On April 25, 2015, Prison Fellowship Nepal Executive Director Dinesh Neupane was on his way to visit a local church pastor when his van started shaking violently 30 kilometers outside Kathmandu. The driver stopped and the passengers froze.
Someone began to cry.
When the shaking stopped, Dinesh climbed out of the van to survey the landscape. Dust clouds rose from mountains in the distance. Homes that lined the roadsides just minutes before now lay in ruins.
Dinesh had survived the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which killed more than 8,000, and left thousands homeless.
“There was terrible panic,” says Dinesh. “People were shouting and crying.” He grabbed his phone and, with trembling fingers, dialed home. Most of the phone networks were down, but he was able to confirm his wife and four children were safe before the last connection faded out.
Once reunited with his family, he began searching for Prison Fellowship Nepal staff and the 239 children they care for through our child sponsorship program. All the staff and children were safe and uninjured, but many suffered great losses.
In Dhading district, 20 families participating in our program lost their homes. Many fled to evacuation campgrounds where hundreds of displaced families shared tents—some little more than a tarp draped over a few pieces of wood. The grounds were unsanitary, and there was no food, water, or protection.
This is where we found 11-year-old Deepa. She was unwell, hungry, and hadn’t bathed in days.
Our staff supplied Deepa and 30 other families, with water, 30-kilograms of rice, and tents so they could live together until safe and permanent housing opened up.
In the days following the quake, Dinesh and two other staff members visited the affected families through the villages in Dhading district to assess their immediate needs. For the 20 families who lost their homes, we also established an emergency relief fund, which helped purchase corrugated sheet metal to build tunnel house shelters for the families to live in.
Please remember to pray for this country as families continue to rebuild their lives.
Care for families of prisoners, who desperately need your help.