Mountain Village in Nepal Spared Significant Damage from Latest Major Quake, Scientology Volunteer Minister Reports

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The May 12 earthquake struck shortly after a team of 16 Volunteer Ministers reached a mountainous district some 86 kilometers north of Kathmandu.

Nepalese Scouts, who have trained to deliver Scientology assists, work as part of the Scientology Nepal Disaster Response Team.

The Volunteer Minister “helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others."

In a remote mountain village in Nepal’s Dhading district, 86 kilometers north of Kathmandu, a group of Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) were fortunate to have just arrived when the 7.3 magnitude May 12 earthquake struck. Being on the spot permitted them to provide relief.

Rapidly surveying the area, the team found a three-year-old girl who fell and deeply gashed her foot during the temblor. Fortunately, one of the Volunteer Ministers – a medical doctor – was able to immediately dress the wound.

Although the 7.8 magnitude April 25 earthquake had severely damaged the buildings, and most of the villagers were homeless, little additional damage to the remaining structures was sustained by the May 12 quake.

The Volunteer Ministers had left for the village the day before on what one of the volunteers described as a “long and very dangerous journey. The first three hours were by bus,” he recalled, “then almost two hours in a metal cart pulled by a John Deere tractor.”

The volunteer explained that the tractor was needed because no other type of vehicle could scale the side of the cliff. “This road is essentially a river bed with massive boulders throughout,” he added, “thus the tractor is off-roading all the way up the mountain, in and out of the river.”

Not long after they embarked on their journey, it began to rain, “and the river rapidly started filling up,” he said. “For the last 20 minutes, we were traveling in this trailer, up a river, in total darkness and under a tarp to stay dry.” Eventually, the driver insisted it was too dangerous to continue at night. So they pitched camp and waited until the next morning, completing the trek with a two-kilometer hike up the mountain to the village.

The earlier quake and aftershocks already had exacted a huge toll on the area. A 13-year-old girl had perished, several houses were destroyed, and many more buildings were badly damaged. Most of the villagers were living in sheds.

“Our first priority was to pitch tents,” said the Volunteer Minister.

While engaged in this activity, an elderly woman came by to see what was going on. The volunteers learned she had badly injured her hand and could not use it at all. After seeing to it that she had any medical care she needed, Pastor Alfred Waqa, a Volunteer Minister who had traveled to Nepal from Fiji to join the disaster response, decided to tackle her problem with a Scientology Nerve Assist.

Assists are techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard that are designed to help speed recovery for those suffering physical and emotional trauma. And their results can be startling and remarkable.

Other villagers stopped to see what was going on, and when they saw the kind of relief the woman experienced from the assist, they requested assists of their own. Pastor Waqa showed them how to perform the technique.

Whether serving in their communities or on the other side of the world, the motto of the Scientology Volunteer Minister is, “Something can be done about it.” The program, created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard and sponsored by the Church of Scientology International as a religious social service, constitutes one of the world’s largest and most visible international independent relief forces.

The Volunteer Minister “helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.”

A global network of Volunteer Ministers mobilizes in times of manmade and natural disasters, answering the call wherever needed. Collaborating with some 1,000 organizations and agencies, they have utilized their skill and experience in providing physical support and spiritual aid at hundreds of disaster sites.

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