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Melamchi Bazaar, Nepal, was flooded in June 2021
Melamchi Bazaar, Nepal, was flooded in June 2021

Climate Justice Diaries: 'Let Us Rejoice in God's Beautiful Creation'

Wednesday March 2 2022

Jiwan Rai explains how the climate is changing in Nepal, and how the churches are trying to help.

Greetings and Jai Masih

My name is Jiwan Rai, I am from Nepal, there are four members in my family: a son, a daughter and wife. I am now 40 years old. I have been in the Christian Church of Itahari for the past 20 years. I have been assisting my senior pastor in God’s ministry. Similarly, I have been working in United Mission to Nepal (UMN) for the past 17 years. My main responsibility is promoting an integral mission concept as well as the church community mobilisation process UMN working area and Nepali churches.

When it comes to climate change, I feel like the weather and temperature have changed before and now. Landslides have been caused by people digging roads everywhere due to destruction of natural resources, forests, trees. Even in agriculture, chemical fertilisers were not used before. Now every farmer uses chemical for fertilisers. I heard from climate change experts in the field who said that pollution from developed nations has had a direct impact on Nepal as well.

Earth's temperature seems to have risen. When I was younger, I didn't experience much heat like now. The summer months used to be July and August but now summer starts from August. The time of winter has also changed. Winter used to be only from mid-November to December but now it starts from December and ends in the first week of February. 

Nepal was a naturally beautiful country. God's creation is good. Nepal used to have evergreen forests. During the last 40 years, the forests of the hills and the forests of the Terai [a lowland region in the foothills of the Himalayas] have been almost destroyed, most by human activities. The hills have become desolate and the Terai is densely populated. Climate change is also being felt because of the destruction of natural forests.

In the places where I am working, we in the Nepali churches are debating and praying about how to protect God’s creation. The churches are working to conserve water, to the best of their ability. Congregations are also working to plant and preserve new trees. At the same time, the churches are working to spread awareness among the communities that forests, and water sources should be cared for and protected.

I am not an expert in this field, but I have experienced that the temperature of the earth has changed dramatically. Human activity has destroyed God's beautiful creation. Let us, the churches, pray together, to spread awareness, to rejoice in the beautiful creation of our God and to preserve it. Thank you.

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Climate Justice Diaries: Church of Scotland partners from around the world explore the impact of climate change, and what is being done to help. 

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