Jeremy and his father in Nepal while participating in a World Vision Field Experience trip for fathers and sons.
Over Easter I travelled to Nepal with my dad. I travelled with a bunch of other Dads and Sons. It was the first time World Vision had run a Global One trip just for men. We had an amazing time growing in father-son relationship and learning more about World Vision’s work in Nepal. We came back having had a life changing experience as Dads and Sons. Nepal had a special place in our lives.
Then on 25 April, the biggest earthquake in Nepal for over 80 years hit and places that had only just become special suddenly were in rubble. Even before I left I wanted to go back to Nepal, but I didn’t want my heart thrown back there so soon and for such a sad occasion.
As a family, we wanted to do something and we knew that our church would want to be part of it. So we decided that we would have a Sleep out for Nepal, or, so it would go “totally viral”, a #SleepoutforNepal.
Within two weeks, we had 25 people sleeping rough at our church, St Matts Prahran, with each of us reaching out to our friends and families to take part by coming along or giving to the cause through the Everyday Hero website. We figured, with so many people sleeping rough in Nepal following the Earthquakes, that we could sleep rough for them.
But so much more happened than just fundraising and sleeping out. The church came together in community. We had ages 2 – 45 sleeping and sharing life and purpose. We shared a Nepalese meal together and prayed for the Nepalese, World Vision and all the agencies working in Nepal. We had a couple of young girls run a lemonade stand on their street and raise $167! We had kids leading us in prayer.
Perhaps the most exciting thing to hear was when a four-year-old girl who slept out was asked if she had fun doing the sleep out say, “Yeah it was fun sleeping in the church, but it is not fun for the Nepali people who can’t sleep in their houses anymore.”
This was the church in action, this was the church being Christ’s love in the world. We didn’t know how much we were going to raise, but we were all surprised when the day following the sleep out we topped $15,000! And it is still climbing.
It is amazing what God can do, I am reminded of the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. If God had told us to help hundreds of people, we could have said, “But God all we have is two weeks and a couple of dozen people in a small urban church, we can’t do anything.” But through his work, we have been to provide financial support to provide 240 families with tarpaulins and plastic sheeting to protect them from the elements.