Oklahomans who helped on a mission of mercy to Indonesia return home

Thursday, January 27th 2005, 10:03 am
By: News On 6

Oklahomans are continuing to help with life-saving aid for thousands of Indonesians affected by the tsunami.

One group of doctors is back from its mission of mercy and News on Six reporter Heather Lewin talked with one of them about the biggest surprise of the trip.

Banda Aceh, Sumatra, 25 miles from the epicenter and one of the areas hardest hit by the deadly waves. Dr Clint Miner: "They told us they were gonna be sleeping in tents and purifying our own water, it was monsoon season over there and I thought I had no business going on a trip like this." But they needed him, so he went.

After a 26 hour flight, the Baptist Disaster Relief Team set up camp in a small house, one of the few remaining structures, and Dr. Clint Miner and the others went to work, each day from 5 AM till dark. "You just can't imagine it, what you see on screen; you just have to be there because you have to associate the odors and the commotion."

He encountered so many ruined lives; it was hard to name just one that touched him. “This little boy, he'd lost all his parents, and his brothers and sisters the only surviving member of his family was an aunt and she is 17 years old."

Miner says she'll now raise him alone, but so many other children have no one. “It makes me appreciate what we have more and I think anybody that goes on a trip like this would get an education and they would appreciate what America is better."

What amazed him the most was seeing happiness instead of sorrow. "I don't see how they did it as well as they did. Just lots of smiles through it all. It's hard to understand how they could go through what they've been through and come out of it as pleasant as they are."

The disaster team has rented a home in Indonesia for the next year and will be sending volunteers every 2 weeks. Dr. Miner says they want to let the survivors know Americans are committed to helping them.