(Photo courtesy Baptist Global Response)
Nepal (MNN) -- Nepal's government estimated the cost for earthquake repair at $6.7 billion. Foreign donors have given more than $3 billion dollars, led by India promising $2 billion over the next two years. The Asian Development bank pledged $600 million, while China promised $483 million.
These countries may have outgiven everyone else, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're making the biggest impact. Baptist Global Response
has raised about $1.2 million for food, shelter, and other essentials, and has mobilized about three-quarters of it. It may not be billions, but BGR is ensuring every cent goes toward meeting physical needs.
“Pledges, and the way that countries support international disasters, they translate into different things, not necessarily goods that get to people,” says Jeff Palmer, BGR’s executive director.
“The good thing about BGR and several others like us that are in there responding is that even though we have the smaller amounts of resources, based upon the generosity and goodness of our donors, we’re really able to take those resources and put them out almost dollar-for-dollar to really help with things like food, like shelter, like getting people back into the normalcy of life,” Palmer says.
BGR’s support comes in a timely fashion. The monsoon season, a time of heavy rainfalls, has already begun and is delaying rebuilding projects. But through BGR's help, victims are receiving temporary relief.
“In the early days, we were providing food, because that was the need,” Palmer says. “Then it moved to some hygiene kits and some medicines and some things that people need to get back in their homes. The big thing that we’re moving to now is shelter, getting people out of the rain because the rainy season, which is called the monsoon season, has started, and folks just need a dry place to live."
BGR workers are in the process of constructing over 10,000 tin-roofed structures in the next few months. They cost around $100 apiece, and several hundred have already been constructed. They aren't perfect, but they're better than nothing.
(Photo courtesy of Baptist Global Response)
“They’re not fancy; they’re holding up well because of the metal construction and the tin,” Palmer says. “A neat part is: everything can be gotten locally. We buy locally, stimulate the local economy. And it’s reproducible: anybody can do it.”
But BGR isn’t just meeting physical needs. Palmer says that showing compassion and serving the suffering opens doors for more meaningful interaction.
“Go back to the Bible,” Palmer says. “The love of Christ compels us to minister and take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. And in that, what a wonderful way that we, as followers of Jesus, can make Christ known around the world.”
Palmer asks that you join BGR as it shares the hope of Christ through meeting temporary needs. Visit gobgr.org
to learn more about the organization's work in Nepal and to find donation opportunities.
You can also serve by praying. Pray that God would guide BGR workers toward the greatest needs. Pray also that the people of Nepal would realize their need for God.