Friday, April 29, 2005

Back Home!!! It Only Took 42 Hours!

April 29, 2005 (3:31pm) - Titusville, FL - Report Submitted by Joe Hurston

42 hours from the time I boarded the SilkAir Flight in Medan, Sumatra until my daughter, Cherie picked me up at the Orlando International Airport, now that's a long flight.

After landing in Los Angeles, I phoned Cindy and said good morning. I thought it was 10:00am it was actually 10:00pm. My clock is a little wacky right now. Well, I tried to sleep a couple of hours before boarding my flight from LA to Orlando. The hotel kept shaking. I thought it was my imagination. It wasn't. There were mild earthquakes in LA that night.

Cindy and the kids and the Air Mobile team are all well! It's so good to be home. However, the images in my mind are fresh. The people of Indonesia are suffering so greatly. PLEASE remember to pray for them.

We, at Air Mobile, are more committed than ever to get back there with more Vortex Voyagers TM. Even as I write this "wrap up" report to you, Indonesia is still shaking. I just checked the and there was another earthquake (6.3) on Simeulue Island today. The earthquakes are far from finished. Our goal is to "pro-actively" place many Vortex Voyagers TM into the hands of the relief workers on the ground there. On this last journey, we made so many excellent contacts.

Finally, I want to say THANK YOU to all you who stood with us in prayer and support. As we formulate our plans for a return, I'll let you know. Don't hesitate to phone our office if you have any questions. Our number is: 321-267-7726. My personal cell phone number is: 321-544-7757. God Bless You and THANK YOU AGAIN!!


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

No Re-Deployment Phone Calls - In Singapore Heading Home!!!

April 27, 2005 (1:12pm) Singapore, Singapore - Report Submitted by Joe Hurston

As I boarded the SilkAir flite from Medan to Singapore, I made one last check of my "hand-phone" (that's what they call a cell phone in Sumatra). No last minute, urgent requests for clean water. I took a moment and thanked the Lord for a SUCCESSFUL MISSION! The plane roared toward Singapore. In a few hours, I board a Singapore Airlines flite for L.A. then jump a flite to Orlando and home!

Last night I did feel a bit of shaking in my hotel and found out there was a 5.3 just off the coast. A vivid reminder to pray for these precious people.

There's a real Dunkin Donuts at the Medan Airport. I had scheduled an early meeting there with one of the ministries that we are working with. While waiting, I met several other ministries that remembered us when we were here in January. They ran up to me and said, "the clean water man". After exchanging cards and promising to stay in touch I entered the airport. There I met the Auditor for Samaritan's Purse (SP), Ron. Ron and I flew from Meulaboh to Nias to Medan yesterday in the SP Cessna Caravan. On the first leg of our flite, Ron was "Co-Pilot". After landing in Nias, he gave up his seat in the cockpit and offered it to me. What a gentleman!

As I look back over this journey, so many faces and names and images come to mind. It will definately take me a while to sort it all out. I'm so glad for this "blog". It has really been a blessing to me to "download" the stuff we've been going through. It's been such a blessing having you with me in spirit and Prayer!! If nothing else exciting happens, the next communication will likely be from my office in Titusville, Florida (still a long way from here - more than 11,000 miles away). I guess I'd better go and check in with Singapore Airlines and confirm my seat. By the way, Singapore Airlines gave us incredible fares because we are working in the Relief effort in Sumatra. THANK YOU, SINGAPORE AIRLINES, you have invested in the work of the Lord!!

If you get a chance, please drop me note ( I would love to hear from you! So long for now!!


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Samaritan's Purse To The Rescue!

April 26, 2005 (6:04pm) - Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia - Report Submitted By Joe Hurston

Right after my midnight report, we did experience two quakes in our region. The storm continued for most of the night. Sleep was fitful and the shaking didn't help. I can only imagine what the thousands and thousands of survivors in this region sleeping in their tents must have been going through. Our Lord knows exactly where each one is and His eye is on them. We ask Him to pour out Grace, Protection and Comfort on them in this testing hour!

