"All the believers began to scream and weep. I told them not to be afraid and also not to run outside," said Pastor Pahil.
The Gospel for Asia-supported pastor thought their village, surrounded by hills, was experiencing a landslide. But when the shaking continued, he began to understand the reality of the situation.
"We got more opportunities to meet, encourage and share [Christ's love] with them," Pahil said. People from the surrounding areas traveled to Pastor Pahil's village in search of safety as well. Many of them had been forced out of their own communities by landslides triggered by the quakes. The believers shared their clothing, food and shelter with those around them. As time passed, people slowly began to rebuild their lives, yet the definite need for schooling still remained.
Bridge of Hope Provides a FutureWith both school buildings destroyed and classes out of session, children were left with no way to continue their education. When Pastor Pahil recognized the need, he helped establish a Bridge of Hope center in the village. The center provided many children with tutoring, school supplies, uniforms and nutritious meals.
Two young boys, Sejun and Badal, joined the center. After the earthquake, Sejun and Badal had traveled with their families to Pastor Pahil's village with nothing but the clothes on their backs. All of their belongings had been destroyed in a landslide. Everyone in their village was forced to relocate.
As the boys attended the center, the kindness and compassion of the Bridge of Hope staff greatly impacted the families' lives. Soon Sejun's and Badal's families began to realize Christ's compassion toward them. They are grateful for the help they received from the Body of Christ, especially after having lost much of their livelihoods in the earthquake.
Practical Love Offers Hope in Trial
Though the earthquake's destruction was catastrophic, Pastor Pahil has an optimistic outlook on the situation. He's seen the people in his village respond to God's love and faithfulness in the midst of trial and tragedy. Through the believers' tangible example of Christ's love in their relief work, six villagers have decided to follow the Lord.
"The villagers' attitude toward Christians . . . has been totally changed since the earthquake," Pastor Pahil says. "Now they take us positively."
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.