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A devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Nepal to its core on Saturday, April 25. The epicenter was in the Kathmandu Valley, but the quake’s devastation was also experienced in China, India, Tibet, and Bangladesh.

In Nepal, more than 6,200 people have already been reported dead, and it’s expected that number will continue to rise. More than 1 million children have been affected. At least 1.4 million people are in serious need of food. Tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes, and clean water is running out. Access to rural areas is still difficult, so a total picture of the devastation is not yet known.

The church in Nepal is responding by providing food, shelter, and clean water — starting with the Sindhupalchock district, one of the areas that suffered the greatest devastation following the earthquake. The church will serve about 1,000 people in a community where the UN reports that 64% of the homes were destroyed.

The Church of the Nazarene has a strong presence in Nepal, and the response effort will be led by local churches that are already connected to their communities. There are more than 300 Nazarene churches and church plants, with more than 8,000 members in Nepal. The church also has strong community development programs. NCM supports 13 church-led child development centers serving 1,275 children, and there are ongoing food-security, nutrition, and, economic development projects. The church in Nepal will be involved in providing emergency relief now and will still be there to walk alongside children, families, and communities on the difficult road to recovery long after all the emergency relief has ended.

Current needs include prayer for those who are grieving, those who are suffering from hunger and lack of shelter, and for church leaders and ministers as they work to meet the needs of their neighbors. Financial support is also needed to provide for immediate needs, including food, water filters, and tents.