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Max left Tuesday, January 18, 2005.
Max goes to Hong Kong first. He will visit with old missionary friends and talk to some
mission churches there.
Then to Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday, Jan.
23 for two days of orientation training.
He has been in contact with the US
Embassy in Jakarta, missionary friends from Hillvue Heights Church, and some zoo keepers working with the UN in cleaning the
Banda Aceh area.
Max plans to go to the Aceh province to set up the
water purification system to provide free water for the local
He plans to train a local person or
relief worker to
operate the water system and leave the system for continued free water
supply for the area.
We feel that this will probably be an
ongoing effort to assist Tsunami victims. On this first trip Max
will observe many needs and ways to help. Upon his return he will
communicate needs and ways to help to many groups.
This site will post updates as
Growing up on the Asian mission field, I
remember the water shortage in Hong Kong in 1963 when we had our water
turned on every four days for three hours. We would then collect a bath
tub full, and wait a day for the mud to settle. We would then scoop up a
pail of water, being careful not to disturb the silt on the tub bottom,
and boil it for 15-20 minutes to kill the bacteria. After cooling, it
would be poured into a ceramic urn and one would still need some
flavoring to disguise its taste. I still have an old black and white
photograph dad took of me standing on the hard, dry cracked ground in
the center of what was supposed to be the reservoir lake. In the
following years, so much rain came during the monsoon season that land
slides became common. On one occasion the hillside came crashing down,
filling up the ground floor and coming into the second floor of the
building across the street from where I lived, destroying nearly
everything in its path. As the thick muddy water rushed down the street,
I recall an outstretched hand and arm disappearing into the churn.
In 1980 I returned to Hong Kong and taught
English and Cultural Orientation to the Vietnamese “boat people” at
Argyle 4 Camp. On weekends I would take the train up into China and
travel around, carrying a few Bibles each time to give away as gifts. In
the mid 90’s, I went to Kenya for a month, ministering among the Luo
tribe along the edge of Lake Victoria. Here, there was no electricity,
phones, recent newspapers, radios or TVs. The people still live in mud
huts with thatched roofs and dirt floors. They carried water up from the
lake in pitchers balanced on top of their heads. Much of what I did and
saw as a missionary child has prepared me to cope with less than ideal
living conditions. So as an adult, I am able to travel into primitive or
disaster areas and work, live and minister without leaving my personal
Immediately after hearing about the Tsunami I
felt such compassion for these people, and the Lord filled me with a
love for them. I had to repent for things I had said in the past,
especially after 9-11 regarding those of a different faith. I started
asking myself what I could do to help. After much prayer and discussion
with my wife, the direction and purpose became very clear. I contacted a
number of water purification system manufacturers and within a week a
system had been donated that would process up to 12 gpm of clean safe
water from a pond or stream. Much has happened over the past 10 days,
too much to go into detail here. But contacts are in place, the filter
system and passport are ready, transport for the equipment has been
arranged, my food while there has been donated, along with a Garvin GPS,
walkie talkies, tent, portable shower, tarps, a new tent, sleeping bag
and mat, Starbucks coffee (so I can make coffee for all the aid workers
who visit my tent) and money for a generator. (It is much cheaper to buy
one there than it is to ship it) and the list goes on!
After the system is up and running, I want to
teach someone there how to run it, trouble shoot, minor repair, and turn
it over to them to keep it going. I will return to the States and in my
travels, solicit for teams to go over and volunteer. It is my desire to
have set up numerous water system purifiers and clean safe water
production in many locations over the next 8-12 months. In the January
10, 2005 issue of the US News and World Report, it states on page 20,
“Of all the things that survivors need to stay alive in the weeks to
come, clean water is most critical and can be the most difficult
to come by.” It also quoted David Nabarro, head of the World Health
Organization’s crises team who stated, “Perhaps as many as 5 million
people are not able to access what they need for living. Either they
cannot get water, or their sanitation is inadequate, or they cannot get
food.” Dr. J.V. Raaman said, “The biggest requirement today is water,
since all the water sources have been contaminated.”
