A devastating earthquake, magnitude 7.8 on Richter scale, struck the Himalayan country of Nepal on Saturday, April 25. The epicenter of the quake was in a densely populated area near Kathmandu, and the impact extended into northern India. Hundreds of people are confirmed dead, and thousands have been injured. You can help via the American Red Cross, Care, Catholic Relief Services, Church World Service, Lutheran World Relief and Lutheran Disaster Response, and Oxfam, Here is a list of other organizations providing relief from Public Radio International (PRI).
We are called to respond in prayer for the victims of the earthquake and for the first responders. The prayer below is from Catholic Relief Services, followed a prayer from Episcopal Relief and Development.
A Prayer for First Responders
Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy, who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send down your blessings on these your servants, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, and compassion in all their work. When the alarm sounds and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal