The following story comes to us courtesy of SIM's partner in Nepal, United Mission to Nepal. SIM will work alongside UMN in providing disaster relief and reconstruction. See their website here.
By Lyn Jackson
All of Sumitra Chepang's house fell down in the earthquake, except the one corner where her one-month-old grandson Suraj was sleeping. Sumitra says it's a miracle – God saved the baby.
Sumitra has been very involved in women's groups in her area and was at a meeting when the earthquake struck. Two of her sons were in Kathmandu studying; the rest of the family was in the fields working. Everyone was safe – even little Suraj.
All their food stocks, utensils and clothing were lost though - nothing could be salvaged from the ruins of the house. A neighbour let them sleep in a chicken shed for a couple of nights. The neighbour even shared some of their meager food rations, for which Sumitra’s family was very grateful. When Sumitra's two sons came back from Kathmandu, they were able to build a temporary shelter from parts of their old house.
Sumitra's husband is a carpenter. There will be plenty of work for him, but he was reluctant to leave his family without food and shelter. Now that they have received two month's supply of basic food items from UMN, he is able to go and get work. Thankfully, their crops are unharmed, and Sumitra will be able to go back to daily agricultural labour to help fill the gap between what they can grow and what they need to survive.
Little Suraj won't remember the earthquake, of course. But when he's older, his family will certainly tell him about the tiny corner of the house that didn’t fall - that saved his life.
If you'd like to support the work of SIM, UMN and other partners to help families like Sumitra's please donate here.