Meet Bishnu from Nepal

In 2015, Nepal was victim to many floods and landslides, including in the village where Bishnu lived with his family. A child Kidstown International supports in Nepal. Here is his message:

“My name is Bishnu. I am now 14 years old. I came from a small village in Nepal. My village is in remote area it takes one day to reach the nearest city. There is no facility of transportation, electricity and the condition of village is very poor. My family condition was poor and we had financial crisis. My mother had remarried after my father’s death. Then in my family we became stepfather, my mother, elder sister, younger brother and sister and I. In 2015 there was heavy flood and landslide in my village. All of my family members died in the flood; except my elder sister and I. We were saved by staying on the tree for more than 8 hours. Then we lost everything. There was nobody to care and support us. One of my village’s neighbors brought me in the orphanage home here in Nepal. Thank God, I am happy to be in the orphanage home. Now, I am getting good care, education and moral discipline here. Sometimes I think that if I would not be in the home I could not get love, care and education but now I come to know that God’s love, care and protections in my life and now I am not feeling loneliness in my life. Recently I have completed seven class. Now I am preparing for eight class. My future aim is to be in the army. Please pray for my study and future life.”

It is because of people like you that Bishnu and other similar children are able to have love and support in their lives, so thank you!


The Unsung Heroes

Orphan ministry takes special people with a special calling. People who are willing to give up the "normal" life and live the "outward-focused" life that we spoke of a couple of days ago. It takes people who are willing to fight in the trenches for the long haul, enduring stresses, fears, uncertainties, loneliness, and far too often, little-to-no recognition or honor for the work they have done among these children.

These "unsung heroes" to whom I refer are the orphanage leaders - a breed of people all their own. They are the ones who not only sympathize with these little ones that are suffering, but are willing to do something about it. And I'm not referring to giving a child a piece of bread and calling it good, I'm referring to taking these kids into their homes - kids with lice and scabbies, kids with emotional and spiritual baggage, kids which society at-large would rather turn a blind eye to - and giving them love, care, structure, godly modelling, and so much more.

These orphanage leaders are the true visionaries: people who are able to see beyond the filth and matted hair to the gleaming potential of what could become of these kids given sufficient love (and, of course, with God in the mix)!

These are the unsung heroes. And our Kidstown family is privileged to partner with many such heroes in India, in Nepal, and in Romania.

We all believe in orphan ministry. We all want to see these kids helped, given hope and the Gospel, and that they fulfill their God-crafted destinies. But this can't happen without the orphanage leaders. They are the critical link. And so, they need our prayer support.

May I challenge each of our readers: will you commit to praying on a regular basis for our 50 orphanage leaders? That God will sustain them, encourage them, provide for all their needs, refuel their zeal and passion each day, and help them to stay in the fight for the long-haul?

Thanks for your belief in, commitment to, and prayers for our orphanage leaders.


Praying for our Kids

Dear Kidstown Friends,

We have the opportunity not only to help our orphans in practical ways, but also to
pray for them. God can do far more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20) and
He beckons us to engage on our knees for the sake of these little ones that He
created, loves, and has such great plans for. A few key requests to pass along
today:

1. Pray for our orphans' physical, mental, and emotional development and health.
Especially during the summer season it can be very hot and, in India and Nepal, very
wet due to the monsoon rains.

2. Pray that each child will discover Jesus in a real and personal way, that they
will grow in their faith, and that they will move forward in accordance with God's
plan for their lives.

3. Pray for the orphanage leaders: that God will give them strength and
encouragement, that He will provide for all their needs, that He will give them
wisdom and love, and that He will sustain their zeal and passion for this ministry
that He has entrusted to them.

4. Pray for our orphanages in India and Nepal, some of which are beginning to feel
heightened levels of negative pressure, from the surrounding society, due to their
Christian faith. This is due in part to a right-wing Hindu movement that is
currently underway.

5. In a special way, please pray for one of our orphans which has been hospitalized
due to unknown severe abdominal pain and vomiting. Pray that God will give the
doctors wisdom, and that He will bring this young lady back to full health soon.

Thanks for praying!


Shaken and Unshakable

P1000468 We live in a world of uncertainties. Uncertain political situations. Uncertain economics. Uncertainties in the natural realm, such as the earthquakes in Nepal. Life is full of uncertainties. And yet, in the midst of all these, there is One who is certain.

P1000742 Yesterday, while sitting in a church in Western Romania, we witnessed two of our orphans declare publicly their commitment to follow Jesus by way of baptism. And as they did, they took a step in the direction of Him who is unshakable.

