Photo credit: NBC News

It has been heartbreaking to read about the death and devastation arising from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal – the worst in 80 years. According to authorities (at the time of this writing), the death toll has already climbed to about 2,000 people – a number that officials say is likely to rise in coming days. The quake also unleashed an avalanche at Mount Everest which has already claimed lives even as search and rescue efforts are underway.

The earthquake was followed by nearly two dozen aftershocks, including a magnitude-6.6 aftershock. According to media reports, hospitals were overflowing with injured people, homes were damaged, phone lines were jammed and roads had gaping cracks running along them. Nepal’s airport in Kathmandu was shut down for hours, further hampering initial relief efforts.

This morning, in church, we spent time in prayer for the people of Nepal following the this news. However, there is clearly more that we can do. What follows are some suggestions of what we can do wherever we are. We will also share with you what we intend to do as a church. Please join us where you can.
What you can do: 
  • Pray continuously for the people of Nepal. Pray for those in the country who have been affected directly by this catastrophe. Many of them who have to deal with the death and devastation of their loved ones and property. Please pray also for Nepalese who are here in Malaysia – our foreign worker friends who are far away from home and are concerned about news from back home.
  • Be kind and generous to the Nepalese you come across this week. Spare an additional moment to ask them how they or their families are. Stand in solidarity with them. If you are able to, perhaps you may want to buy a disposable SIM card for them to call home as some of them may not have the finances to do so.
  • Financially support international relief organizations listed below, or prepare to do so via BLC in the next two weeks.
Organizations you can support (via CNN.com):
  • The Nepal Red Cross Society is the epicenter of the relief efforts and is a direct way to help the people of Nepal. Here is its online donation link; please note that their website connectivity is on and off, so you might not be able to get through.
  • AmeriCares has sent its response team to the impact zone and relief workers are preparing shipments of medical aid and relief supplies for survivors. You can help by donating online to their disaster relief fund.
  • Direct Relief is preparing and delivering medical resources to local health facilities that are seeing patient surges for quake-related conditions. They are also working with medical companies to secure additional supplies as needed. You can help these efforts with an online donation.
  • Global Giving has created a Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund to immediately help both local Nepalese nonprofits and international aid organizations. Supporters can donate online or text GIVE NEPAL to 80088 to donate $10.
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is preparing an emergency response operation and is prepping resources from its hubs in New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. The federation is releasing funds from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to support the initial emergency response, and you can further support their efforts by donating here.
  • International Medical Corps is on the ground coordinating their response and sending additional staff and resources to support relief efforts. You can support the Nepal Earthquake Responseonline, or by texting MED to 80888 to give $10.
  • Operation USA is undertaking recovery efforts in Nepal, providing essential supplies for those affected and hospitals in need. You can help their efforts by donating online or by texting AID to 50555 to donate $10.
  • Oxfam International is working to help provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food for those affected by this disaster. Donate via Oxfam America here. You can also donate through Oxfam Great Britain here.
  • Samaritan’s Purse is sending emergency shelter, water, hygiene kits, and other emergency supplies. They are also sending a medical team to offer assistance. You can support this by donating to their Nepal Earthquake Response fund.
  • The World Food Programme is also responding, providing food to those in need. You can help efforts by donating online here.
Numbers you can contact & tools you can use/share:
What BLC is doing: 
The Lutheran World Federation, which has started a large-scale emergency response based in Kathmandu. Its office there has escaped the worst impact of the earthquake. Currently the Lutheran World Relief and other local organizations are actively coordinating response efforts to distribute life-saving supplies such as water, food, shelter and medication for many.
BLC will partner with the Lutheran Church of Malaysia to offer financial assistance for relief efforts through The Nepal Evangelical Lutheran Church, and also to The Lutheran World Relief of Lutheran World Federation and other organisations. We will channel our missions offerings for at least the next two Sundays (3 and 10 May) to the LCM in support of this cause.

If you would send your support to LCM directly, please feel free to channel your financial assistance to LCM’s office (Send your cheques to Level 6, Luther Centre, No.6, Jln Utara, PJ, Selangor. Attention: Joshua/Michael at 03-79565992) or bank it in to the account below:

  • Account name: “Lutheran Church in Malaysia” – Maybank (Account no: 014169325999).
  • Please fax/email/send your bank in slip to finance[at]lcm[dot]org[dot]my or fax No: 03-79576953.
  • Important: Please indicate for ‘Nepal Relief Fund’.

Thank you for your continuous prayer, support and solidarity. Lord have mercy!

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