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One Day at a Time: A Family Rebuilds After Devastating Earthquake

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CBN partners help proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel to 159 countries and territories in 75 languages with 57 years of integrity. Explore the life-changing work of CBN.

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Dan Reany - 700 Club Producer

I’m Dan Reany.  I have a Master’s in anthropology, and I travel the world bringing back stories of the good CBN does in people’s lives.  Now I want to go deeper with people, to better understand their struggles as they fight to survive, “One Day at a Time.”

High in the foothills of the Himalayas, I met Raju and his family.  They’ve been living in a simple shack ever since the earthquake of 2015.  

Raju explained, “It’s just a temporary house. In the rainy season, the roof leaks and the dirt floor turns to mud. In the summer, it’s very hot, and in the winter, it’s very cold.”

Next, we went to church. Like many Christian families, they were at church when the earthquake hit. The church and the congregation made it through the earthquake, but many of their homes didn’t.  

Raju said, “We came home and found our house completely collapsed. Our family was safe, but we lost everything.

Raju’s wife, Kamala, said, “We salvaged wood and metal sheets from our broken house. The church and government also gave us more metal sheets. So, we built this temporary shelter, and have lived here more than two years now.”

As Kamala made dinner, we talked about their day to day lives.  Both Raju and his wife work as day laborers, hauling construction materials.  Kamala also tends goats.  A few are hers, but she mainly takes care of other people’s goats.

Kamala explained, “I raise them, and when a goat is sold, I get a little bit of the money.”  

Some days Raju can’t find work.

Kamala said, “I wish I had more goats of my own.  Then we would be more independent.”
Because it was nearing the end of the monsoon season, it rained pretty much every night.  

As Dan and the family gathered inside their make-shift home, Dan said, “So, we all just ran inside to avoid the rain, but it’s still raining inside.  Their daughter has been running around putting bowls and plates out anywhere she could on the floor to keep the floor from turning into mud.  But the rain water is still running underneath the walls.  I mean this is a pretty solid structure, but it’s just not meant for people to live here through the monsoon season.”

As the rain continued to come down, we shared dinner together.  It was a traditional meal of rice and dahl, a kind of lentil soup.  Soon it was time to turn in.

As they tried to decide the sleeping arrangement, Dan laughed and said, “They’ve been trying to force me to take their bed, but I’m not going to do it.”

With some bedding on the dirt floor of the shack, and a mosquito net, I settled in early for the night, because I planned to work with Raju the next day.

The next morning, Dan explained, “So, it rained for more than 5 hours straight last night.  I kept getting spritzed in the face by rain drops.  Never figured out where that leak was, but once the rain stopped, it was a little easier to sleep.  Not the most restful night, especially getting ready for a hard day’s work.”

For the previous month, Raju had been using a CBN brick press to make interlocking bricks, compressed from a mixture of sand, clay and cement. Along with interlocking nubs, the bricks have holes for pouring in a cement slurry and inserting rebar to make the house even stronger.

Dan said, “So, Raju is just about finished making all the inner-locking bricks he needs to build his family’s home, which means that soon our brick making machines will be on their way to help another family rebuild.”

I wanted to start laying some of those new bricks with him and the masons, but we couldn’t because it was still raining. So instead, I set off on a special mission and returned with two more goats for the family.

Kamala said, “Thank you for these goats.  This will be a big help for our family.”

I said goodbye to Raju’s daughter before she left for school.  Soon it was time for me to go. We said our farewells and parted ways.  After I left, Raju continued to work on his new house with CBN’s construction team. It has real walls, windows and doors, 2 rooms and a roof that doesn’t leak. Now they don’t have to worry about wild animals, earthquakes or monsoons.  With a new home and a few more goats, this family has security, independence, and hope for a brighter future.

Raju said, “The house is strong. It doesn’t leak, and it won’t collapse in an earthquake.”

“We could never build such a wonderful house by ourselves,” said Kamala. “Thank you very, very much.”

As she hugged her stuffed animal and smiled, their daughter said, “Thank you for my new house.”

Did you know?

CBN partners help proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel to 159 countries and territories in 75 languages with 57 years of integrity. Explore the life-changing work of CBN.

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