Written by: Tiffany Lam
During holiday, would you travel abroad, or do something meaningful? A team of 10 brothers and sisters from Evangelical Free Church of China Waterloo Hill Church (WHC) spent their 10-day holidays in Nepal last April. They travelled to mountainous communities in Gorkha to visit CEDAR’s partner ACN who are doing post-disaster work. “Through this trip, we hope to help brothers and sisters realise what integral mission is and broaden their gospel vision,” says Joshua, former WHC staff and part of the team. Therefore, they stepped out of the air-conditioning room at church and went to remote mountainous area where they practised walking with local people and the meaning of offering a cup of cold water to little ones. It was the first time for most of the team to visit a disaster area or take part in cross-cultural activity, thus Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was also a new idea to them.
Seeing blessings from DRR
The team entered the villages and saw simple brick houses along the way that were structured differently from urban houses. ACN rebuilt houses and schools in the disaster area, incorporating quake-resistant technique in each construction that used the white concrete steel structure as a strong framework. When earthquake occurs, the brick wall would only collapsed partly, providing a chance for people to escape. Team member Tim, an engineer, saw houses in the community left empty and incomplete due to the delay of construction company. Hence Joshua says, “We appreciate ACN even more that they never delay their scheduled work, and they never cut corners.” Tim nods and agrees, “ACN workers arrived the area two weeks after the disaster and have been walking with victims. Their sincere attitude and diligent work spirit inspire other local organisations to follow. It is indeed a good testimony!”
Walking pass houses, they returned to the road towards school. The team rolled up their sleeves and transformed into construction workers. With a shovel, they shoved up the cement and poured it onto the road to create an even path, which will also help reduce soil erosion. Villagers gave great thanks as their efforts in few hours actually equaled to two days of work. Afterwards, the team joined a disaster prevention talk, aiming to increase villagers’ sense of disaster preparedness. “I saw villagers from different religions and clans attending the talk held at church. I think this has provided a platform for sharing our faith and God’s love for the world.”
Continued Caring with Our Small Steps
Upon the end of their trip, they returned to the prosperous Hong Kong. But they did not forget their experience, “After return, we tried to learn about the difficulties local Nepalese face. We took part in children tutorial class held by a local organisation, and we taught them Chinese,” says Tim. Joshua continues, “The church took action to support through donations during last year’s flood in South Asia. Although it was a negligible amount, it meant a lot.” Faith and works are inseparable. What we ought to do is to step out to act and to bless others.