Religious leaders and students pray together
THE SANTA CLARA
May 14, 2015
Members of the Santa Clara community organized a vigil to stand in solidarity with victims of the Nepal earthquake last Thursday.
Dozens of Santa Clara students and faculty congregated in front of the steps of Mission Church in remembrance of the millions affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal.
Individuals prayed for the thousands who have died, and for the countless others who have been injured and are suffering.
Among the others mentioned in their prayers were children now homeless, parents now childless, those still searching for loved ones, those risking their lives and limbs to help, and those bringing healing, comfort and hope to the survivors.
“My best friend has family in Nepal, and she was heartbroken to see so much of the history gone forever,” said junior Sania Baqai, Advocacy Programs Coordinator of the Multicultural Center, organized the event with the help of Campus Ministry. “I don’t want the memory of this tragedy to fade away in two weeks just because the media stops reporting it.”
She went on to explain the impact of the tragedy in Nepal.
“They’re going to need a long-term investment to rebuild their beautiful country. So keep praying and donating.”
Lulu Santana from Campus Ministry applauded Santa Clara’s efforts to keep the suffering of the Nepalese in the hearts and minds of the Santa Clara community even as the news coverage of the disaster begins to dwindle.
“This is not our campus’ first vigil,” Santana said. “I see familiar faces who have gathered here before. To me, it’s something that has been very moving to see, how in the midst of suffering, gathering unites us in our humanity. It’s important that we take time out to pause and reflect on humanity who is suffering.”
Current numbers estimate that more than 7,000 people died and over 14,000 were injured from the earthquake, with a total of 8 million people affected.
“Every time I refresh the internet, it seems the death toll is up by a thousand,” Baqai said. “This (is) something that could just as easily happen here, to us — and in that case, I would hope that people would be praying for us, too.”
Rev. Laura Brekke, Director of Religious Diversity in Campus Ministry, said that the vigil is tangible evidence of Santa Clara’s values of shared community and the dignity of others being put into practice.
“It’s amazing how we can all gather together in not-so-amazing circumstances,” Brekke said.
Contact Nanki Bhullar at firstname.lastname@example.org .