I awoke at sunrise and while sitting at my computer in the World Food Program (WFP)HQ and listening to the flight coordinators I knew that things were not going well. As the number of passengers quickly exceeded the available aircraft I knew that my chances of flying out on one of their aircraft today was very slim. I phoned Samaritan's Purse (SP) and the Program Manager, Doug, said that there was a mysterious name on the manifest and no one knew who it was. We laughed and said that the Lord had a seat for me! The plane was ready to leave and I had to dash to the airport, a 45 minute drive. In less than 5 minutes I was driving to the airport in a WFP vehicle. The aircraft, a beautiful Cessan Caravan was sitting on the ramp and the flight crew was waiting for me. A quick load and a smooth, short take-off from the damaged runway and off to Nias Island. We picked up 6 passengers and then on to Medan. The pilot, Steve, did a superb job and allowed me to sit in the cockpit of the Caravan. THANK YOU SP! Air Mobile needs a Caravan. Our work is so clearly before us and the Caravan is a great tool to accomplish so many missions.

Once in Medan, WFP quickly picked me up and apologized for the flight mix up. We were able to pump a lot of clean water through them and look forward to the opportunity to reach out to so many suffering people in cooperation with them.

Well, I'm definitely Homeward Bound. Just re-booked my flight to Singapore then Los Angeles. Sent an e-mail to Cherie asking her to take care of the L.A. to Orlando leg. Whew!! What a journey. Will meet with a couple of more ministries this evening and tomorrow morning, then leaving Sumatra for the time being.

I'll likely write you from Singapore as I'll have a couple of hours there before making the long flight over the water to L.A.

Again, I can't tell you what it means to have you standing with us as we reach out to these suffering people! This is what Jesus would have us to do and you're a serious part of it. God Bless You and THANKS AGAIN!


A Dark & Stormy Night In Meulaboh!

April 26, 2005 (12:50am) Meulaboh (MBO), Sumatra - Report Submitted by Joe Hurston

A good internet connection is a rare and wonderful thing in this devastated region. Thus this little update. There's a very violent thunder storm taking place at this time. I was just awakened by violent bursts of thunder that shook our whole house! Two things about that; first of all, when riding in the Russian M-8 "heli" with a couple of workers for CARE, they told me that when the 8.7 quake hit, and they were there, there was a violent thunderstorm. Hmm, I pray there's not another one. The other thing is; as we were making our approach into MBO, I saw again just how many thousands of people are living in tents on their land. Oh, it must be miserable for them. This is the rainy season. Very few things are as miserable as being in a tent in a violent thunderstorm. I know I keep saying it, but these precious people are going through so much. Please pray for the love of God to comfort them in this their most desperate hour. Everyday I get stories from folks who have just lost everything...everything. Yet, they manage to smile and even laugh a bit as they recount their amazing stories of survival. There are so many things that I want to share with you...

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my Pastor, Larry Linkous for loving me and my family. He's the best Pastor I've ever had! New Life Church is a great church and filled with praying people who just flat out love the Lord. It's so good knowing they're behind us! Thanks Pastor and New Life!!!

It's hard for me to sleep with these driving rains and violent, shaking thunder knowing how many people are out in this storm just trying to hold onto life. As you read this, please take a moment and lift them up! Well, I'd really better get to sleep, it's been a long day! Should I be fortunate to get out of MBO today, there's a 30+ hour trip ahead to get home. Love you all!! And thanks again!!!



Monday, April 25, 2005

Back In Meulaboh From Simeulue on that Big Russian Chopper!

