Summer 2015     
Disaster Response Nepal

Jesse Hoye - Nepal
Touring the wreckage in Makwanpur village.


Since the earthquake, 3 Disaster Response teams have assisted EMI ministry partners in Nepal. Jesse Hoye and 6 others have volunteered 103 days to date. 60 staff houses of the Kathmandu International Study Center and other local organizations were inspected, giving people confidence to return home. 32 school campuses were assessed for World Vision to inform their reconstruction plans. 7 damaged ministry facilities (hospital, orphanages, etc.) were inspected and repairs were recommended. EMI’s response now enters the reconstruction phase: The 4th EMI DR team will focus on improving masonry reconstruction techniques for Tearfund in July. —Andy, EMI India Office Director



Jesse Hoye - Nepal
Building shelters for monsoon involves the whole family.

I distinctly remember the shaking as I sat in EMI’s India office on April 25th. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake had struck 80 km (50 miles) west of Kathmandu. The faint tremors I was feeling in Delhi were taking the lives or the homes of thousands of people in Nepal. Two weeks later, I boarded a flight with an EMI staff member and a volunteer Structural Engineer. The three of us were EMI’s first Nepal Disaster Response team.

Filling out my application for an EMI internship, I never fathomed I’d be where I’m at now. In college I remember studying seismic engineering and structural dynamics. The instructors gave lessons learned from previous earthquakes and showed photos of damaged buildings. At the time I found all this information so distant and removed. But then we touched down in Kathmandu.

We quickly got to work. In the first couple days we travelled to over 40 staff homes of an international school EMI had partnered with. We inspected each house for damage and assessed its safety. Thankfully, most of the homes we visited were not in imminent danger or had only superficial damage. It was hugely rewarding to see the relief and smiles on their faces each time we told them they could move back into their homes. Until we arrived to carry out these assessments, many of these families had been living outside—under tents.

One morning a newspaper headline read, “Send us engineers!” It was a testament to the dire need in Nepal. Our crowded assessment schedule was our contribution to the immense amount of work to be done. We assessed 17 buildings of a leprosy hospital, more homes in Kathmandu, and several churches. We also assessed homes, schools and water systems in different villages in the Himalayan foothills. The earthquake had reduced some of these tiny villages to nothing but rubble. But these resilient people were busy salvaging materials to build temporary shelters, preparing for the coming monsoon.

Jason Chandler - Nepal
Mary Wesley and her husband run a ministry that reaches out to street kids in Kathmandu, giving them food, shelter, and community. EMI assessed their home as well as their church. Both were approved for occupation.

"Since the day you came to our house we have slept in peace."

It was a full two weeks—rewarding, eye-opening, and unforgettable. I experienced a new level of poverty and brokenness. I beheld faces of those who had lost loved ones—wives, husbands, children, parents, siblings and friends. Before the earthquake, I was an outsider to their way of life. Now I was an observer of their pain and an alien to it. I have lived my entire life in a safe home with “the world at my fingertips.” Others have received so little, and now even that had been taken from them by this disaster.

I wrestled against feelings of guilt because I don’t believe guilt is where God calls us to go. The Apostle Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). My life is not my own. I am simply a steward of all that God has given me: a home, a Christian community, an education. What will I do with the gifts God has entrusted to me? Will I turn them inward and serve myself, building mansions on the sand? Or will I use them to serve Him and build on the Rock which can’t be shaken?


Jason Chandler - Nepal
Sanukancha and his family sit outside their temporary shelter. Like so many, their home was completely destroyed in the earthquake.

For me, EMI has been a start towards becoming that good steward. While it is by no means the sole avenue to that goal, it proves a unique one. It has been amazing to see the opportunity to serve God collide with my skills in structural engineering. From the USA to India and Nepal, EMI has been that beautiful collision.

Jesse Hoye
India DR Intern

Jesse Hoye grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Architectural Engineering. He began his internship with EMI-USA in the fall of 2014. Jesse continued his Structural Engineering and Disaster Response internship with a six-month term at EMI-India.


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