closing, I want to encourage all to pray for these troubled areas. These
people were created in the image of God, and Jesus told us to Love God
with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. When I picked up
the water purifier, the person asked me, “Why are you going if you are a
Christian?” I answered, “It is BECAUSE I am a Christian that I am
going.” He looked perplexed, then informed me that he was
Muslim and most all Christians he knew would say bad things to him
because of it. He was very glad to see and meet a “Christian” that
wanted to help. Folks, this is our time and opportunity to show the love
of Christ to a hurting world. I say we seize the moment with fervor, and
love with intensity! If (since) we are the Body, let His hands, thru us,
start the healing. I urge you to look up, read and ponder the following:
Mat. 5:44-48 and Mat. 25:34-46.
Max during First Trip
Happy Chinese New Year from Hong Kong,
I am on the last leg of the return trip. I am staying in the
village in Hong Kong where my dad, mom and I use to live. I
arrived this morning from Jakarta and am very, very tired. This
trip was either much more tiring on me than previous ones, or I
am a lot older than I realize. (maybe a little of both)
Overall, however, the trip was a great success. I brought smiles
to lots of faces of children who have been through hell. The
pictures in the papers and on TV do not even come close to
showing the vast destruction. The bodies are still being
uncovered and will be for some time to come. Yet while standing
literally on the ruins of their former homes and buildings on
the coast of Banda Aceh, children were laughing and playing with
the balloons I made them. The innumerable stories of loss, both
material and life, just keep coming and coming and the burden
can be nearly overwhelming.
Yet their is hope. This is a new day for these people and many
of the youth here had never seen a foreigner. (seeing "Santa"
brought lots of laughter) I hope to return to Aceh in a few
weeks, refreshed and reinforced with other volunteers... ready
to make a difference in the lives of many. I need to get some
eager young (relative term) people who can help put a ball team
together, maybe help build a basketball court and teach children
how to play. I would like someone who can do puppets, and/or
organize children's games. Some one who will help with coloring
and art and music. We need to get these kids doing things
together. There is no school yet in this area, as there is no
place first of all, and the educational structure has pretty
much been destroyed. There is too much time on their hands to
think of the past, the sound of screams for help, the ability to
do nothing but try and save oneself.
Language is not a problem, a interpreter can be assigned to
you. Don't let money be an excuse. If you want to serve, and
have a willing heart, and an ear to hear the painful stories, I
will help anyone I can to get the funds to go. Time is not an
issue, I am looking for those who can spend just two weeks, or
two months. ( Actually the Government will only issue 30 day
permits last I heard.) So if the hardships of the conditions are
not enough to stop you, and you have burning compassion to help
others, or know someone who does, please have them contact me
with the dates they would like to serve. It is
the absolute hardest work you will ever love!
The area is primitive. The weather is just plain hot! Hot and
humid. Even though there are many bodies left in the rubble, and
daily they are burying more in the mass graves, seldom did I get
a strong smell of death. Only then it was near the ruins, not at
an IDP (Internal Displaced Person) camp. I think now that only
those doing the location, removal and burying have that to deal
with. Bathing is done with a pail and cold water poured over
one's self. The toilet is a hole in the ground that you can
squat over.... the deluxe models have tile around them and a
barrel of water and pail so you can wash yourself afterwards,
there is no paper unless you bring it. The water you drink is
bottled and very warm. There is no ice, nor anything cold. After
you bathe, just put your clothes on because they will not be any
dryer by the time you finish dressing than if you actually dried
off. Staying cool at night can be done by soaking your top cover
sheet and ringing it out. By using a wet sheet the evaporation
process will help keep you cool. Love rice. You get it for
breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will be served with something
spicy and hot. (or do like many do and bring Gatorade, peanut
butter, instant oatmeal and noodles etc.) There is no beer, wine
or anything with alcohol in this province, and don't bring any,
it is illegal. Depending of the actual area one goes to, you may
or may not have any electricity. Some of the camps do, some
don't. There are over one thousand IDP camps. In the lower main
Islands, one would not know that there has been a Tsunami.
