May 16 Update – Sonam Kabo

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Sonam Kabo and his wife Rita are traveling back to Kathmandu, Nepal.  Please pray for them and what they will face when they return home.   Their home was spared damage in the first earthquake, yet there was a second that did damage. The Elim Christian Academy was also damaged in the second quake, and one of the buildings is declared by the government as uninhabitable and had to be torn down.

We will be receiving more reports from Sonam after he assesses the situation at home and with the school and church.  Thank you for your prayers!!!  They are very much needed.

Here is a brief report from Sonam (before he returned home):

“The pictures of devastation and death toll are heartbreaking in Nepal!

It was just three days after we (Rita and I) left Kathmandu, Nepal, for America to participate in a week-long SMM conference (Sustainable Medical Mission, a partner organization of BMI (Burnham Ministries International) and also, to attend in the graduation ceremony of our older daughter Keren Kabo in Cincinnati, Ohio, a huge monstrous earthquake with a rector of 7.9 magnitude hit the country of Nepal.  Just the second day of our Conference, CNN and BBC broadcasted the breaking news about the earthquake in Nepal.  We, together with two other fellow participants from Nepal, became nervous and stunned by the news, but we began to pray and discuss about what next? I personally had decided to go back to Nepal to be with my people there but we also, heard that the possibility of reaching Nepal was uncertain because we heard that international passengers planes were diverted from the International airport Kathmandu to give way for the emergency and relief planes.  In such a critical situation, we prayed and also, after a consultation with Dr. Jonathan Burnham, President of BMI, felt that I should stay back and do what I could to help the people though prayers and finding relief for them.  Also, my leaders back home in the church insisted that I stay back to attend my daughter’s Keren graduation and they assured us that they will do their best to help from the church.  Also, I take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the BMI family and the SMM family for their constant prayers and comforts for me and for my family.

So, after I spoke with my leaders in Nepal, soon after I got the news of the earthquake, I thought I should share the description of the situation there. They were speaking from outside of their homes because big tremors continued to shake the ground. Most people were afraid of the ongoing aftershocks, so they were staying outside, even at night. It was raining and cold when I heard them speaking.  It is actually the warm season in Nepal this time of year, but it has been unexpectedly cold these days there.

In Nepal, Saturdays are government holiday and from Sunday to Fridays are working days as per the Hindu Nepali Calendar.  Therefore, Christians in Nepal have their weekly Church services (corporate wor ship time) are held on Saturdays and normally the service time begins at 10 or 11 AM till 1 PM.

On 25th.April 2015 Saturday at around 11:25 AM during the mid time of Church service, unthinkable and beyond human imagination, 7.9-magnitude disastrous earthquake hit the country of Nepal and as of now more than 10 thousand people have been found dead and more than 14 thousand people have been found severely injured according to Nepal daily news.  There is still continuation of recovering the bodies from the debris – some of them are still alive and some are dead.  Moreover, countless buildings and houses including many Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries, hospitals and church buildings have been found totally damaged in the different areas of Nepal.  Seeing the pictures of hurting people and dead bodies and all ruins by the earthquake, all hearts are severely broken and grieved especially over the people who have lost everything and other damages.  According to the Nepal News as of now more than 8 million people of Nepal have been seriously affected by this devastating earthquake.

Just during the time of offering collection just before the sermon suddenly, earthquake hit the church building like anything but thankfully, no body was hurt physically in that building.  All believers came out of the building and began to pray together in the open field.  Most of our church people and other people in and around the church building lived at our church and School building for about 5 days continually due to more than 12 times earthquake tremors hit Kathmandu and other surroundings and it’s still taking place from time to time.  Most of the people are living in a big threat of earthquake everyday till today.  They told me stories of how it shook the church building for many minutes. Immediately afterwards the people went into the streets and witnessed the destruction and death that the earthquake caused. They told me about one church where the pastor and all 60 people worshiping were killed when the building collapsed on them. We thank God for His protection upon all our Church family and our own families.  However, we all are in agony and pain seeing the overwhelming needs of the hurting people from the earthquake.

Our local church people now have started a journey of relief works for these needy people by going into different earthquake affected people and areas to supply their basic needs like food, water, tents, clothes and medicines. One of the churches which was located about 2 kilo meters away from our church has totally been damaged by the earthquake and the pastor of this church was married just a few months ago has lost everything but the couple have survived.  Our church had a privilege to help them in many ways.

Let me share with you something serious now in our ministries below:

Just two days ago, the group of engineers recently deployed by the Nepal government who now are visiting the different school buildings and hospitals in Kathmandu to check the safety conditions of the buildings had visited our school also. One of the buildings which is actually very old and where we have some of our classes have been marked as not safe for running school and therefore, has been asked to demolish it.

This is good from a safety perspective, but it also has created some extra burden on us. Now we have to find another place to run the senior classes as the old building is in the same compound as where are other classrooms are and also the small basketball court and the Table tennis area. When the demolition works begin then, we cannot expect the children to be near or around the area for fear of falling debris.  In Nepal, the demolition is done manually and takes a long time, from weeks to even a month. 

So, please pray that God will help us find the right place as well as wisdom in making the right decision as to the future of the school and as we talk with the landowner.

The people of Nepal need your help now. Please open your heart to them by praying regularly and giving sacrificially.”