By Jason KUROSU
Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal has claimed the lives of over 5,000 people and left thousands of others injured and missing. One local who was in the city of Kathmandu, a mere 50 miles from the epicenter of the quake, was Holly Wilson, a Crescenta Valley High School graduate and daughter of Andy Wilson, pastor at the La Crescenta Presbyterian Church.
Luckily for the Wilson family, Holly did not remain out of touch for too long.
Andy Wilson said their daughter Hannah called them at about 4 a.m. local time with frightening news about the devastating quake.
“Our daughter Hannah called us from Santa Cruz, panic struck. Of course, we were extremely worried,” said Wilson.
Spotty communication in and out of Nepal prevented them from obtaining any news on Holly’s immediate whereabouts and condition.
“We prayed, tried to find every angle to get in touch, but finally realized there was nothing we could do about it.”
But a few hours later, Holly called. They were only able to speak with her for 45 seconds, but long enough to know she was alright.
“She said they were walking down the street when the quake hit and said it felt like walking down a bridge that was swaying,” said Wilson.
Holly has been in Kathmandu since late March as part of Youth with a Mission, or YWAM, a nonprofit missionary organization which currently has around 200 missionaries in Nepal. Miraculously, Wilson said none of the missionaries, including Holly, was hurt.
Holly and the 20 other members she traveled with spent six months at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii at Discipleship Training School, before embarking on their mission in Nepal.
Wilson said Holly and the 20 other YWAM missionaries have had to share a phone in order to contact relatives, but that he has been able to speak with her twice since Saturday.
After the quake, Holly and the other missionaries were able to reach a secure one-story building and are currently working to see that those in need receive clean water and shelter.
Though Wilson is naturally concerned, he said that information on the unlikelihood of another large quake, outside of aftershocks, has been reassuring.
Wilson is happy that his daughter is well, but asked that others “please pray for the people of Nepal” and encouraged donations be sent through YWAM and any other charitable organizations.
Holly is set to return home in June.