Tourism and business goes on, and there are a lot of really cool
places to go and things to do. Shopping is great! There, you are
back in the modern world with all the trimmings. Remember this
next team in your prayers.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the aid and
assistance of those who donated their help while I was there,
and those who made this trip possible. Thank you Chris Cole, the
room and information you gave was just what I needed. And to the
Northwestern Medical Teams, thanks for making room for me, and
keep up the great work you are doing. To the Swiss Army for
transporting me back on the coolest chopper ride in the country.
To my friends Curtis and Mei Lin for the encouragement and use
of their facility in Hong Kong . To CiCi for her kind and
generous heart, the financial support from the sales force at
Heartland Resources, WCVK, Jim Johnson and a Sunday School Class
at Living Hope Church, which all helped make this trip possible.
For the frequent flier miles donated by Mike Merry, and to my
pastor Steve Ayres and pastors at Hillvue Heights Church, my
mentors in the Faith. Tim Holmes, thanks for the books, I will
never view the sorrows in the cup of life the same. Most of all,
to my family, Marge and Noel, for allowing me to fulfill the
call on my life, their continued love, prayers and support, I
love you all.
It is ten pm so it is about 9 your time. Guess
your getting ready for work, or already there. I was suppose to have
caught a chopper this afternoon to fly me back to Medan, but the person
forgot I was waiting outside per his instructions. So when he saw me he
apologized and set it up for tomorrow. I will fly back to Medan
hopefully tomorrow, and pack the remains of the water system and get it
back on a chopper to be delivered here in BA. The USS Mercy ship is
setting up and they have a full repair capacity and I have met the
commander of the ship and he told me to get it here and he would have
the boys onboard fix it. Dr. Salvador, director of Northwest Medical
Teams, who I have been staying with knows a IDP camp that desperately
needs one. It is very costly to fly water into them. After I send it to
him he can take it to the ship and get it taken care of. I am now ready
to return home. I don’t care what you cook the first week as long as it
isn’t rice. I have had it for breakfast, lunch and supper everyday I
have been here, unless I fixed something else like my oatmeal. Thank
Goodness I brought plenty of it. After I missed my flight today I met
another group who invited me to stay the night with them at their post.
The room I am in tonight is AIR CONDITIONED! I hope to get some sleep
tonight. I have a sore throat, but otherwise feel pretty good. He is
letting me e-mail you but it probably will not get sent until tomorrow
sometime. That’s ok, At least you will have gotten news from here. I
will call you from Hong Kong when I get there. Tell everyone Hi for me.
I love and miss you and want to be there so bad, I feel bad that you
have to do the farm work and your job too. I have made a lot of contacts
but it isn’t easy getting around here. Things change everyday.
Whew! I heard from Max last night for the first
time since Thursday morning. He is in Banda Aceh. WOW! He
says that they are still having minor earthquakes now. He is "hanging
out" with the Northwest Medical Team from Oregon. They have appreciated
little gifts he brought like tootsie rolls, Starbucks coffee, and other
small things we take for granted. We only talked a few minutes because
he was calling on the cell phone and his service is sporadic and
expensive. He had to leave the water system with someone in Medan
because he could not get parts. He says he will just bring them on his
next trip. He said that the pictures on TV and magazines did not
do justice to the devastation there. He has never seen anything like the
destruction and turmoil caused in the area. The children and people in
the camps love his presence as "Santa" as well as his
balloons. Thanks for your prayers!
Greetings in Jesus Name from Medan
I arrived last night from Jakarta and spent
the night in a boarding house here in Medan. It is located on the
north-eastern side of Indonesia. It has a population of over 3 million
and is the third largest city in the country. Although we are maybe 300
miles from the Aceh Province, it will take 12 hours by lorry (truck) to
get there on the roads here. The people are most cordial and helpful. I
keep hearing that "Americans are our hero's" and other such statements.
