Mondays Meditation: What does Hope look like in Nepal? A reflection and a prayer
On Saturday 25 April, a 7⋅8 magnitude earthquake struck an area between Nepal’s two largest cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara. Another earthquake, measuring 7.3 magnitude, struck 76 km northeast of Kathmandu on Tuesday 12 May – an area already affected by the 25 April quake. On top of all of this the monsoon season starts in two weeks. This means that it’s going to be impossible to rebuild houses and shelters. 1. The ground is already unstable and broken. 2: The monsoons will bring deluges of rain. This means that landslides are likely to happen along with boggy and unstable land conditions making it unwise and impossible to rebuild.
Among the areas of most concern are those where landslides have fallen into rivers, potentially flooding nearby communities once the monsoon starts in earnest, probably in early June, scientists said.
In a report to the Government last week, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu identified six critical landslides that blocked rivers after the April 25 earthquake. Five are in Nepal and one in Tibet (ABC News).
Compounding all of this is the fact that there are still villages and areas effected by the first earthquake that have had no contact. Then we are told that 1 billion dollars to foreign aid has been cut in our latest budget. The worst budget outcome for international aid in Australian history.
With this in mind I would like us to reflect on hope:
What is Hope?
Hope is: a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large
We might hope to win Tats-lotto or hope for a job or a new car or holiday. Maybe we hope to find a partner or hope that we get a good seat at the theatre? Maybe we hope to be discovered or promoted or hope for a cure or financial assistance?
If you were in Nepal right now what would hope look like to you?
Hope that you will still find your child alive?
Hope that you can find fresh water?
Hope that you can find shelter before the monsoons come?
Hope that you will one day be able to find a job and support your family again?
Hope that international aid will come to you before your children weak from hunger and fear get sick.
Hope that the vultures swooping in to pick up orphans for the sex trade don’t find where you are hiding?
Hope that what is left of your village is not swallowed by monsoon flood waters?
I would imagine that it would feel pretty Hopeless.
Jesus is the hope of the world.
“In His name the nations will hope” Mat 12:21
The reality is that the nations will only find out about the love of Jesus through us. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in this world today, in this culture and in this day and age.
How do we bring hope to the people in Nepal?
What can we do to be bearers of Hope?
This is what I would like us to reflect on this week.
1: We can pray
2: We can give money so that aid agencies can bring hope on our behalf
3: We can make sure that others are a ware of the plight of the Nepalese and encourage them to help
Agencies of Hope:
Tearfund staff and partners remain in Nepal with a focus on shelter, food and sanitation. Teams have been trekking over landslides and mountains to reach remote communities impacted by the quake.
How to donate: TEAR
The agency says it is focusing on water and sanitation, nutrition, education and child protection. Unicef has already delivered oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements to people gathered in informal settlements, and is providing tents for field medical facilities. Two cargo flights with a combined 120 tonnes of humanitarian supplies are also on their way.
How to donate: UNICEF
World Vision is planning to respond in its initial phase to 50,000 people, meeting basic needs by providing first aid kits, sleeping mats, blankets and jerry cans, and temporary shelter. The agency will also set up three child-friendly spaces so children have a safe place to play and recover from trauma.
How to donate: World Vision
Prayer of Hope: Join with me to pray
Lord we pray Hope for the people in Nepal today. (Mat 12:21)
They are broken and facing devastation and fear.
Lord we pray that through you and your hands of hope they will find kindness and charity
Lord will you strengthen their hearts and give them hope?
Will you assist them practically to receive food, water, shelter and medical supplies?
Lord would your Spirit rest upon us and enable us to copy your example
Lord will you empower us to help your people in Nepal who are in such great need right now.
Lord we also pray for those aid agencies that are on the ground in Nepal. Would you protect them and give them grace and wisdom in this time of disaster.
We pray that as they encounter people who have lost loved ones and others who have been injured or made homeless that you will guide them and give them words of hope and wisdom.
May they be your hands and feet of love to a people facing such grief and sorrow.