Today's post was written by Abby J., a sophomore at Samford University and a Brook Hills member who went on a college short-term trip to Nepal last month.
When I went to bed Friday night after Secret Church, I never would have imagined the text that I would wake up to the next morning. About a month ago, I was trekking in the Lamjung district in Nepal, an area that was extremely close to the epicenter for the 7.8-magnitude earthquake. While there, I met person after person who had never even heard the name of Jesus.
According to Operation World, only 2.85% of people in Nepal are Christian. As I write this, the current death toll is 3,617. Statistically, that means that 3,514 of those people were nonbelievers. Some reports are indicating that these numbers will not stop rising until they are close to 10,000. If 10,000 people die, the stats indicate that 9, 715 are nonbelievers. When we hear those numbers, I don’t know how we can sit back and do nothing. We should be filled with an urgency to share the gospel and to make God's name known among all peoples.
As I sat broken and devastated over the thousands of unbelievers who died in the earthquake, I began rereading sections of Isaiah that I had read while in Nepal. My prayer is that these verses become the prayer and reality of the Nepali people.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” -Isaiah 9:2
“O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. At the tumultuous noise peoples flee; when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered, and your spoil is gathers; as locusts leap, it is leapt upon. The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure." -Isaiah 33:2-6
“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” -Isaiah 41:17
Since hearing the news of this earthquake, I have been praying that the Lord would reveal to me how I can help. I just went to Nepal and met precious people there who may or may not still be alive. I stayed in homes that are now probably destroyed. Why would the Lord give our team the opportunity to experience Nepal right before this catastrophic event? I must act. Right now, I believe that the greatest thing I can do is kneel at the feet of Jesus pleading on behalf of this nation. These are some of the things I am presenting before the Father, and I invite you to join me.
- Lord, strengthen the local church and missionaries as they share the gospel and meet the physical needs of those around them. Give them a boldness to proclaim the name of Jesus. Unify the efforts of all churches so that they truly are the body of Christ. Let them grieve the loss of loved ones and the devastation around them with hope so that others recognize a difference in them.
- Lord, allow this catastrophe to open doors for Christians to enter the country. Guide the people who are going into the country to provide relief. Let many buried in the rubble be found alive. Protect businesses from looting. Provide access to clean water and food.
- Lord, as temples lay in ruins and nonbelievers look for something to hold onto, help them to look to You. Place Christians in the lives of nonbelievers to point them to you. Grow the seeds that many missionary teams and organizations have planted. Change the nation so that it is one where a majority of people are Christians instead of Buddhists and Hindus.
For more updates on relief efforts in Nepal or if you would like to give financially, click here.
For a helpful resource that discusses God's sovereignty and natural disasters, click here for David Platt's sermon on "How Do We Respond to Natural Disasters?"