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My first time in Nepal was in June 2011. When I stepped off of the plane at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, I had no idea then how the country would shape my career, my friendships, my spirituality, and really, my whole life. While I knew it was the right decision to move on to a new position last summer, I left behind my dearest friends, my colleagues, my church family, and a (huge) piece of my heart.
I woke up to news yesterday of the horrific earthquake that ripped through the tiny nation, and my heart just sank. We knew this day was coming. We didn’t know exactly when, or how devastating it would be, but we knew it would bring with it destruction and death for hundreds, if not thousands. We had earthquake drills, we packed go-bags, we stocked our earthquake alarms with fresh batteries every few months. We had a plan. But as with anything unexpected, there’s only so much you can do to be prepared. And as a result, nearly two thousand lives have already been lost in the aftermath.
I am thankful for social media, and the ability to quickly check on those I love and make sure everyone is alive and safe. I am thankful that not only my friends and colleagues are unharmed, but all of the Tiny Hands International homes are accounted for as well. And while I am immensely grateful to know I have not suffered any immediate loss, my heart aches for so many people who have, whose families are now left with a gaping wound of a mom, dad, brother, or sister who will never return. My heart aches for those who may not have suffered physical loss, but whose homes, businesses, vehicles, or livelihoods were demolished. My heart aches for a nation of people who already suffer so greatly because of poverty. Words cannot adequately describe how deeply I feel this tragedy. My only hope is that many will begin to seek Truth in the midst of the loss, and discover a glimmer of beauty within the tragedy.
Many have asked how to help, and there are a handful of organizations that have set up relief funds to specifically address this crisis. You can follow the link below to the organization of your choice. And while Nepal most certainly needs tangible resources to help them in the immediate disaster, more than anything, they need your prayers, your love, and your encouragement.
If you would like to send a note of encouragement to the people of Nepal, please email me directly at SarahS@worldnextdoor.org, and I will make sure they get into the hands of the people.
Nepal, you have my heart. We stand with you in your suffering and pray with you as you continue forward into the difficult days ahead.
Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization providing food, water, shelter, medicine, and other assistance to earthquake survivors.
We are initiating a response to meet basic, urgent needs with temporary shelter, food, water, emergency health interventions, and other vital aid.
Your gift will send Medical Teams International’s emergency response teams to provide disaster relief to those impacted by the earthquake that hit Nepal.
Donations to Save the Children, an organization with extensive reach in Nepal, will go toward efforts to provide protection for children and relief to their families.
About the Author: Sarah is a journalism fellow with World Next Door. She has her undergraduate degree in Business Communication from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California and is currently working on her Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. Sarah recently finished a two and a half year assignment working for an anti-trafficking NGO in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she had the opportunity to mentor and lead college students in ministry abroad. She is mildly obsessed with Jeopardy, coffee, running, and the Atlanta Falcons.