Monday, January 10, 2005

A first look at Jakarta

Jakarta, Indonesia-- Air Mobile has arrived in Indonesia. The team has already had several meetings with relief organizations. Currently six Vortex Voyagers TM have been delivered.

The recipients are International Board of Indonesia, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Missionary organization, which is one of the world's largest faith based relief organizations. They are heading tomorrow into the the worst hit regions of Asia with two mobile medical units.

The second recipient is Project Concern, based in Southern California. They have been creating an extensive infrastructure in Indonesia for over 30 years. Usually their work is not disaster-related, but they divert resources when an area near their bases experiences disaster. Currently they are preparing their mobile medical units to assist the tsunami victims in Indonesia as well as in India.

The Air Mobile team also met with a group of United Methodist missionaries and arranged plane tickets to Sumatra Tuesday. This part of Indonesia suffered terrible losses. Reports indicate that the 30 foot waves created havoc as far inland as 15 miles. The town had 40,000 residents and 80 to 90% of the population is reported as missing or dead. The team would like to get the Vortex Voyager TM into the most appropriate and neediest hands there. The medical teams that AMM delivered Vortex Voyagers TM to today are headed to that region.

The Indonesian government has never allowed this kind of help before in its history. This is actually the first time that foreign military has been allowed on Indonesian soil, since independence. The United States military, along with the Australians, have been some of the first responders and are making every effort to be incredibly sensitive to the Indonesian government as they assist in the relief. Therefore, due to these complications, the team is not sure they will be allowed to enter the worst hit areas as they have been turned into military zones.

Jakarta itself doesn't look too bad. You can see where there is some damage but it is not nearly as bad as some of the other regions of Asia. Most of the citizens the team has spoken to did not even feel the earthquake and learned of the tragedy on the news. Tomorrow the team heads toward Medan, one of the regions that has suffered the greatest losses. Please keep the team, as well as the Vortexes deployed, in prayer. The organizations this evening said there has never been a natural disaster of this magnitude in recorded history and that there has also never been such a relief effort launched. We are proud to be a part of the solution.

John Torres' : I was shocked at Jakarta. I was expecting a third-world hovel, but instead it is not unlike many other big cities in the world. I am anxious to go out and report as well as witness relief efforts. I have made contact with a hospital admisitrator where many of the injured have been taken to. In the morning, after yet another airplane flight, we will finally be at the heart of the disaster. The team is satisfied with the trip so far but I think many of us are want to see the water purifiers in action, helping the needy. Keep us in your prayers.