(remind me to tell you what all was said, most I will not print). The
only thing warmer than their welcome is the weather. It is HOT. It is
Humid. I feel like I just got out of the shower and did not dry off,
just put on the clothes and went on my way. I stay soaking wet. I have
changed every shirt I have and have finally submitted to the idea that I
am going to be wet. Period.
Good news is that the military (Indonesian
Army) will transport the equipment to the needed area. There is a camp
(over 1000 camps) that does not have a good water supply and needs this
system badly. So this morning we unpacked the system and were preparing
to test it and be sure everything was in place that needed to be. Bad
news. The gorillas that work in baggage at the airlines were able to
completely destroy most every part. The most fragile part, the light
bulb came thru unscathed but the PVC piping looked as if someone had
intentionally, (as if looking for explosive devices maybe?) broken each
and every piece. The dark grey PVC pipe that is about 11/2 inches thick
and only 4 inches long is busted in half. That is hard to do, even with
a hammer. The part that connects each part to the other was broken,
broken beyond repair. I cannot get over the damage. It could not have
just happened. Right now I have a person here looking for all new
plumbing. Also, the quartz tube that the UV bulb is sleeved in is
broken. The glass tube was inside a well packed and insulated stainless
steel tube... busted. Packs of gum in my luggage was opened and of a
five pack two remained unopened. Clothes completely repacked etc. Canned
foods that I brought to give away were busted open inside the boxes and
had spilled out onto everything else. So everything needed washing. I am
missing the strainer and the tools and nuts and bolts that was taped to
it, all that was in a sealed box that was taped and tied. Yet inside
this undamaged box, was opened gum packages, missing tools and hardware
parts, and busted pipes and PVC parts. Someone is mad about me being
here. I think we all know who that force is.
I am going to contact Hong Kong for another
system. I hope that the system and the contacts I made there this past
week now pay off. I will also e-mail the mfg. of the system I now have
and see if they will DHL the parts to me. DHL delivers here and the
place I am staying is very close to their office. So I may be here in
this area for a few days as this arrives. I have been asked to speak at
a church here tonight, and at this time I am just praying for His
direction. I have learned from certain people (and with cause I don't
call out names now), that the balloons for the children is MUCH desired.
So I may go to Aceh just to minister love to the kids as I wait for the
equipment to get here. I am confident of this, I am not here by chance,
and the purpose for which I have been sent will be accomplished!!!!!!!!
If the destruction was meant to deter, it didn't work. It did however,
forge in the fire my determination to go forth at all cost.
Pulling all stops, Max (dae dun made dis
country boy mad)!
Marge, please forward this to whomever you
wish, But include the pastors at Hillvue, Nathan, Nikki, Bobby Frazier,
WCVK, pastor Phil Crandall, and Brian Veach (so he can share with his
SS group that I spoke to at Living Hope.) Especially Curtis and Mei Lin,
as it is the contact he gave me that is helping so much and housing me
now.) I love you . Marge,Noel, Nikki, I love you all and wish you could
be here with me. It is very hot, like Fla in the summer. I think we
should all plan on coming here soon.
WOW! Good news, the pastor just came in and
told me that the person that was out looking for the PVC parts also
found a UV light tube like the one that was shattered. They want me to
go now and inspect it. He he he. Ain't that just like my On Time God?!
Max arrived in Jakarta on Sunday, January 23. He could
not bring all of the pieces of the water system (it was dismantled into
four boxes) with him from Hong Kong. There was another friend flying
into Medan on Tuesday, so he brought the last box.
Max stayed in a hotel for two nights to await his trip
to Medan. His hotel was attached to an 8-story shopping mall! He
said that things were so cheap that you could buy a pair of nice shoes
for $5.00! He met with many important people and learned necessary
information about the culture. I cannot print any names or any more
information about people for their safety.
