Yesterday I received an email from Usha. Her time is completed at the monastery in Greece. She returns to Nepal tomorrow. Please remember her in prayer as she returns to a devastated country.
Also in the email was a message from an acquaintance of mine in Kathmandu, Fr. Cap, a Roman Catholic priest. He is in his 80’s and has been in Nepal for over 50 years. In fact, he has citizenship, which is very rare for a Westerner. I wrote to him to see how he was doing. There was a lot of damage near his place, so I was concerned for him. Here is his response:
Dear Fr. Seraphim, my brother-in-Christ,
Many thanks for your loving concern – “Nepal is weeping”, a night watchman said to me the other day. So true! But the people are resilient and brave. Please continue to remember us in your Masses and prayers. It will take a long time to wipe away the tears.
In the love of Jesus,
cap miller sj ( physically fine, emotionally very distressed)
Shortly after the earthquake hit, Usha contacted me via Skype. Fortunately she is safe at the monastery in Greece until late May. She is doing well and learning a great deal about Orthodoxy and monasticism.
The major damage from the earthquake took place in my old neighborhood in Patan. Ancient temples were destroyed. That part of the city was covered in a huge dust cloud. It will cause a great deal of suffering for the many people with respiratory ailments.
I was able to contact my former tutor, Umesh. He and his family are safe. Next I contacted my former landlady, Aruna. She and her family are also safe. They have been sleeping out in the street for the past 2 nights because it is still not safe to enter the buildings. The first day, there were aftershocks every few minutes, including one that was about 6.3, a major earthquake itself. Unfortunately, I have not been able to make contact with others, like Amanda, Mariam and her family (who lives in Bhaktapur which was also seriously damaged), and Fr. Capp.
The problem now is the lack of food and water and sanitation. Because of the narrow streets and the many fallen buildings and telephone poles, etc., deliveries cannot be made. It will be a long time of recovery and a very difficult time for a nation that already struggles on a daily basis. May God have mercy on them through your prayers. – Fr.S.
I have just received an email from Usha and she has received her visa for Greece. Glory to God. She will fly to Thessaloniki on 4 April and will spend time in a nearby monastery until her return to Nepal 21st of May. Please remember her in your prayers. May The Lord illumine her heart and mind about the truth of Orthodoxy. – Fr. S.
My home for Great Lent and Pascha. St. Sergius Holy Trinity Lavra