Note: Dr. Mark and Deirdre Zimmerman receive direct missionary support from the Eastern PA Conference.
From UMCOR–April 27, 2015—-The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, through its disaster-relief arm and in conjunction with longtime local and international partners and Nepal-based Global Ministries missionaries, is responding to the devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal April 25.
Today, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Global Ministries’ relief and development unit, approved a grant of $90,000 for international partner GlobalMedic to bring sorely needed clean water to survivors through provision of household and public water-filtration units.
UMCOR also is in conversation with United Mission to Nepal (UMN), a partner in community-based health and education projects in Nepal for more than 60 years.
“Global Ministries has been in mission with the people of Nepal a long time, and that is a great grace in this time of need,” said Thomas Kemper, who heads the organization. “Our long-established and current work in the communities, especially through UMN, spurs our response.”
That response is assisted further by the fact that UMN had the foresight to assign one of its officers to participate in UMCOR’s most recent regional disaster readiness and response training, which was just held in the Philippines in February.
Rev. J. Denise Honeycutt, who leads UMCOR, pointed out that the regional trainings “fortify our partners’ capacity to respond quickly and efficiently to crises. The technical training UMN received helps UMCOR connect with UMN to respond to the most vulnerable people impacted by this earthquake.”
Casualties and the full extent of the damage caused by the quake, which struck at 11:41 a.m. local time, are still being determined. At least 3,700 people are known to have died and 6,500 were injured, according to news reports, but search and rescue operations continue. Countless people are homeless.
All five Global Ministries missionaries serving in Nepal, and their families, have reported that they are safe. Dr. Lester Dornon and his wife Debbie were in the United States on missionary itineration. Dr. Mark Zimmerman, his wife Deirdre and their children, and Katherine Parker were all in-country, but unharmed in the event.
Mark Zimmerman, who serves with the Nick Simons Institute (NSI), which trains and supports skilled rural healthcare workers, wrote in an email that aftershocks have continued, electric power has been cut and few shops are open. “All of us in Nepal thank you for your thoughts and prayers over the coming days and weeks,” he wrote.
Parker reported that she was traveling with a group from UMN in Pokhara, and was away from her home in the capital when the quake struck. “Reports from friends back in Kathmandu are that tension levels are high with the 20 plus aftershocks, many of which have been 5/6+,” she wrote in an email. She also offered specific prayers for the survivors in Nepal. Please share these points and continue to pray for Nepal’s recovery and learn more about how United Methodists are responding.
As events and needs continue to unfold in Nepal in the aftermath of the earthquake, you can help.
United Methodists Respond to Nepal Quake Longtime local and international partnerships spur response to earthquake emergency.
Nepal Missionary Shares About Earthquake Global Ministries Missionary Mark Zimmerman, who serves in Kathmandu, Nepal, along with his wife Deirdre, shares an update about the devastating earthquake which shook the region on April 26.