They want Max to return with a medical team of
doctors and nurses. If you know anyone that is interested, please let me
know. They also need children's entertainment. Of course, we all know
Max's ability with magic and balloons. They have already scheduled him
for the end of April. He will be available to speak at your group or
church when he returns to get the real story.
We all know that the safest place to be is in the center
of God's will. I truly believe that Max is right there. We also know
that prayer works. My most sincere and pressing prayer is that the
people he encounters will see Christ in him and that they will come to
know the Lord.
Thanks to all friends and our family in Christ for your
support and prayers.
8:00pm Last night I spoke to a Vineyard church
group and then went into the "children's church" area and made balloons
for the kids. I was asked to sit on the floor and the kids came around
me and laid hands on me and prayed for me. It was so sweet. I told them
that I really believed in the prayers of children, and related the story
of Sheba's healing and the BGCA praying for her. The kids then went to a
closet where they remembered something and brought out a gift for me....
a nice pair of boots. Italian. really nice ones. They were my size, too.
They were so excited that they fit and were so happy to give them to me.
Of course, they were climbing all over 'Santa' or 'Uncle' as they called
10:14am Things have changed so much here in
Hong Kong, I would have not recognized most of it. Where there were
buffalo paths, four lane highways, where there were patty fields, twenty
plus story buildings. where there was sea and fishing spots....
Industry, and tall office and residential buildings. A slow train has
been replaced by a high speed one. WOW. Yet yesterday I managed to find
an old shopping street where things had not changed a bit. hawkers with
their wares and goods offered for a fraction of the price anywhere else.
Old men still reading the morning paper and having a leisure breakfast.
Today I found a few of the remaining small duck ponds and rice patties.
I located an old friend of my dads whom I have not seen for 30 years. We
had dinner together and covered a lifetime of events. Tonight I spoke at
a church of about 60-70 Chinese and there was someone there who had been
to my Uncles church in VA years ago. I have not had any contacts for the
water treatment system, and today a person from Indonesia spoke with a
friend who I am staying with and said that they have a water system but
it does not work or they don't know how to use it. They really need one,
and so I am meeting with her and her husband in the morning just before
I leave for Indonesia. Soooooo much has happened, contacts I have
met, it really is a God thing. This is way beyond me. I am only walking
in the doors that He opens, and it is so exciting to see how this is
unfolding. I will try and get you an update Tuesday or Wed.
5:43am Global Hands has contacts with shipping
companies which donate a percentage of space. They are the meeting point
and used to do it for small missions and churches but have grown into an
international op using all volunteers to get things done. It is amazing
some of the things they have done. A school in India needed 300 chairs
and desk and they did not know where that would come from, and within a
week another school, University or something was remodeling and asked
them if they could use around 300 desks and chairs. They contacted a
shipping co. who donated the space and so now the school in India is
able to open its doors. It turned out to be the only and last thing they
needed and could not get due to the lack of funds. It is things like
this they do. The mission house I am staying in has desk, computers,
(old) beds, chairs, furniture of all kinds, all donated.
Curtis is taking me over today to meet the
director of this organization. also he is taking me to meet the travel
agency which works with missionaries and charities to facilitate
inexpensive travel.... at least by comparison.
I know that this is the beginning of something, and
that these trips will be ongoing. I feel that the blessing of the Lord
will be in my submission to His call. So in time, some of these things
Yesterday when I went to the prayer meeting, it was attended by upper
level (CEO, Director etc) of a mobile phone manufacturer and distributor
co. They gave me a mobile phone to use when I get to Indonesia. When I
get there I simply purchase a Sim card that goes into the back and
purchase a pre pay service. Prices range as to
where you are calling so I will not be able to talk long but want one in
case we need to contact someone in Jakarta. In case of emergency.
