This is a story of long-term, sustainable economic development made possible by gifts to the OGHS Nepal Earthquake Relief fund, and the unlikely team that God put together to get the job done.
After a harrowing two-hour jeep ride that circled the perimeter of a huge “middle” mountain, the one-lane dirt and pot-holed road came to a dead end on a cliff’s edge overlooking the most divine farm lands far below. It was raining off and on at this remote peak, so the path up was slippery and steep.
IM’s development worker for Nepal, Carole Sydnor, briefed us in advance. She advised that we would be visiting some homes that had sustained damage or had been completely destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. Having just lightly rained, the steps up were now a wet, slippery path. Very carefully, holding on to each other’s hands, we gingerly walked on those tiny steps reaching a home on a level terraced yard.
It was occupied by two Buddhist families and had sustained damage to the structure, but the damage was not significant enough to qualify for a government grant for repairs. The immediate and very real problem faced by the families was poverty. More than anything else, they needed a livelihood that could sustain the 10 people who resided there including two young children.
Funds from the Nepal Earthquake Relief fund were working to make that livelihood possible. The mother was able to borrow money from the project’s supported local self-help cooperative. She purchased two goats, now with four kids, and two (extremely large) water buffalo, now with a calf. (It is a total mystery to me how the huge animals were delivered to the tippy top of this mountain!) She was provided shed management for the livestock and training in agriculture for the family’s fields – proudly showing us her productive garden. This was truly a gift from God for these families. They were so thankful, not only for the love and kindness, but for the opportunity to develop a sustainable livelihood that will carry them through good times and bad for the foreseeable future.
One of the things I love about short-term mission trips is how I get to see the many different ways God is working through donors in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The impact of your gifts is changing lives! If you gave to the Nepal Earthquake Relief fund through International Ministries and One Great Hour of Sharing, you need to know that families from half-way around the world send their deepest thanks for your generosity!