We met at the Church this morning at 9:30 to take delivery of the mattresses and to then load everything on the truck. Our plan was to be on the road at 10 am and we left the Church at 10:40! For Indonesia, this is great!
The drive there was uneventful although VERY wet as it poured down rain. But the truck was covered, so no problem.
We arrived at “command central” at about 12:30 pm and delivered the supplies. Of course, unloading anything is always pretty fast, so we were done in no time.
The Mayor was coming to meet with us, and we were done early, but everyone wanted to wait to meet him (and get their pictures taken!), so we had one of the boxed lunches that are everywhere – a small box with fish or chicken, rice and a few vegetables – for 20,000 Rp each ($1.50). I had a piece of grilled tuna in my box and it was delicious!
Before the Mayor arrived, several reporters were there and interviewed President Mongan. (They wanted to talk to us, but we sent them to him!)
The Mayor arrived and we had a nice ‘hand off’ ceremony. We tried our very best to have President Mongan take center stage and he did great. He spoke first, then I said a (very) few words, then the Mayor spoke. During his speech, he commented several times on how large of a donation this was and how generous the Church members were to donate the funds needed. He (and all of the staff and workers) were SO appreciative – many couldn’t speak English, but they knew how to say ‘thank you’!
It truly is a blessing to be able to be here and to something – anything – for those less fortunate. The need is so great – certainly in times of a disaster, but everywhere. I always think of the starfish story – a man throwing starfish into the sea from the beach, and a young man asked why he was doing it. “They need to get back in the water”. “But there are so many, you can’t get them all. What difference can it make?” As he threw one into the water, he answered, ‘it makes a difference to this one.’ Our response today was limited – we could only give 164 blankets. If 200 people need them, should we give none? No – we give what we can give and do the best we can do….