"'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion for you." Isaiah 54:10
by Bruce Piercey, Asia regional director, Samaritan’s Purse Canada
After a very busy week as part of the Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team, I was able to take a few moments to recuperate by worshiping with hundreds of fellow Nepalese Christians at The Beautiful Gate , a wonderful Christian organization borrowing its name from Acts 3:10.
In Nepal, church services are held on Saturday morning, and on this morning, May 2, Pastor Babukadgi’s sermon was filled with reassurances of God’s protection and safety in Christ.
People are still jumpy at every minor tremor or bump in the night. Many are still sleeping outside.
Just one week ago, at 11:56 a.m. local time in Nepal, while the people were worshiping God at the Beautiful Gate, the 7.8 magnitude earthquake released its havoc. Hundreds of Christians were in the sanctuary.
It turns out they were in one of the safest rooms in Nepal, and it was safe for several reasons.
Samaritan’s Purse had invested in the development of the Beautiful Gate and its building, to provide medical and social services to the community. This large project, over several years, resulted in a building engineered with earthquake resistance—far above any current building standards in Nepal. When the buildings throughout the city and country crumbled the Beautiful Gate was kept safe with only a few minor cracks to show. The other reason my fellow Christians were safe was because they were fully secure in the presence of our loving God as they faithfully gathered to worship.
Years earlier, alongside the leaders of The Beautiful Gate, we prayed. We prayed when the land was bought. We prayed when the sod was turned.
We prayed when the building was dedicated. We continued to pray for safety and protection. And God was faithful. The people worshiping today alongside me can attest to this. “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion for you.“ Isaiah 54:10
I would ask that we continue to pray for Nepal. Pray for the suffering people. Pray for God’s provision for all their needs, especially security in their hearts. More than 7,600 lives have been lost. More than 16,000 have been injured. More than 191,000 homes have been completely destroyed, and 2.8 million people have been displaced.
Entire villages have disappeared into rubble, and countless people are without shelter, food, a change of clothes or blanket to survive the cold mountain nights. This is a tremendous logistical challenge to get the supplies needed to save lives. The grief at their loss is etched on their faces, they are suffering but they are incredibly tough and resilient.
Our fellow brothers and sisters at the Beautiful Gate are also in need, but they have hope. Samaritan’s Purse is partnering with them to reach out to the suffering in their community with practical assistance such as food and blankets. Most of all, they are reaching out with the love of Jesus who freely gives hope to all.