Earthquake death toll rises

Nepal Earthquake

International Needs Nepal workers are distributing food to a har- hit village.

Nepal (MNN) — The death toll in Nepal’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake is inching closer to 10,000. According to Nepal’s Red Cross, Thursday’s total was 8,413, but a few villages are still unreached with aid workers or recovery teams.

Many health workers are now concerned about disease.

International Needs has work in Nepal. President of International Needs USA, Rody Rodeheaver, says, “Our leadership team is intact and survived. Some of their homes were damaged and some of them are living in tents temporarily, but their lives were spared.”

The International Needs Director in Nepal writes, “Our field community workers are alive and well. Unfortunately, many of their families are unaccounted for, and many of the homes have been destroyed. One community worker in Eastern Nepal was following his son and a church worker on the road as they were traveling to show the JESUS film when the earthquake started. He is fine, but his son and the church worker were seriously injured and are in ICU.”

The International Needs facilities were affected, though. “One side of our office compound wall has collapsed, and another end has been greatly weakened. We will request for an engineer to check the wall, and [we] may need to build a new one.”

International Needs Nepal is now in relief mode. Rodeheaver says the team has made their assessment. “What they discovered was a village where Christians were worshipping at the very moment the quake hit, and 15 people lost their lives in that church.”

International Needs Nepal Team in village distributing food.

International Needs Nepal Team in village distributing food.

It’s the village of Lamasagu, in the District of Sindupalchok. This is an area where International Needs has church planters and a Lydia Vocational Training Project. “Our goal is not only to provide relief supplies, but to build a relationship and to be there for the coming weeks, because as you…share the food, you can share the living water that Jesus brings.”

The amazing thing about this disaster is that Christians, who make up less than 1% of the population, are having a profound impact on relief efforts. Up until the quake, Christians were marginalized. Rodeheaver says, “They see that these Christians are going out of their way to make a difference for them, to help them. Secondly, they see the love and concern, [and] they discover there is another way.”

This disaster response needs your support, says Rodeheaver. “We need at least $50,000-$75,000 that we can put together a long-term outreach to these people. So, we do the immediate, but we need resources to continue to do this.”

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