Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) Executive Director, Canon Bill Deiss, and ARDF US Trustee Rev. Bill Haley (Associate Rector at The Falls Church Anglican and Executive Director of Coracle) are visiting Nepal one year after the earthquake of April 25, 2015. Their trip focused on building long-term partnerships with local leaders to ensure a successful reconstruction effort—and on encouraging the local church as they rely on God in this challenging time.
“The Anglican Church in Nepal was devastated by the earthquakes just a year ago," said Bill Haley. saying that the goals of the trip were "to encourage and minister to the church there as their family in Christ and as Anglicans from North America."
ARDF will work to form a five-year development partnership with The Anglican Deanery of Nepal and the Anglican Diocese of Singapore. This trip is the vital first step toward reaching that goal. The ARDF team will meet with local leaders, identify potential opportunities and challenges, and come away with concrete next steps for working together in the long term.
One year ago, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck this poor mountain nation. The disaster killed 8,900 people, injured more than 200,000, and displaced over 3 million. 530,000 buildings, including 4,932 schools, were destroyed. The Anglican Deanery of Nepal lost 30 of its 58 church buildings and continues to mourn the tragic loss of 70 congregation members. ARDF helped raise over $215,000 for emergency disaster relief in Nepal, helping to rebuild lives and show the love of Christ to those suffering in the wake of the tragedy.
Since that time, the process of rebuilding has been painfully slow due to political instability and geographical challenges. Nepal’s remote landscape has made it difficult for the government to provide for all of those affected by the earthquake. This is especially true for Anglicans in Nepal. In the areas where the Anglican Church is strongest, 95 – 100% of the villages were destroyed, leaving little protection from aftershocks, extreme monsoon conditions, and the brutally cold Himalayan winter.
However, as the rest of the world moves on to other stories, The Anglican Relief and Development Fund believes that now is the time to stand with our brothers and sisters in Nepal. The need continues to be great, but God is at work. According to recent surveys, Christianity is spreading rapidly in this land of extreme beauty, and the church has exploded not despite, but because of this disaster.
“In a country crippled by ineffective government, and the harsh realities of the caste system, Christians from around the world—including Anglicans here in North America—stepped in to provide tangible love and support for those in need. Just as the early church cared for the weak and orphaned in the ancient Roman Empire, the church today is siding with the outcastes and helpless in Nepal,” said Canon Bill Deiss, ARDF’s Executive Director. “We believe that our church in North America has an incredibly opportunity to partner with The Anglican Church in Nepal at this crucial time.”
Will you partner with ARDF and Anglicans in Nepal to make the gospel tangible in this remote and beautiful nation?
Ways to get involved:
- Pray: Pray for a political breakthrough that will allow for a faster recovery effort. Pray that the Anglican Church in Nepal will rest upon God’s grace at this time and experience his healing and peace. Pray for a long-term partnership between Anglicans in North America and in Nepal through ARDF.
- More than half of the Anglican churches in Nepal were destroyed by the earthquake. Churches serve as temporary shelters for the community in winter and cost only $50,000 to re-build.
- Nepal has only 5 clergy and 72 local pastors for its 9,000+ members. In addition to material relief, your giving will also support important church-planting and outreach programs.
- To give, visit the ARDF website.