Adventists Rush to Help After Deadly Quake Rocks Nepal

(Spectrumbot) #1

Seventh-day Adventist doctors and ADRA workers sprang to work in Nepal after a powerful earthquake on April 25 killed more than 4,000 people.

The Adventist Scheer Memorial Hospital in Banepa, 15 kilometers east of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, was overflowing with patients injured by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which struck around midday about 80 kilometers from Kathmandu.

The quake, which lasted about 10 minutes, flattened entire neighborhoods in Kathmandu, but the Scheer Memorial Hospital appeared to have emerged unscathed other than a minor crack on one of its oldest buildings.

"Thank God the hospital is safe. They are really overwhelmed with patients," said Alvin Cardona, whose father, Fernando, is a pediatrician at the hospital. Cardona, who is in the United States and has spoken with his father in Nepal, said both of his parents were attending Sabbath worship services in an Adventist church when the quake struck.

The Adventist hospital, a three-story facility licensed for 150 beds, has been inundated with people seeking medical treatment and has been forced to tend to many people outside its walls, Cardona said.

"They've been taking care of hundreds of patients on the outside,” he said. “They are also setting up temporary shelter for people that lost homes."

The number of injuries remains unclear. But tremors — and victims — have been reported as far afield as India, Bangladesh, and Tibet. The death toll has risen sharply in the hours after the disaster, topping more than 4,000 by Monday night local time, according to New York Times.

The Nepalese government has declared a state of emergency, and countries around the world have offered assistance.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) said it was deploying emergency workers to the affected areas. "First reports suggest that the destruction is widespread and devastating," said Thierry Van Bignoot, ADRA’s director for emergency management, in an e-mailed statement. "At this time, we ask for your prayers for the people of Nepal and for our team on the ground. We are in the process of finding out more about what’s happened there."

ADRA said on Twitter that its Nepal staff was safe and property was undamaged.

Adventist congregations worldwide prayed for Nepal on Sabbath, and individual church members said on Facebook and Twitter that they were praying as well.

The disaster is putting a major burden on Scheer Memorial Hospital, which traces its roots back to Dr. Stanley and Raylene Sturges, the first Adventist medical missionaries to Nepal in the late 1950s, and is named after Charles J. and Carolyn Scheer, whose son Clifford C. Scheer funded most of its construction.

The hospital’s equipment, furnishings, and supplies are provided by CARE, a major international humanitarian agency, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but it says that its day-to-day operations are largely a matter of faith.

"Scheer Memorial Hospital is running on faith," it said in a statement published on its website before the quake. "Each day there are miracles big and small that allow us to keep our doors open to the community and those who need our help the most."

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(jeremy) #2

i think earthquakes have to be the most frightening natural disaster possible…what do you do when the ground beneath you shudders and moves to a different place, and buildings all around shake and fall…

i experienced a minor tremor in guam while a student missionary there during my senior year - not fun…i really feel for all the helpless people in nepal…

(Andreas Bochmann) #3

Thank you for this report.

With the media telling us how help is being moved from overseas into desaster areas, we sometimes forget that our own help and support is already present with the international network of ADRA and health institutions. Here the church is fulfilling its mission to serve. And yes, once in a while I am impressed and thankful.

(Billman) #4

And yet an earthquake can also be fascinating. A huge amount of power, which can move mountains like Everest.

I have watched concrete walls next to me wobble in an earthquake. And visited Christchurch following its earthquake. Poignant.

(Kevin Paulson) #5

I had hoped we would rush to the aid of the victims of this disaster. The pictures on CNN have been horrific. I am so grateful we can help.

(Tim Teichman) #6

If you’re in a wide open space or in a building that is safe they don’t seem too bad after awhile (says the Californian who lives on a fault line…) You sort of get used to them. Better than tornadoes, I think.

The tragedy is that almost no one would be harmed in earthquakes if buildings were built to withstand them. Most everyone is hurt when man-made structures fall on them. But earthquake-safe construction takes knowledge and money that isn’t generally available in many places.


This is where the church and Christians are demonstrating perfection. The church has hope where it has service and opportunity to help in tragedy. It will do well to remember that social justice is just as important.