Local churches have been collecting funds for victims of the massive earthquake which struck Nepal on April 25, devastating the country.
Several churches intend to donate the proceeds from the offerings collected on Sunday to the cause.
Rev Paul Reid of The Old Presbyterian Church of Larne and Kilwaughter described the situation in the country as “heartbreaking.”
He stated: “We are holding a denominational appeal through the retiring offering from this Sunday onwards for the next couple of weeks.
“That will help those on the ground to buy what they need.
“It’s important to bear in mind that a disaster could hit us and we might need Christian charity. We get it relatively easy here and in this situation we need to put our faith into action.”
Anyone wishing to donate can also phone Rev Reid on 07713511407.
As part of the moderator’s appeal, Gardenmore Presbyterian Church is also donating its offering to the cause over the next two to three weeks.
Rev Gary Glasgow said that the congregation would be “praying for the whole situation in Nepal.”
Meanwhile, Larne Methodist Church is dedicating the offering for the next two weeks to the Nepal appeal.
Those wishing to donate can simply submit their contribution in an envelope marked “Nepal appeal.”
The Irish Methodist Church’s World Development and Relief scheme (WDR) is working with its partner organisation in Nepal, named “Kopila.”
WDR is sending an initial £5,000 to address the immediate need in the country.
One of Kopila’s areas of expertise is psychosocial welfare, and it has sent teams to hospitals in Pokhara, Kathmandu and Gorkha to offer counselling.
Kopila’s Executive Director Bina Silwal commented: “In the Kaski and Tanahu Districts 519 houses are destroyed and around 2,500 people are living in the open. They do not have food or shelter or any support. In Majthana, Kopila gave 15 tents. Other families are waiting for support. Approximately £50,000 is needed in these areas for their relief as soon as possible. We are also trying to get more info from other authorities. Despite the widespread destruction to homes there have been few fatalities in the rural areas and so relief is being focused in the urban areas. Thus these rural people are not seen as priority.
Diocesan Communications Officer for Down and Connor Father Edward Magee said local Catholic churches are coordinating their response through Trocaire, which has already donated £100,000 to the cause. Donations can be made in parish churches, at the Trocaire office in Belfast or at https://www.trocaire.org/donate/make-a-donation.