UK Parliament praises World Mission initiative in Nepal

An MP has praised the Church of Scotland's work to help people in Nepal rebuild after last year's earthquake. Kirsten Oswald, the SNP MP for East Renfrewshire tabled a motion in Parliament recognising the challenge facing the people of Nepal and welcoming funds raised to help them rebuild.

Nepali Family A family in Dhading Nepal where World Mission's Let's Build a House initiative is helping rebuild homes after the April 2015 earthquake.

Praise for Let us Build a House

The motion, tabled on Monday, singles out the work of the World Mission Council, saying Parliament:

"congratulates the initiative of the World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland in establishing its three-year Let's build a house project with its local partner United Mission to Nepal; and records its appreciation that the call to continue supporting the people of Nepal in rebuilding their country and their lives is being taken up by churches across Scotland, including Coldingham and St Abbs in the Scottish Borders, Neilston in East Renfrewshire and Fairmilehead in Edinburgh."

Kirsten Oswald said:

"I congratulate parishioners across Scotland, who have taken up the challenge to raise money for those suffering the loss of their homes in Nepal. The effects of this tragedy are still being felt nearly a year later, and whilst government aid has helped immensely, such is the scale of the destruction that we must continue to help where we can.

"It is heartening to see the community of Neilston rallying round to help, and it is testament to the community spirit of the people of Neilston that they want to support others across the world in this way."

Twenty-five other MPs signed the motion, including 22 MPs from across Scotland, three from Northern Ireland and one from England.

A stonemason at work A stonemason at work

Presbytery challenge already tops £76,000

Nepali minister Rev Ram Kumar Budhathoki, who survived the earthquake, spoke at the 2015 General Assembly, telling commissioners how terrified his family had felt and how people in the country had been affected. After hearing his story, commissioners moved to support the World Mission Council's partner in Nepal, the United Mission to Nepal.

Rev Iain Cunningham, Convener of the World Mission Council said:

"We are grateful to all our members who have responded to the challenge of raising funds to help rebuild the lives of the Nepali people. We have almost 1400 congregations who all take part in fundraising efforts for good causes and many of them contribute to our efforts to support partners overseas.

"We already know we will be able to build more than 100 houses, but we'd like to increase that to at least 200. As we continue with this 3 year initiative, we will be able to share more about the new homes and rebuilt communities in the Dhading area of Nepal."

World Mission has raised more than £76,000 so far from its Presbytery challenge, and more is expected to come in from Presbyteries across the country.

Stonemasons in training Stonemasons are training in making homes more earthquake proof.

Acharacle and Ardnamurchan lead the way

The need in Nepal is great as more than six million families lost their homes in the earthquake. Work on the homes cannot start until after the winter season. At present stonemasons are in training, learning how to build homes that are more earthquake proof.

Acharacle and Ardnamurchan churches raised £500 for 'Let us Build a House' during the month of December. The small West coast congregation of around a dozen people struggles to keep a roof on the church building, but decided to put their own concerns aside to help those with no roof at all.

They raised the money through a series of Advent coffee mornings. On their Facebook page the congregation posted this message:

"We pray that the homeless of Nepal will soon have roofs over their heads and we thank God that we are able to share our riches with others."

Learn more about Let's Build a House and find out how to donate to the initiative here.

See list of all the MPs who supported the motion.