Missionaries in Nepal Temporarily Living Outside

Damage to buildings in downtown Kathmandu after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake rocked the country of Nepal leaving thousands homeless.
Damage to buildings in downtown Kathmandu after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the country of Nepal leaving thousands homeless.

KATHMANDU, Nepal—The Rev. John Greer, moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Northern Ireland (FPCU), spoke this morning with Rev. Wesley Graham, FPCU missionary visiting Nepal, about the earthquake that occurred yesterday. Greer reported that the missionaries, and most of the community around the Kathmandu FPC church, are living outside for fear their dwellings will collapse.

“They’re basically just living outside, eating outside, sleeping outside,” Greer said. “Most of the people around Wesley’s community are doing the same.”

According to Greer, the missionaries attempted to sleep inside last night, but several tremors shook the building and forced them back outside.

“Wesley said they can’t even go into a guest house or anything because they’re not safe,” Greer said. “The whole community where he is, and where the church is located, is living outside.”

According to Greer, Graham said that a number of the Free Presbyterian Churches in Nepal were severely damaged, and one newly-built church that they were scheduled to officially open at the beginning of next week was completely destroyed.

Graham told Greer that the earthquake was a very sobering experience.

“Wesley was preaching and coming to the end of his message when a few girls ran out,” Greer said. “The girls sensed the first shaking, and Wesley felt nothing for the first few seconds and wondered why they were running. Then he felt the shaking and immediately ran for the door. Wesley said the ground was just heaving; it was incredible. It was so bad that he looked around to see where his wife was; then he went back and grabbed her, and she could hardly stay on her feet.”

According to Greer, the Grahams and others from the church are taking the opportunity to visit with people in the community around the church, who are currently living outside.

The FPCU mission board is initiating an appeal for funds throughout all the churches in Northern Ireland to help the Nepalese believers. Greer will make the announcement this morning to his own congregation of over 500 in Ballymena.