I think there is a lesson for all of us here: to realize that the world we live in is very unstable, very uncertain; yet the God we serve is very stable and very certain! Psalm 62:6 says, "He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken."

P1000745 May we all be encouraged and challenged to, like our Romanian orphans, put our trust and faith in the One who will never fail us, never falter, never shift or shake. If He is our Center, our Foundation, our Fortress, then no matter what storm or trial comes our way we can say, along with David, "I shall not be shaken"!


Video from Nepal

Dear Kidstown Friends,

A short video for your viewing, from the on-the-ground in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Thanks for caring and praying for the people of Nepal.


Saved by a Ladder

Dear Kidstown Friends,

It was about 11:00 pm. I had just fallen asleep after travelling from the Middle-East to Nepal when I was roused from my slumber by a magnitude 5.0 tremor which had set my room to rocking. I grabbed my shoes, glasses, and passport and bolted for the door...what a great welcome to Nepal!

This tremor, however, was only one of over 270 aftershocks* that have plagued this small Himalayan country since the big 7.8 Gorkha earthquake hit on April 25th. Most of you have read the reports and seen the news coverage and know that the damage was extensive and the impact on the people traumatic.

P1000430 Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit two areas in Kathmandu which were especially affected by the quake. Old buildings and shoddy construction seem to be common denominators. Newer buildings which have been built with rebar and cement seem to have held up far better.

As we strolled through one of these areas, snapping photos of the rubble, a man stopped and informed us that THAT pile of rubble was his house. He was inside, up on the third floor, when the big shaker occurred.
P1000425 The age of his home and its substandard construction was bad enough up against such a large earthquake. But what made things worse was the seven-story building next door that kept banging up his home as it swayed to and fro with the quake. Finally his home gave way, a place where likely he grew up, where his parents lived, and maybe even his grandparents lived. It simply collapsed into a pile of rubble.

P1000543 Remember that I told you the owner was inside, up on the third floor? He recounted how it felt like he was in an elevator. As the building collapsed he dropped 20 feet straight down with it! He surely would have been crushed to death save a strong wooden ladder under which somehow he managed to squirm as the building moved and swayed. That ladder took the brunt of the falling bricks and timber, and although temporarily buried alive, this man lives today because of that ladder.

This is only one story among the thousands of incredible, heart-wrenching, or extremely sad stories. Questions abound. Why did this happen? What do these people do now? Many have lost their homes, some have lost family or friends, others have lost part or all of their means to earn a living. Few have home-owners insurance, or a robust savings account from which to begin again. What do they do?

Another man we met pointed out his house...a ruined, unfixable mess of brick, wood, and rubble. It was only afternoon, yet he had already begun drinking, perhaps unable to cope with the memory of what was, the reality of what now is, and what in the world he is supposed to do now.

P1000552 And then there is fear. Just as lethal as the swaying and bumping of an earthquake is the trauma it causes and the fear it instills. The real culprit behind the fear that is running rampant in Kathmandu was not the 26th of April quake, but the 7.3 earthquake which hit on the 12th of May. It is that 2nd quake that has instilled fear deep inside, so much so that people have (and continue to) live in tents outside their homes or in open fields, some with what appears no real desire to move back inside even though their building stood up fine to the quakes. How do you combat fear? My little taste of the 5.0 tremor the other night was enough to validate that the emotion of fear is a very real thing!

So - what is our response to this foundation-shaking event here in Nepal? I think that the best, most effective, and greatest way we can help the Nepali people is to continue to pray for them. God reveals Himself as a rock, as a fortress. He is unshakable, even if the ground here in Nepal is not. May the Nepali people turn to Him and find in Him the safety and peace they so desperately seek.

Thanks to all for praying and for caring.

*http://www.seismonepal.gov.np/


Headed to Nepal

Dear Kidstown Friends,

Many of you have followed the recent tragic events in Nepal, have expressed concern, have lifted this country and its people up in prayer, and have generously given so that we can assist in the relief and reconstruction efforts. Sincerest thanks to each of you.

I am writing to you from seat 22A on a KLM flight headed to Amsterdam, then Dubai, with final destination Kathmandu. The visit in Nepal will be brief. The primary objectives: assess structural damage to the orphanage facilities, and encourage the orphanage leaders. Kidstown is partnering with seven orphanages that were affected by the earthquakes, and even now, according to a report received yesterday from one of the orphanage leaders, the kids are sleeping in tents outside the building due to the on-going after-shocks that continue to ripple through the Kathmandu valley.

