Maddie - Project Nepali L.O.V.E.

Hey y’all! I received the AMAZING privilege of being asked to travel to Nepal to photograph the relief efforts of volunteers coming from all over the world to help the natives rebuild after a heartbreaking earthquake that happened in April 2015.

I’ve always dreamt of photographing in another country and especially after a disaster like this one. I want to tell people’s stories, capture their lives, their experience through the tragedy and my experience there. Thank you National Geographic for fueling this fire in my heart.

 After receiving the opportunity and after lots of prayer, I feel as though this is definitely something I’m being called to, but the problem is, I can’t financially do it. That’s where you come in. By giving towards my trip, you can help financially support me as I travel across the world to bring Jesus and love to those hurting; and pictures of stories and people back to the states to spread the word of the relief effort. By giving, you’re not only impacting my life, but you also play a key role in helping the beautiful people of Nepal. I’m not only asking for financial help, though. I’m also asking for lots prayer. I mean LOTS. Prayer for safety, prayer for open hearts, prayer for opportunities to just love on the people of Nepal, prayer for the right words at the right times and prayer for life change.

 For those of you wondering details, I will be involved with an NGO called Project Nepali L.O.V.E. This organization is designed and operated by local Nepali’s in partnership with Americans to restore Nepali villages and communities affected by natural disasters, poverty and hopelessness.

 Get ready for insane, heartbreaking numbers. When the earthquake hit on April 25, 2015, it was a 7.8 magnitude quake. It destroyed and badly damaged over 850,000 homes in 14 districts of Nepal. It affected more than 8 million people; killed over 9,000, injured over 17,800, and hundreds are still missing. Over 81,000 households, which is about 400,000 people, need shelter and NFIs (non-food items) before winter, which is October through March. That leaves only 6 months to rebuild otherwise the mortality rate increases quickly. Over 58,689 people remain in displacement sites, 85% of which aren’t suitable for winter. Over 530,000 are acutely food insecure, which means there’s a severe lack of food access with excess mortality, very high and increasing malnutrition, and irreversible livelihood asset stripping. Protests over a new constitution have resulted in over 50 deaths. Human trafficking and sexual and gender based violence is on the rise. And lastly, over 70% live on less than $2.50 a day and over 90% live on less than $4.00 a day.

 All this is heartbreaking… I know. Those numbers are just a million more reasons as to why I feel so passionate about this trip. I am SO excited to see what God has planned for me. This is going to be life changing and I’m ready for everything that this trip holds, for my eyes to be opened to a whole new world and for my heart to break for what breaks His.

 I leave May 9th (yes, that soon!) and will return May 19th. Thank y’all SO incredibly much for your generosity and prayers! I plan on blogging this entire experience with lots of stories, pictures, etc. once I return home so be looking for the link on my business and personal pages. Love y’all and I will keep you updated as it gets closer!

 “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

 Much love,

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Maddie Widder 
Sugarcreek, OH
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