News Release

Miracle of the Blankets in Nepal

Humanitarian relief to the people of Nepal who live in isolated villages in the mountains has been critical but difficult.  Elder and Sister Oliphant, humanitarian missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, felt that additional efforts could be done for those in the remote areas to help protect against the cold winter of Nepal.

After much research and discussion, it was decided what would be most needed during the cold winter were good blankets. Many of the people whose houses had been destroyed by the earthquake were still living in temporary, make-shift shelters. Many leaked and dripped on the people inside during cold weather.  A wool blend blanket was the best for these conditions since wool would keep a person warm even when it gets wet. A factory was located in China and an order for 10,000 blankets was given.

Then how to distribute the blankets to such a remote area?  The blankets were finished at the end of December and loaded on one large truck to travel to Tibet. During the trip, the blankets were transferred to smaller trucks in Tibet for the remaining travel to the Nepal border since the roads could not handle the larger truck. They were then transferred a third time to even smaller trucks for the narrow and rough roads of Nepal. 

An obstacle occurred when notice was sent that the blankets may not be the quality that was needed and ordered. Elder Oliphant described the difficult time “Had we chosen the wrong type of blanket? Were they really low quality? Had someone stolen the good ones and replaced them with junk? We just didn’t know. We all prayed that somehow the blankets could get to people who needed them.”

 Through much hard work and fervent prayer the blankets were on their way …but were they? One more hurdle occurred when people tried to stop the trucks, afraid of a rumor their villages may not receive the needed blankets. More prayer and finally the trucks moved forward again. The people would receive the blankets!  At delivery, Elder Oliphant was able to confirm the good quality of the wool blend blankets – just what had been ordered - and the distribution to the villagers began.

Many people were involved in the success of this distribution and prayers of gratitude were given. Quoting Elder Oliphant again “Driving home from the distribution in Sindhupalchok, the District Committee Chairman asked what the Latter-day Saint part of Latter-day Saint Charities meant.  I told him that in the time of Christ, His followers were called Saints.  In our time, His followers are called Latter-day Saints.” 

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