Intro to Watsonopolis

There was one who once said crazy things like, give your possessions to the poor, let your light shine, go to the ends of the earth, love God, love your neighbor, serve, pray, die and live. Those words, the words of Jesus, have gripped and shaped our lives.

Because of Jesus’ life, challenge and love we are propelled into an amazing life journey; a journey that most often finds us pitching our tent among the poor and those on the margins of our world, serving, living, teaching, learning and loving there.

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I'm walking down a street through an area on the outskirts of town.  I round a bend in the road and in front of me there is a barge.  Nearly a football field long and a 100 feet wide, a seafaring barge is in the middle of the town, laying across parts of where a road use to go and where houses used to be.  I'm 4 kilometers inland from the coast.  Yet this is where the 100 foot wave placed the barge on December 24, 2004 when the tsunami hit.  I can't believe what I see.

Another area.  Another street.  This time its a fishing boat, maybe 40 feet long.  And its not sitting in the middle of town.  Rather its sitting on the top of two houses.  Some folks have built a memorial to remember those lost the day the waves came and brought the boat with it.  

 Now I'm in a coffee shop sipping a cup of Indonesia's finest.  I'm visiting with a husband and wife.  He's an educator who cares deeply for the people of his country.  They're sharing with me about the tragedy.  She lost both parents and all her siblings in the tsunami.  Its heart wrentching. 

I'm looking out at the ocean.  The place where the wave first hit.  Its beautiful here.  The ocean, the beach, the fishermen along the rocks, the little cafe made of plywood and palm branches on the beach selling coca cola and coffee.  There's a pleasant breeze.  And then turning around, I see scattered along the road are barren foundations and half standing brick structrues where houses used to be and people used to live. 

I'm standing outside what looks like a patch of sodded field nearly 2 basketball courts wide.  Its a mass grave.  They tell me there are about 12,000 people buried in it.  No one is sure who they are.

I want to cry.  I take pictures instead. 

Boat dropped on houses from Matthew Watson on Vimeo.

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