Thanks to you, we have already sent a financial relief package to all of our partner Nepal orphanages as a way of helping them to compensate for increased costs of food and fuel caused by the earthquake. We also will be distributing water filters and medical supplies to help in the present as well as in readiness for any future tremors. And, as we gain a better idea these next few days of damages to facilities, we will aim to dial in relief funds to assist in the reconstruction efforts.

God has given all of us the opportunity to play a part in the Nepal earthquake story. Our part may be small, but let’s just be faithful and do our part well.

Will try to send an update from Nepal soon. Please continue to pray for Nepal, its leaders, the general population, the orphanages, and all the aid workers. Thanks.

Sincerely,

Matthew


7.3 Aftershock Hits Nepal

According to news sources as well as our on-the-ground source in Kathmandu, this
small Himalayan country is once again scurrying into the streets in a state of panic
after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal at about 12pm local (Nepal) time today (12 May)
(means about 3am EDT). The epicenter was about 50 miles east of Kathmandu (whereas
the April 25th quake was about 50 miles west).

According to the BBC at least 54 people in Nepal and India have died and 1,000 have
been injured; a four-story building also reportedly collapsed in Kathmandu (likely
due to having been structurally weakened by the April 25th tremor).

No reports from any of our orphanages.

Will you please pray for Nepal?

1. For God's presence and peace for the Nepali people.
2. For a settling of the seismic movement that has plagued this country over the
last few weeks.
3. For protection for our orphanages.
4. For God's purposes to be advanced amidst this difficult time.

To read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32701385

Thanks for your interest and for praying.


Nepal after 12 days

Dear Kidstown Friends,

Ashish Home relief tent It has been nearly 12 days since the devastating earthquake rocked the small Himalayan nation of Nepal. Its effects have been widespread and have greatly affected life, and will continue to do so for months (and even years) to come. According to one source, the death-toll has now surpassed 9,000 and another 16,000 injured. 200,000 homes have been fully destroyed and another 200,000 have sustained significant structural damage and must be rebuilt. About 35% of Nepal's population have been affected, either directly or indirectly. Many lost family members, homes, properties, businesses, and savings. Some remote villages have yet to receive food, water, and medical help.

April 25th was truly an epic disaster that none of us can fully comprehend.

Ashish Home Support for Nepal in the immediate wake was impressive. Media coverage as well as international and local relief efforts displayed a solidarity of concern and purpose. Nepal's Army and Police are to be given much credit, having mobilized most (if not all) of their units to assist their people.

But as the dust settles and the rest of the world begins to forget about Nepal, what does Nepal do to get back on its feet again?

Nepal had a weak economy before the earthquake (Nepal's GDP-per capita ranked 197 out of 230 countries, according to The World Factbook) and struggled with its economic development, infrastructure, and communications. This earthquake has added injury to insult, dealing an economic blow that may take decades from which to recover. The tourism sector, for example, has taken a big hit with visitors cancelling travel plans as far out as October and November. And Kathmandu, Nepal's hub of commerce and industry, experienced a mass-exodus of up to 50% of its inhabitants due to fears of recurring earthquakes, health hazards, and due to folks simply having no other place to live.

Socially, Nepal also will suffer. Already we have received reports of hundreds of children that have been left without parents due to the quake. Malnutrition, waterborne illnesses, and exposure (a special concern with the oncoming monsoon season) are (and will) take their toll.

Seems overwhelming. And it is. But we aren't called to respond to all of these needs; we are called to respond to some of them. And that's what all of us here at Kidstown (including you) are trying to do. Many of you have been faithfully praying and faithfully giving.

Navigating these troubled waters, our plan is three-fold:

1. Near-term relief: we plan to give to each orphanage affected by the earthquake a basic relief package including finances (to help offset increased cost of food and commodities), water filters, and some other basic relief supplies.

2. Long-term reconstruction: we aim to help in the reconstruction effort of orphanages which have sustained significant structural damage. A Kidstown team will be on-site later this month to do a damage assessment of each orphanage affected by the earthquake.

3. On-going prayer for the orphanage leaders, our kids, and the Nepali people in-general.

May not seem like alot, but its something. And if we all do something, then it adds up to alot.

So - we thank all of you for your interest and concern for Nepal, its people, and our orphanages. For those who have prayed: thanks, and please keep it up. For those who have given financially: thanks, and we will try to apply those funds in strategic and wise ways which will help our Nepali orphanages. For those who have not yet engaged in some way: I encourage you to do so. Just because CNN is not showing the dust and rubble anymore does not mean that everything is back to normal over there. You can pray. You can give (www.kidstown.org/donate - "Nepal relief"), or you can engage in some other way. The main thing is that each of us do our part to help our family in Nepal that at this hour needs our help. Who knows, next year it might be us needing their help.