reports, “We appreciate the prompt response from the CLC that helped us to move quickly with relief aid to our brothers and sisters in Nepal. Altogether more than three hundred fifty families were helped with food, tents, blankets, used clothes, and cooking utensils. The people who received aid were glad and thankful to the CLC for sending them love gifts in their time of need.”
There is still much work to be done in Nepal, as resources are needed for the reconstruction of homes and businesses. Please continue to keep the people of Nepal and our brothers and sisters in the HCLCN in your prayers.
Robert Sauers is pastor of Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Morris, Minnesota, and a member of the CLC Board of Missions.