First of all, the Ignite the World Ministries Team of Mike Maksimowicz, Carl LaCasse and Jerry Heyne are all safe in Kathmandu.
At about noon on Saturday, April 25th in Kathmandu, thecapital of Nepal and home to over 1 million residents, a strong earthquake hit the city and rocked the Bethlehem Kathmandu Church where we were guest preachers. The pastor had just closed the service with the benediction. The church was packed with about 200 people when the floor began to move and the building started to shake. Everyone frantically rushed through the only door of the church, screaming and yelling. The main concern was that the brick wall would not collapse on top of the people. Fortunately it didn’t and everyone was able to get out of the building safely. The pastor then called for everyone to remain calm and begin to pray. Soon a peace settled among the church members.
As for our team, we then drove to the airport hoping that we could still make our flight to Pokhara where we were scheduled for an Igniter Training Conference the next day with 100 pastors and evangelists. However the airport was closed until further notice. Since the roads were in bad shape due large cracks from the earthquake, we had to stay at a hotel near the airport and wait to find out more information about further travel. On Sunday, flights were again cancelled to Pokhara and so we had no choice but to cancel the Western Nepal Outreach. However we did Skypesome encouraging words to the pastors who had alreadygathered at the church and were ready to go on with the conference without us with their own leadership team. What true Igniters! So here we are in Kathmandu, waiting until Wednesday morning where we will fly to Bhutan. In the meantime, the team will rent a taxi, assess the damages to the city, and then for the next two days reach out to the people devastated from the earthquake. We will offer consoling/healing prayer, as well as pitch in with others to provide vital relief work wherever we can.
Please pray for the people of Kathmandu.
Here are some of the effects of the earthquake:
*7.8 earthquake with the epicenter 50 miles away from Kathmandu, near Pokhara.
*1800+ dead, nearly 5000 injured.
*Thousands of people sleeping outsides due to the aftershocks.
*Hospitals inundated. Medicine and supplies needed.
*Many roads and buildings badly damaged.
Thank you to all our supporters who are praying for this vital outreach and the safety of our team. God is doing amazing things so far in this outreach with many people in the Philippines coming to Christ, new Igniters recruited, and many poor villagers fed, clothed and physically healed. Praise the Lord! We now tackle the needs here in Kathmandu before going on to Bhutan and Calcutta, India.
God bless you all!
Mike, Carl and Jerry