The Only Thing Stronger Than an Earthquake

While serving God in Nepal after the earthquake, Caitlin Roberson realized there is one thing stronger than the earthquake and the devastation it caused: joy.

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal, killing over 9,000 and injuring more than 23,000 others.

Hundreds of thousands were left homeless as the earthquake flattened their homes and even more were left without food or drinking water.

Three months later, I touched down in Nepal for a relief trip. After 70 hours of travel, my co-leader and I were immediately hit with the familiar sounds and smells of Asia.

Having lived in Asia for 5 months on the World Race, it was like coming home in a way. Nepal has always held a special place in my heart, but I knew that I was returning to a broken and mourning country.

I was expecting pain and sorrow, but what I found was something different entirely.

Joy. This was the resounding theme in Nepal, joy amidst the rubble. 

            From caitlinroberson.myadventures.org   From caitlinroberson.myadventures.org

The first day in Kathmandu, my team hiked up to a temple dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu goddess of fertility, and prayed to Jesus over the city. 

On the way back down from the temple, we met a family living under a plastic tarp because their house was too damaged to live in.

They begged us to help them.

After some prayer, evaluations, and measuring, part of our group decided to come back the next day and build more permanent shelters for the family. Throughout the week, they were able to build five more homes in the neighborhood.

The rest of the team was able to go to a camp of internally-displaced people from near the Tibet border, the epicenter of the earthquake.

Even though many of us had expected to work with Hindus, the entire village was made up of Christian families. It was amazing to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ after they had lived through such a horrible event.

    From caitlinroberson.myadventures.org     From caitlinroberson.myadventures.org     From caitlinroberson.myadventures.org

These people had lost everything. They had lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their families.

But they still hung on to their hope in the Lord.

I had never seen people worship the Lord with such joy and gratitude.

There is always joy to be found—in the laughter of the children as we played soccer in the rice patties, in the smile of the old woman as we handed her bananas, in the eyes of the man as he opened the door to his new home.

You see, I learned something in Nepal: no matter how dark a situation gets, or how hard life is, God’s hope is always greater.


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