The situation in Nepal is increasing desperate as the death toll has now risen to 5000 and with bad weather rescue and aid supply efforts are becoming challenging. I’ve been speaking regularly with two friends on the ground and it’s heart breaking to hear what they are going through every hour.
This photo provides hope, as NGO’s such as World Vision Australia arrive with aid and supplies. Help their efforts with donations and spreading this message of hope.
Bishaka Aryal, a dear friend and passionate Nepali woman, is braving the elements in Kathmandu as she uses her emergency training to help others. Bishaka is regularly telling me how she is feeling, what she is selling and what needs to be done. It’s desperate! Today she has sent through images from a reporter friend and here is just a sample of the devastation that this earthquake has ravaged on Nepal.
Matt Darvas, World Vision Australia staff member and INF supporter (International Nepal Fellowships), has been sending me updates via Facebook and Skype. I’ve been managing his social media accounts to alert media, friends, family and other NGO’s of his movements. It’s been intense and really been my big focus this week – but it’s nothing compared to what people are going through there! Matt is a champion and his selfless dedication is inspiring! If this is the small way I can help, I’m happy to be here! This is a photo of a helicopter arriving yesterday with supplies, these small helicopters were coming and going all day, the good weather at the time bringing hope to locals.
Here is the updated he posted last night- he will now go to Pokhara and hand over to World Vision International aid workers as they arrive with supplies. He is running on empty but has dedicated his passionate heart to this cause. I admire him so greatly!
FINAL UPDATE @ 2:35 PM local time in Gorkha, Nepal (4 days exactly since #NepalEarthquake)
As of now I have finished my duties reporting here in Gorkha for World Vision International and hope to return home to Pokhara tomorrow.
Since the earthquake I’ve had 11 hrs sleep in total until the writing of this post (but that’s nothing compared to the real struggles of people around me, who’ve lost loved ones or who still haven’t been able to reach those cut off from help).
Since arriving in Gorkha Monday morning, I haven’t taken a shower, changed clothes or brushed my teeth (I know… pretty bad but lucky no interviews face to face!!)
A team from World Vision International Nepal (accompanied by World Vision Canada‘s CEO) is arriving soon with emergency supplies to meet immediate needs, and will stay on for many months to continue efforts to rebuild the lives of the strong humble people here. A new communications officer will relieve me of duties and ensure the stories keep coming.
The support I’ve had from the World Vision International Emergency Communications team has been remarkable. You might be ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ me on media throughout the world, but I am merely the product of a TEAM of 20 plus AMAZING WV Comms Staff working with incredible coordination from around the world to keep the news rolling 24/7. They have supported, encouraged and sustained me throughout. They are lead by Kristy Allen-Shirley and Joy Toose.
I must also point out the outstanding efforts of the organization Brittany works for – and who we are living in Nepal to serve – the International Nepal Fellowship (INF) and our friends United Mission to Nepal. Their joint medical team that I rode in with was one of the very first responders, and two of their doctors, Josh Riggsbee and Rebecca McAteer, deployed heroically on helicopters to remote villages here. Thomas and Artur from INF, have helped with photos and stories that I’ve relied on to paint a picture for the world as to what is happening in this remote and devastated area that is home to more than 270 000 people.
Special mentions as well to Emma Lovell from Lovelly Communications, who has selflessly managed my personal social media to engage even more media opportunities during this time, whilst also keeping authorities, NGOs, friends, family and concerned Nepalis throughout the world updated. And Steph Kate Judd for her support of INF, both of whom have done so out of their own time and deep personal connections with Nepal.
And of course, my amazing wife Brittany Darvas. This has been harder for her than anyone else on this ride with me, as she tirelessly looks after our precious daughter (who has started crawling whilst I’ve been away!!) through aftershocks and a husband one hundred kilometers away in a disaster zone! She’s also done interviews for Australian media, directed countless peoples questions on ‘where to give’, and has been distributing aid locally in Pokhara to friends and community members in need. Like we said in our wedding vowels, “We are on each-others team!”
Finally, I can’t stress how much I’ve seen God at work throughout all of this. People might say, “Where is God in the face of so much death and chaos?”
… He’s in the countless selfless individuals risking their own lives to serve others, amidst the rubble with those crying out for help, and in the stirring of hearts around the world to give generously.
Mysteriously though often agonisingly, God is most elegantly on display in times like this where many mistakenly think He is absent.
He doesn’t ‘will’ death or destruction but rather, through his Son’s radical example of love and sacrifice for us all, proclaims life, justice and grace. I wonder if you know Him?
Let us continue to keep Nepal in our prayers and not fail to forget the people here in the coming months and years. I never will. And thank you for encouraging, praying and supporting me.
With the support of Australian donations, World Vision Australia can make a massive difference to the lives of those people affected by #NepalEarthquake: