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Nepal Earthquake Death Toll over 8,000, Relief Efforts Are Far from over

( [email protected] ) Jun 02, 2015 02:11 AM EDT

Nepal Earthquake
Nepal military personnel and earthquake survivors search for belongings in collapsed houses in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Kathmandu(Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

The catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 devastated the area, claiming the lives of over 8,000 people, injuring thousands, and leaving another 2.8 million people homeless.

Volunteers with Crisis Response International, a Christian disaster response ministry out of Nashville, TN, are responding to the devastation by providing food, shelter and water to those displaced.

"Our teams are on the ground and have made it to the storms epicenter, helping with shelter, supplies, prayer and clean water," Sean Malone, Director of Crisis Response International said in an emailed statement to the Gospel Herald.

In addition to providing practical relief, CRI aid workers view their efforts as an opportunity to spread the love of God to hurting and homeless refugees. Thus, the non-profit Christian ministry trains and equips believers in disaster preparedness and response nationwide while mobilizing teams to respond to international disasters. "Our first priority is basic needs for the people who are stranded with no one or no where to go," explained Malone.         

Nepal Crisis
Chij Maya Gurung, 35, (R) and her daughter Nita Gurung, 10, sit outside the Gorkha hospital after arriving by helicopter from their village in Gorkha, Nepal April 30, 2015. (Photo : REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha) 

In addition to their volunteers already working in Nepal, CRí will send additional "waves" of responders June 2nd, June 10th, and June 17th. However, due to the magnitude of the crisis in Nepal, the organization is asking for more help from the global Christian communities.

"In the western Church we do a lot of talking and debating about church models, ministry and theology, but when disaster and crisis happens, the rubber meets the road for our faith. Are we willing to be the answer to our own prayers and allow the Lord to work in us and through us to bring hope and help to the nations?" said Malone.

"Right now we are calling on our friends in the states to partner with us in bringing fresh water and supplies. Monsoon season is imminent, so the most urgent need is for family sized tents. We also need to purchase blankets, baby diapers, cooking oil, and solar powered lights," he continued.

CRI will will be hosting a number of upcoming training opportunities in South Dakota, California or Virginia. Additionally, donations to the ministry and more details on training dates and times can be found on their website at http://criout.com/event/.

"Even now I believe the Lord is raising up believers with a heart to go where and when it's needed most. We are calling mercy missionaries with a heart to bring healing and hope back to Nepal," said Malone.