After a ride on an Australian military helicopter, a Malaysian cargo plane, and two flights on Singapore’s Silk Air, I am safely back home in Kunming.
So many aspects of our medical relief trip to Indonesia are beyond adequate description.
The devastation in Indonesia is overwhelmingly vast. We stood on the beach of what used to be the town of Saney. Prior to December 26, Saney had 73 buildings and 270 residents. Today, only 70 survivors and no structures remain. The town was washed away by the three tsunami waves.
Our team worked in a small hospital in the village of Lhoong, about 30 km. (20 minutes by helicopter) south of the city of Banda Aceh. The Lhoong hospital serves the residents of 13 villages who now all reside among 7 refugee camps. Nearly half of the community’s 12,000 members perished.
Our team of 3 doctors, 4 translators, and a logistics expert treated patients, gave medicine and water, listened to stories, and shed tears. There are so many stories to be told.
One young mother (see photo) described how her husband quickly went to the family store following the earthquake. Finding it in shambles, he phoned his wife and asked her to come help him clean up. But the tidal waves soon came. Now she has no store, no home, and no husband. Countless others have endured similar losses.
It has been said that people cannot resist being loved. That statement would hold true of the Acehnese. We found the people to be warm, welcoming, and grateful. They knew that we had come to love and serve them. We hope that many saw the love of Jesus in us.
I want to thank those of you who faithfully prayed for our team during this effort. The results were obvious as we had undeniable unity and strength.
This was not a life-changing experience, but a life-confirming experience. It confirmed again to me that my life is to be focused on serving children in need.
Please continue to remember the Acehnese people and the long term relief efforts to rebuild this region.