“A mental health disaster.” This is how one major news outlet has described Nepal after two major earthquakes well over 7.0 in magnitude. But it’s not just two earthquakes, there have been more than 100 aftershocks coming several times per day. Most of them small, but each one a harsh reminder of the big ones, and each one faced with uncertainty and fear of another big quake. Trauma care is crucial.
Trauma Care: Therapeutic and Empowering
Our team (Reach Global/OC partnership team) held five different trauma debriefing/training programs in earthquake-hit areas. With timely trauma care debriefing, people can bounce back much quicker, as well as avoid more serious issues like post traumatic stress disorder. Common threads in what people shared in these times included feelings of powerlessness, insecurity, and helplessness. Many shed tears as they shared their feelings for the first time since the initial earthquake. Some would talk about what the earthquake was like for them describing things like “popping sounds” and “a sound like water rushing under the ground” as the shock wave moved through earth below them.
The trauma care debriefing was designed to be both therapeutic for the participants who were able to share their experience and receive help with their own trauma, as well as a time of equipping as they learned how they could take others through the process of guided questions and listening.
Kids Earthquake Art Therapy
As our teams conducted trauma care debriefing, young children are always nearby. Opportunity was also given to the children to process their experiences and emotions from the earthquakes with art being a key part of the therapy. Below is a picture drawn by one of the children – an 8 year old girl. At the bottom of it, you can see what appears to be the famous Dharahara tower that collapsed in the first earthquake. For Nepalese, this would be much like us having the Washington Monument crumble to the ground. The church, prayer, and living in a tent are prominent features in this artwork and clearly prominent features of her life since the quake.
They clearly illustrate the reality for a majority of all those in the earthquake zone. They see cracked buildings and live outside under a tent day and night. Few have returned to their houses or apartments even in Kathmandu. The trauma of tremors and memories is incapacitating, so trauma care is important.
Children’s needs are among the highest right now. One amazing thing is that the first earthquake happened on a Saturday when children were not in school – saving untold numbers of lives. More than 25,000 school classrooms were destroyed and another 10,000 are in need of repair leaving more than 800,000 children with no school to go to (according to the current UN situation report). Along with the trauma debriefing, our teams are continuing to help bring needed aid.
Helping through Praying and Giving
- Thank you Lord that slowly the pain and fear of these tragic events are being worked through and believers are growing stronger through Christ!
- Pray for our OC team as they continue the trauma counseling and for the local pastors when the short-term team leaves.
- Pray for those beginning the construction of homes for the worse off families in the first two villages.
These ministry partners have been devastated, and we want to help them in their relief efforts, to reach their neighbors, their villages, their cities, and their whole country. One way we can do that is through these relief efforts. If you are interested, you can help by giving to the project, Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund at www.onechallenge.org/GIVE.
Related Stories on Nepal Earthquake Relief
You can read more about One Challenge’s ministry in Nepal…
- Have you ever camped in the rain?
- God’s Love in Action in Nepal … Church leader’s testimony (Video)
- Meeting Needs and New Opportunities in Nepal … Rev D reports… (Video)
- Nepal Earthquake … on the scene (Video)
- Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund
- Courageously Training Church Leaders in Nepal
- Mining for Gold in Young Nepali Marriages
Partnering & Bridge Building
One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. We serve, equip, and connect the body of Christ to advance God’s kingdom among all people. We engage in strategic partnerships out of a conviction that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.