Shaken for the People of Nepal

April 27, 2015

A doctor serving with Samaritan's Purse feels the earthquake while at a retreat near the epicenter.

By Dr. Josh Riggsbee

Nepal Earthquake In Article ButtonDr. Josh Riggsbee, a Samaritan’s Purse medical missionary serving at Tansen Mission Hospital in Nepal, was attending a retreat in Pokhara with his family when the earthquake hit.

The earthquake’s epicenter was between Pokhara and Kathmandu, and we experienced fairly unnerving shaking that felt like it lasted an eternity as we all gathered our loved ones and went outside.

There have been several aftershocks since. Fortunately, we did not have much damage and none of our co-workers and friends were injured. Also, we were relieved to hear that our home, Tansen, was not badly damaged.

Unfortunately, the capital city was very badly damaged and many people have lost their lives and homes.

Right now we are trying to get a grasp on our emotions that are more like a roller coaster right now. We are here in Pokhara at a retreat while people are suffering and need help. We all hope that we can help in any way possible but at this point we are just waiting around.

I am having a hard time sleeping in my hotel while thinking about people sleeping on the streets in Kathmandu and in other areas of Nepal.

I just cannot stop thinking about the people surrounded by chaos. I cannot stop thinking about the frightened children whose lives have been destroyed and are looking around for their mother and father to come rescue them and explain what is happening.

It is hard for me to reconcile the blessings God has and is currently placing in my life with the horror that others are facing right now.

Then I realize that I do not have to be the one who reconciles. God will reconcile all of this. God is still in control and by no means has He forgotten the people suffering in Nepal.

My heart has often broken after huge natural disasters have occurred. I vividly remember Hurricane Katrina in the U.S., the more recent earthquakes in Pakistan, Haiti, and China, and the Indian Ocean tsunami. I was fortunate to get to help in the renewing/rebuilding process in New Orleans and Indonesia a few years back.

Now, my home is Nepal. God did not bring our family here just to work or just to provide medical care (which we are happy this is part of it) but God brought us here to LOVE. We love Nepal and we love the people here. This disaster has happened in a place we love and has affected people we love.

I do not feel the need to look for the answers to why this has happened, but I want my response to this be out of love.

Please pray for Nepal and for quick resolution to the assessment of the damage and the loss of life. Pray for the equipment and resources needed to start to recover after such a devastating disaster. Please pray for all of the Nepali people that they find comfort and peace in God throughout such a tragedy.