April 25, 2005 - 6:51pm - Meulaboh, Sumatra - Report Submitted by Joe Hurston

Little delays add up; first the chopper landed on Simeulue Island about 35 minutes late. Then the loading took an extra 25 minutes. We flew from Simeulue to Meulaboh as fast that old chopper could go, but we landed 5 minutes after our connecting Twin Otter aircraft took off for Medan. Stuck in Meulaboh. Oh, well, that's not so bad. Came straight to the World Food Program (WFP) Office and asked for a place to lay my tired head. Gregory, the Program Manager graciously offered me a place to stay. The office also has a great internet connection.

On Friday, as our chopper approached Simeulue, the beauty of the island took my breath away with the coves and small islands and dense forest and breath-taking beaches. Yet, there has been so much suffering. The 8.7 quake did devastating damage. Over 80% of the structures either came down, or will have to be torn down. I went to a beach and viewed coral that would normally be 3-5 feet UNDER the water. It was actually ABOVE the surface! The earthquake up-heaval actually elevated the coastal area. That is why a ship recently struck the rocks while approaching Nias. The coastline has changed dramatically making sea-faring navigation difficult and dangerous.

The water situation on Simeulue is terrible. The local water lines have been severely damaged and will take a long time to repair. The wells have been damaged. The quakes have contaminated many of the wells. That was the situation I walked into upon arrival. The well for the WFP is right next to a bathroom. This is what the Vortex Voyager TM is designed for. I only had a single unit with me. Normally, it is preferable to deploy two Vortex Voyagers TM in such a case. We had donated all but one. The Vortex Voyager TM did great! I was able to train an Indonesian team on the operation and maintenance of the unit. They can now produce very clean water from very dirty water! Praise God!!

After pumping very clean water all day, I settled in to go over some photos taken by Cherie. I was really enjoying re-living our recent experiences. Suddenly I heard a terrible creaking noise and the earth began to move rapidly from side to side. The creaking noise was the house right next to our tent that no one walked into, as it was so severely damaged in the last quake. I stepped back in case the whole house came down. As quickly as the shaking began, it stopped. Another quake. Another experience. I knew that I would be leaving in a couple of days, but this is these peoples country. Their land, their home. My heart goes out to them. The Indonesian people are incredibly kind and brave.

Many have fled the coastal areas for the mountains. I was able to join an assessment team and go into, first the coastal region and see the abandoned houses. Then up into the mountains to see the fishermen and coastal dwellers in make-shift huts made out of sticks and bamboo trying to just live hour by hour. Yet, as we walked through these newly formed refugee villages, we were always greeted with a smile and kindness. Amazing people!! Yet, they wait for the next quake. And they come. Please remember these precious people in your prayer!

As I write this report, I hear the flight coordinators trying desperately to get all the people that need to get to Medan on airplanes. The problem is the runway has been severely damaged and only certain aircraft can make it into Meulaboh. Too many people, too few planes. My scheduling is in the Lord's hands! But I sure want to get home. I have no more Vortex Voyagers TM to deliver. My next goal is to get to Medan. Then, schedule the flight to Singapore, then L.A. etc. etc.. Eventually, I'll be home to Cindy and my kids! I want to say THANK YOU to all of you for your PRAYER! Also, thanks to the Cartridge Source Staff that serve so faithfully! I sure miss all of you. Hope to be home soon. Thanks for sticking with me on my wordy blogs. God Bless!!


Saturday, April 23, 2005

A Phone Call in the Middle of the Night

April 23, 2005- Titusville, FL. 5:30 am-
Joe Hurston has just made contact with us through a satellite phone. He is in an area that is very primitive, but one where he is safe and doing exactly what he wants to- pumping water. The island of Simeulue is seriously in need of clean water. The one remaining Vortex Voyager TM carried by Joe has been working almost 24 hours a day! He will be leaving the island and making his way back to Medan. From there, we believe, he will make his way back to Singapore, then Taiwan, after that comes LA, and then finally there is Houston, then presto- Orlando. We are looking forward to having Joe back home with us but we are also extremely proud of the water work he is able to bless people with in the name of Christ. There is such a need for clean water. Thank you again for all your prayer. We know it works! Please continue to stand in agreement with us that God's will be done here on earth as it is in heaven! Blessings, Cherie Hurston

Friday, April 22, 2005

Leaving Meulaboh Heading To Simeulue On A Big Russian Helicopter!

