An Angus congregation’s dream of building houses for those whose lives were devastated by the Nepal earthquake of 2015 has turned into a reality.
An innovative fundraiser, which brick by brick raised enough funds to build four houses, was cemented by the East and Old Parish Church and the church’s 2nd Forfar Boys’ Brigade Company.
They were quick off the mark to support a £250,000 campaign run by World Mission of the Church of Scotland, raising £2,000 in the process.
On Saturday, B.B. Captain Irene Duthie and the Rev Barbara Ann Sweetin fly out to Nepal for an 11-day fact-finding mission to see how the funds have been spent.
The Rev Sweetin said: “After the earthquake World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland started up the ‘Let us build a house campaign’.
“It gripped many people’s imaginations because we have a hymn called ‘Let us build a house’.
“We held a retiring offering to start us off and then our BB Company built a very large cardboard house.
“They sold small brown envelopes for £1 , people wrote their names on it and stuck the envelope which looked like a brick onto the house.”
The house was then taken into the town centre church and members paid £1 for a ‘tile’ to roof the house.
A number of other fundraisers were held, including a coffee morning, factual quiz, a service with the theme of helping our neighbours ; the Guild raised funds and church members handed in donations.
In three months £2,000 was raised for four homes.
The main emphasis during the first year after the 2015 earthquake, which killed nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000, was raising the £250,000 and in the second year the joiners and masons were trained.
This year 20 people from across Scotland, including the Rev Sweetin and Mrs Duthie, will travel to the district of Dhading to meet partner church members from the United Mission to Nepal and visit areas affected by the earthquake and the subsequent building programme.
Mrs Sweetin continued: “‘Irene and I are excited to be part of the group selected to go to Nepal.
“Once money has been raised you don’t often find out exactly where it went, so to see it being put to such a wonderful use and then to bring that information and images back to Scotland will hopefully inspire other people to help a neighbour in any way they can and show God’s love in action.
“There are a few items our mission partner has asked us to bring out for himself and his family and for the workers at the United Mission to Nepal: chalk, lots of it, peppermint tea, Marmite, Branston pickle, fudge, Lemsips and lots of biscuits. It certainly is adding to the weight of the cases!”