Binay Bhujel has the voice of an angel. He sat on the debris from his collapsed home in Nepal and sang about how life goes on.
Binay’s music elicits joy, as does his contagious smile. “I always feel like smiling,” he said.
When asked what his family needs most since the earthquake in April 2015, he answered with “ghar.” “Ghar” means “home” in Nepali. To Binay—like so many others—“ghar” means more than just four walls and a roof. It goes deeper. “I was born here, and I want to die here,” he said.
Binay lives in central Nepal with his mother and older sister, who were both in the top floor of their home when the earthquake began. They ran down the stairs and shoved the door open just before the house fell. Binay was already outside and had found safety with friends.
His family is one of hundreds of thousands who lost their homes in the disaster. People were left to sleep under makeshift tents and tarps or to crowd into the homes of friends or family.
Samaritan’s Purse made shelters a top priority of our recovery work in Nepal. We supplied materials and construction training to over 20,000 households—most in remote, mountain villages. These sturdy shelters provided families with a safe place to lay their heads while rebuilding their lives.
Along the way, our staff has had the privilege of building relationships with people like Binay, his mother, and sister. They remind us that each family has their own important story of survival, of picking up the pieces, and learning how to keep going.
In the breathtaking mountains of Rasuwa district—near the border with Tibet—our teams provided tarps, cooking kits, and hygiene kits to earthquake survivors.
Here we met precocious children like Lakpa, 10, who wants to become a doctor when she grows up. “I wanted to be a doctor after I saw the accidents and injury from the earthquake,” she said. “I want to help sick people.”
We also talked to a young mother named Pramita, who used her body as a shield to protect her infant during the earthquake. After the shaking stopped, she looked down in horror to see blood covering her daughter’s face. Then Pramita realized it was blood from her own head, and the baby was unharmed.
Pramita, a Christian, said although the event was traumatizing for her, she is grateful to God for sparing her family’s lives. “Even through the trauma, I have faith in Christ,” she said.
While she and her husband work to rebuild their lives, they have been using the cooking kit and hygiene kit provided by Samaritan’s Purse. Their belongings were crushed in the earthquake, so Pramita was glad to have pots, pans, and other cooking utensils for her family.
“God is so great to send help here like this,” she said.
On top of the broken stones and splintered wood of homes in Nuwakot district, the children still found reasons to laugh and play. Their parents huddled in groups nearby to learn how to build sturdy shelters from our team. Our staff held training sessions for communities to learn how to most effectively use the materials we provided and also to gain knowledge on earthquake-resistant construction.
Rain drummed the metal roof above Padam Kumari as she shelled corn with her family in their new shelter. They constructed it with iron sheets, pipes, wire, plastic, and other materials given to them by Samaritan’s Purse. Now the family was ready to weather the monsoon season together in the mountains.
“You have done all of these things for us,” she said, alongside her son, granddaughter, and great granddaughter. “We are happy and appreciate you.”
It took an entire day for Padam’s family to transport their full shelter kit down the rocky road, across the river, and up the muddy path to their land, tucked away on the side of a mountain. They carried the supplies on foot for the latter part of the steep journey. It’s families such as hers that our teams have been focused on reaching—both to help meet their physical needs and to let them know they aren’t forgotten.
In addition to shelters, Samaritan’s Purse has helped earthquake survivors by providing clean water, hand-washing stations, and latrines for schools; winter supplies for families; and other assistance to help people recover. Our teams have reached hundreds of families with relief who were scraping by in tent camps for months after the disaster.
The children we served in the tent camps found space to play one of their favorite games using pebbles.
Samaritan’s Purse remains committed to displaying God’s compassion and faithfulness through our work in Nepal.
The people we have the privilege of helping constantly inspire us and reveal more to us about the resiliency and strength the Lord has granted to humanity. Please join us in praying that these families find faith in Christ and discover that no hardship can separate God’s children from His great love.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NKJV).