April 22, 2005 (9:40am)Meulaboh, Sumatra, Indonesia - Report submitted by Joe Hurston

A great night's sleep goes a long way. I had two fans blowing on me! That takes a little of the sting out of missing Cindy and my kids! This morning I was able to demo the Vortex Voyager TM to Gregory, the Director of the UN World Food Program (WFP)here in Meulaboh. The well here at WFP HQ was very bad. We set up the Vortex Voyager TM in less than 5 minutes and pumped very clean water. All were impressed!

Samaritan's Purse (SP) has offered to loan me an extra Vortex Voyager TM to bring to Simeulue. This will double my capacity as well as give redundancy in the operation. Last night I went to the SP office and cleaned and upgraded the unit that I had left with them just after the tsunami. The Vortex Voyager TM is now functioning perfectly. I was also able to train several key staff members including a young man named Adrian. His father, Ed, is the flight director for Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF). MAF and I go way back. We've worked around the world on many projects. Again, I never cease to marvel at the fact that "The Lord knows how to deploy His troops". It's so wonderful to be at the right place at the right time.

Just checking quakes, by the way, you may go to: and go to Recent quakes - then quakes worldwide for the latest quake activity. There was a 5.9 on Guam. None in our neck of the woods during the last 24 hours.

As I mentioned earlier, this may be the last communication until I return from Simeulue, never know. We've gotten Internet connections in places that you would never dream would be connected. So be sure to check the website blog regularly. Now you know what I am going to ask for....PRAYER! Your prayer is so precious and it really works. Please keep it up. God Bless You all and THANK YOU for standing with us. Got to load up my gear and go catch a chopper for Simeulue. Love you!!


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Safe & Sound In Meulaboh

April 21, 2005 (2:17pm) Meulaboh, Sumatra - Report submitted by Joe Hurston

Cindy and the rest of the Air Mobile Team arrived safely home! Thank the Lord!!

I left on schedule for Meulaboh (MBO). As the Twin-Otter (airplane) touched down on the damaged runway and made a quick stop, I knew the drive into downtown MBO would be difficult. As we drove by the prison, the thought of no survivors hit me. Each inmate, no matter what the crime, received the death sentence delivered by the tsunami. The idea of being behind bars, less than a quarter mile from the ocean is terrible. Of course every prisoner perished as did the guards/staff/visitors.

Rebuilding is slow. Small houses (mostly shacks) are popping up made out of the debris wood and old tin. Many, many tents. This area is still shaking. There have been heavy rains. You can see the discouragement and despair everywhere. Yet, these precious people always manage to smile. I've learned a few Indonesian words. It's nice to be able to communicate.

Tomorrow I leave for Simeulue (I had been misspelling it). It's a small island north of Nias. It had a small quake yesterday. The U.N. has put me up and yes, they do have internet, thus this blog. We are very excited about the fact that the U.N. is interested in the Vortex Voyager TM. The idea that "First Responders" world-wide would have the ability to purify water immediately after a disaster is very rewarding. The Lord cares for people and sees every suffering one. We can do something to relieve that suffering. That's being obedient to Jesus.

Later this afternoon I'll meet with the Samaritan Purse Rep. After the tsunami, Air Mobile donated a Vortex Voyager TM to them. I have some upgrade modifications that will make their unit work better. It's amazing that we can communicate as well as we do. We've been successful in upgrading many of the units that we brought in last time. It's good to meet with the workers. So many good people are over here. I count myself so blessed to be here! The U.N. staff has been very courteous and kind to me. God Bless them!

I'll probably get another blog off tomorrow morning before departure. I know I thank you all for your prayer each time, but I can't tell you what it means to know that people are praying for us. THANK YOU again.