Well I have been invited for a morning prayer meeting, so I better get
ready. I will write you later. love max
10:08am New post received from Max: " When I got in
last night no one was there to meet me. I had all six luggage and boxes,
but it was late and I had no Hong Kong money. The phones at the station
require a visa, MC or HK dollars of which I had none. So while I was
standing around waiting for Curtis, a man I met on the plane Philip
(that's the correct spelling) from Minneapolis spoke to me and wanted to
know what was up. I told him I could not leave my luggage to go use the
phone, so he watched it for me. Then when I phoned Curtis, I found out
that he was there WED night not Thursday night looking for me. It is a
good 45 min drive from where he lives to where I was, and so the
decision was made for me to take the public bus. Of course there is no
way he could have known about all the luggage I had. Anyway, Phillip who
was here to visit his son at the UHK had the passes for the
transportation and offered to purchase my ticket for me. So we both came
out to the area of Fanling and met up with Curtis then. We both slept
here at his place last night and went to McDonald's for breakfast. He
taught me how to use the passes for the train and buses. Then he said
good bye and went to see his son. I went street looking, so much has
changed. Where I remember rice paddies, there is 20+story buildings and
where there was a water buffalo path, now is a four lane highway. Sooo
much has changed that there is little I even recognize, and that I can't
even get my bearings with. Before we went for breakfast I tried to get
on the computer, but could not get on line. Curtis just came in, we have
been invited to a full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship luncheon. So
have to go now, I will finish later.
12:30pm So as I was saying in the earlier post,
Curtis came by but had to go back because of something, so I have a few
more minutes. Anyway, I took a HOT bath today. The water comes from a
water heater located above the tub. So it is scalding hot. there is no
way to adjust it with cold water. You have HOT and you have COLD, which
do you want? So I took a very hot bath today, most likely the hottest I
can ever remember taking. Afterwards I washed my clothes and rung them
out and hung them out to dry. At least it isn't raining out. I am really
enjoying my little speakers that go with the CD player. Got some Rich
Mullins going now. Well I gotta go, it's time.
7:09 I spoke today at a luncheon and will be speaking
tomorrow night at a church. I am meeting some very valuable resource
people tomorrow. One works with Global hands, an organization that
matches up needs and supplies. ie, the desk that WKU were throwing away,
well there are schools here in China, and Croatia that need chairs. They
don't have any nor have the funds to purchase them. So Global hands has
ships that donate their space to them for moving goods to needy places.
Soooo, if you can find out if there are any more chairs, they could
He emailed from Curtis and Mei
Lin's house in Hong Kong. They are the missionaries that took over Max's
Dad's house in Fanling New Territories. He had an almost 24 hour layover in Tokyo, Japan. Here is an except
from his email, "I got plenty of sleep last night at the motel in
Japan. Did you get the e-mail I sent from there? I am betting not. I
wrote you a long letter but it took me over 20 minutes just to figure
out how to get on line. the keys were not the same and they were in
Japanese. Just as I hit the send button it cut off because I did not put
more money in the slot. I walked to the temple in the city of Narita,
just west of Tokyo. I took some pictures of the gardens and people. I
got into HK tonight and now am at Curtis's place. going to sleep...It
has been a long day." He also says that he can feel your prayers.
Thanks you so much.
computer (so Max can e-mail a journal and digital pictures to the
supporters and partners of this mission)
flyer miles for a RT ticket or someone may want to purchase
donations (to cover expenses and the cost of shipping)
Most of all,
not only for me, but for this effort and those I will come in
contact with both co-laborers and survivors, as well as my wife and
daughter staying behind to care for Project Noah animals.
Thank you and may God
richly bless your efforts.
Where to Make Donations
WCVK radio station
Hillvue Heights Church (contact Bob Myatt)
Hope Church (contact Brian Veech)
Project Noah, Inc. - You
can click the link below and make a donation with your credit or
debit card through PayPal. Project Noah, Inc. can send you a tax deductible
No matter the size, ALL donations are appreciated.
Your donation will go
directly to providing pure
drinking water to Tsunami victims.
Click here if you would like
to be on the email list to
Water Purification System Donated