Friday, September 15, 2006

Indonesia De-Briefing - Very successful mission! - Part 1

September 15, 2006 - Friday 5:26pm (EST) - Titusville, FL - Report submitted by Joe Hurston

Since traveling to Indonesia in late June and early July, the Air Mobile Team has traveled back to Haiti. We are looking into possibly making an emergency trip to Lebanon during this fragile cease-fire. In late September (exact dates not published for security reasons), we will return to Haiti again bringing in life-saving water purifiers. As always, we need your prayer and support. Now, on to the Indonesia report.

The following Indonesia report captures the highlights of our recent amazing journey to a devastated earthquake zone and right to the mouth of a very active volcano, Mount Merapi. Part 2 of this report details the training of an incredible "First-Responder Water Relief Team"! Enjoy our report!

When Air Mobile decided to return to Indonesia in response to the devastating earthquake of May 27th and potential eruption of Mount Merapi (the world's most active volcano!), we did not know exactly what we would do upon arrival. We just knew that we had to get as close the "ground zero" as quickly as possible! Like so many disasters, our team was determined to listen very carefully to the Lord for close direction. We were not disappointed!

Upon arrival into Jakarta we immediately went into meetings with ministries that had Vortex Voyagers TM . We were able to upgrade and repair their Voyagers TM. It was a joy to meet Eddy Rubles and see Charles Ham with Hope Worldwide again.

The next day, we flew to the town of Solo, Indonesia in Central Java. This turned out to be the ideal location for our mission. Solo is equi-distant from Jogja and Mount Merapi. Jogja was the ground zero of the May 27th earthquake that killed 6000 and left nearly 1,000,000 homeless. We had the privilege of meeting Jim Karl, President of TEARS International. Jim is bringing in vital relief through another good friend of ours, Dan Carpenter of World in Need. Jim shared about a desperate need for clean water on Nias Island for a hospital specializing in eye operations. Air Mobile met the need with 2 Vortex Voyagers TM!

Over the next week and a half we traveled between Jogja and Mount Merapi every day. Several days we visited both locations in the same day. On one such commute between the two locations, we were eye-witnesses to a dramatic pyroclastic blast from Mount Merapi. This is a horizontal explosion that sends 3000 degree gasses out at 500mph! It was a stunning event!

On these deployments, we were able to assess the damage areas and seek out areas of desperate need for water. We were also able to identify ministries / organizations that were doing work that would complement what we were doing with water purification.

We met so many wonderful people. The Indonesian people are no strangers to disaster. The amazing thing is how well they cope with these horrific disasters and conditions. I'd like to tell you one story that so touched our hearts and demonstrated the wonderful spirit of these precious people.

We had already been to Jogja and now we proceeded to Bantul, a suburb where the devastation was particularly severe. Barbara had noticed some intense digging and activity in some rubble on the right hand side of the road and wanted some photos. We stopped the vehicle and she jumped out to capture what was happening with her camera.

While waiting in our vehicle, my eyes just trailed off to the left and behind a partially collapsed wall, I noted a make-shift tent city. As I scanned the area, I noted a small bird cage made of fine bamboo with a delicate design. The bird cage was hung on a stick in front of a tent with cardboard and scraps of material piecing together living quarters. Suddenly, I noted puffs of water coming out of the little bird cage. The little bird would dance and flutter with each puff. I tried to figure out what was happening. I could only see the upper 2/3's of the cage. After a long gaze, I realized what was happening. The tent dweller had obviously evacuated with their pet bird. The puff of water was by a spray bottle (I could not see that). They were misting their pet bird. Cindy and I just sat there and marveled at how well the Indonesians take care of their pets.

We turned and saw a small foot bridge crossing a canal leading into the tent city. Cindy was soon on the bridge speaking her broken and limited Indonesian. She knew how to ask if there was a need for clean drinking water. It came out like, "do you "want" clean drinking water?" The women on the bridge all said "want want want" with great enthusiasm. In other words, yes we really need clean drinking water in here. Soon we had a Vortex Voyager TM pumping clean water in their village.

We filled every vessel in the little make-shift village. While there, we met the lady on whose property this tent city had sprung up. She had had a lovely home. Now, there was nothing but rubble. She and her daughter were the gracious hosts to these desperate people. The children played and the women were cooking. Some were attempting to wash clothes in the water from the very contaminated canal.

During our process of pumping clean water, the men began to come "home". They were the same work crew that Barbara had photographed earlier. The entire atmosphere was just sweet. We had the opportunity to speak and share with these precious people. I am reminded of the verse of scripture spoken by our Lord Jesus when He said, "I was thirsty and you gave me to drink". The disciples asked Jesus, "when did we ever see you thirsty?". Jesus answered, "When you give water unto the least of these, you give it unto Me". That is exactly what we are doing. Bringing clean water to desperate people. Now that is not just hearing the Word, but doing the Word or better yet, demonstrating the Word of God. The spirit of the Lord was so strong in us that day as we simply obeyed His commands.

Just 2 kilometers away from this tent city was the regional headquarters for the Indonesian Red Cross. We later selected the Red Cross as the recipients of two Vortex Voyagers TM, knowing that the many little tent cities such as this one would be cared for. We traveled out with Red Cross teams and found other such desperate locations. We trained an excellent crew and have the satisfaction of knowing that the Red Cross will operate the Vortex Voyagers TM with excellence.

Though we have worked beside the Red Cross for years, this was our first opportunity to actually donate Vortex Voyagers TM to them. Now the Red Cross will be able to see first-hand how capable a machine the Vortex Voyager TM is. You might ask, why don't they just buy the Vortex Voyagers TM. Well, at the deployment level of the Red Cross such decisions are usually not made. The Red Cross is huge, world wide organization with many levels of bureaucracy. Now, however, they have Vortex Voyagers TM working in the field. We pray that one day, the Red Cross will order many Vortex Voyagers TM!

Please continue reading this report with the details of how we found, qualified, trained and donated Vortex Voyagers TM to an excellent team on Mount Merapi, the world's most active volcano. This deployment is without question, one of our most exciting ever! PART 2 follows.

Joe Hurston
President - Air Mobile

PS - Here's a sneak preview of the Part 2 of our report! A very mobile Emergency Water Response Team trained and in place at Mount Merapi!!