Unshakable hope built with Mother’s love

On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a great loss—8,900 deaths, 600,000 collapsed houses, and 5.4 million victims (according to the report of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on October 31, 2015)—caused by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that stroke Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, and aftershocks and landslides that followed. About a year has passed, and the effort to reconstruct Nepal is still ongoing on the strength of the prayers of the Church of God members worldwide and the international attention.

From the very next day after the earthquake, the Church of God members in Kathmandu were all united to make relief efforts. For about 100 days, before the rainy season began in earnest, more than 15,000 man-days worked voluntarily in around 710 places. They carried out various volunteer services such as donating daily necessities, providing medical support, making relief efforts, and cleaning up the disaster-stricken areas, not only in Kathmandu but also in Sindhupalchok District, the border area between Nepal and China, in Sertung, a remote village in Dhading District where the Himalayas spread out, and in Tipling. The churches in suburban areas of Nepal filled trucks with relief goods and restoration equipment and sent them to Kathmandu with one accord. Including the goods delivered from the Head Office in Korea, a total of 1,000 tents, 1,000 meters of mats for heating, 800 bags of rice, 700 boxes of instant noodles, 500 boxes of bottled water, 5,400 kg of lentils, 1,000 kg of salt, and 1 million Nepalese rupees (about 9,400 USD) were donated to the earthquake victims.

Sindhupalchok, which is located in the northeast of Kathmandu and three-hour drive away from it, is counted the most damaged by the earthquake. The members carried out the Mother’s School Project to restore a local primary school building with Mother’s heart for the children who lost their classrooms by the earthquake. Most of school buildings collapsed by the earthquake and the students were having classes at the temporary classrooms built with tents or bamboos or galvanized iron sheets. For the future of Nepal, new solid school buildings were urgently needed.

The first school was the Shree Primary School in Chautara Municipality, Sindhupalchok. The members of the Church of God donated school supplies to the students and built the new school themselves. The construction began in August last year. The college student members from Korea and the male adult members and young adult members from Kathmandu, Nepal, were united for the debris removal. They dug the foundation, and with the help of the experts and construction equipment, they finished building the four prefabricated school buildings.

At around 1 p.m. on March 2, 2016, the completion ceremony for the newly built school buildings was held at the Shree Primary School. About 250 people—the Church of God pastoral staff and the members, the Shree Primary School teachers and all the students, a Sindhupalchok district education officer, a congressman, and residents—participated in the ceremony. The day was also the 23rd school anniversary. The teachers and students were all overjoyed to “have a new start on its 23rd anniversary.”

The ceremony proceeded with the ribbon cutting, new building tours, encouragement address, and celebrating performance. Local notables looked around the classrooms prepared with new chairs and desks, blackboards, and school appliances, and admired, “It’s great to have durable school buildings where students can continue to study.” “The Church of God people from Korea have established these beautiful buildings. Our children can study in these great places. Thank you so much,” said Congressman Yagya Prasad Dangal through his congratulatory address. “The situation was very tough. However, before any organizations or the Nepalese government came and did the work, the Church of God came to this disaster-stricken area and built the school. Thanks to your support and love towards the students and their families, we are very happy,” said Sindhupalchok District Education Officer Rudra Hari Bhandari, expressing his gratitude repeatedly.

To congratulate the completion, the members sang the New Song, “God Bless You.” In response to it, the Shree Primary School students performed a folk dance. The Church of God gave a plaque of donation to the school, and the Sindhupalchok District Education Office gave the certificate of appreciation and the Shree Primary School gave the medal of appreciation to the church. The pastoral staff and the members gave all thanks and glory to God Elohim, and hoped that the young students would study diligently in the new classrooms and pursue their dreams about the future.