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Diary, May 2000

   Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
         1   2   3   4   5   6
     7   8   9  10  11  12  13
    14  15  16  17  18  19  20
    21  22  23  24  25  26  27
    28  29  30  31

Sunday, May 7, 2000

Prayer meeting

This evening, I attended the revival prayer meeting of our church for the second time. At first I thought that it would be less refreshing than the
first time two weeks ago. But I was wrong. Although it lasted for about two hours, it seemed not a long time at all. What I did realize, that it indeed takes time and effort to come close to God, to out Lord Jesus. It felt if we carry so much lugage with us, that it takes some time to put every thing down, and just sit as His feet, to listen to Him

At the end someone read some of the last verses from the last book of the Old Testament. What he read sounded as prophetic to my ears. It were the verses Malachi 3:17,18 and 4:1,2,6 that he read to close out time of prayer.

(next meeting)

Tuesday, May 9, 2000

I-LOVE-YOU virus

I myself was not affected by the I-LOVE-YOU virus. When I saw the Visual Basic Script that is executed when the user clicks on the attachment, I immediately felt like I would like to analyse it, and explain that it is not so tricky as the media seems to indicate. I started to make a
description with my findings.

Thursday, May 11, 2000


This evening,
Li-Xia found four spoons under the bed of Andy when changing the sheets. She already had noticed that we did not have so many spoons anymore lately. As soon as Andy sees us with some spoon or fork, he also want to have a spoon, and does not want to let it go anymore. That is why he often goes to bed, with a spoon in his hands.

Saturday, May 13, 2000


We were driving from Boekelo, a small city just outside Enschede, back to Enschede, when I remarked to Annabel that there was a big white cloud of smoke above Enschede. When we were waiting before a traffic light at a place where the cloud was no longer visible, we suddenly heard the sound of sharp explosion. When the light turned green and we turned left, we could see the cloud again. It had had a mushroom like shape. My first impression was that the explosion came from the industrial area on the west of Enschede, but when we continued driving into the direction of the University of Twente, the position kept on moving in an unexpected manner, indicating that the source if the explosion was really much further away. We were on our way for bringing a lying-in visit to a Chinese couple that had just got a baby boy. They were staying at the Campus of the University of Twente. When we arrived there, we heard that a fire-works company had exploded. Right over our head high up in the sky there was a big black wreath of smoke originating from the location where we had seen the white clouds. Looking at it for sometime, it did not diminish. Together with Annabel, I climbed the stairs of the building to have a better look at it from the top balcony. There were many cars driving in the direction of the fire in a nearby road. A little later, I also fed Andy outside in front of the building, because he refused to eat inside. I did not sense any danger from the black clouds that pass above and spread out further away from the fire.

After having stayed there for almost an hour we returned home, passing by the crossing where we had heard the explosion. I kept on looking at the cloud, and trying to remember in which direction I saw it, such that I would be able to locates its origin on the map. When I saw police near the highway, not letting people go into the city, I for the first time felt that something more was going on then I had thought at first.

The first thing I did when we came home was taking some video from the thick black cloud that was still visible in the sky. Only after we switched on the TV, we found out that a whole district of our city was on fire, and that people were evacuated from an even larger area, because there was a danger for another explosion.

The rest of the day, I followed the news almost continuously, even skipped dinner, zapping between all the channels, eagerly waiting for more news. And with me, many others in Enschede and the rest of the Netherlands.

Monday, May 15, 2000

Maps of the disaster area

I found some maps of the disaster area. The first map is the one indicating the inner disaster area. A much larger area has been closed for all public.

Around 3 o'clock the borders of the inner disaster area were enlarged, and the area outside this was opened for the original inhabitants. See this second map. The inner disaster area is marked with a black line. The outer disaster area, which had been closed, is marked with a red line. (Later on it was reported that there were some people who stayed in their homes inside the inner disaster area, since it was sealed-off.)

I also found a satelite image of the area. The location of the firework bunkers is marked with a red pin head.

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Early awake

Although, I went to bed around one o'clock this night, I woke up around half past five from a strange, but realistic dream. If some dreams are given by God, then this was an example of one of these. I have forgotten most of the dream, and what I remember I keep to myself, as a thing not to be shared. I went downstairs and wrote in my diary for a little more than half an hour. And then I read about the latest news with respect to the disaster.

The dream made me clear that we all long after the perfect, but that the perfect cannot be found on this world, because our world is broken. We all look for the perfect partner, the perfect work, the perfect place to live, and so on. The list is without end. Only one person has been perfect, and that is Jesus Christ. I am looking forward to the moment we will see Him from face to face, without veil.

Cause of the disaster

Of course, there is nothing known about the real cause of the disaster. Even the fireworks experts cannot explain the mass detonation that took place. Before the final big explosion (the only one we hear in the car) there had been several other explosions. Today, it was reported that there had been about 14 sea containers on the compound of the fireworks company. Most of these must have been full with fireworks. In the middle of the compound there were a number of bunkers (The black square on the satelite picture.) Of course, these are not real bunkers, they could be better described as car boxes with extra thick walls and fire stopping doors. They are designed such that if one of them starts to burn, that others will not be affected. When they would get on fire, the fireworks would just burn, not explode all at the same time. But that is what did happen. From the arial pictures (See below for some) it seems as the final mass detonation took place in these bunkers. Just before the final very destructive explosion took place, a gigantic fire ball was seen. It would not surprise me, if the final conclusion would be that a number of these bunkers in deed did explode. It seems that most of the contents of the sea containers already had come out causing all the other explosions. Can it have been the case that the bunkers did implode, as a result of the pressure of all the other explosions, and that because of the extreme heat caused by the other explosions made the remaining fireworks in the bunkers mass detonatable. Or in other words, the fact that the fireworks were stored in bunkers, became the cause of the extremely strong mass detonation that took place. The measure that under normal circumstances would have prevented a mass detonation, did become the cause of it. Of course, there should not have been some many fireworks been stored in the sea containers, but the mass detonation might not have taken place, if everything had been stored in sea containers. But who knows, I could be completely wrong of course. It is possible that illegale explosives were stored on the compound.

(official cause and interesting discovery)

Thunder storm

After almost two weeks of exception hot weather, it has now ended with a thunder storm. We had temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius for almost every day, and no rain at all. We had to water the new plants in our front garden, because their roots didn't go deep yet. I can imagine that this thunder storm will for many people bring back memories of the disaster.

Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Arial pictures

I found two arial pictures (
picture 1 and picture 2) from the inner disaster area, which you can compare with the satalite image.

Map of the disaster area

In the past days a larger part of the inner disaster area was opened. Today more area was opened. A new map was released. In this map the current size of the disaster area (dark red), and the area that was opened today (light red).

Thursday, May 18, 2000

Map of the disaster area

Again the size of the inner disaster area has been reduced as is shown in this map below.

Saturday, May 20, 2000

Map of the disaster area

The current size of the inner disaster area is given is this map. I also found an enlargement of an arial picture made just a few hours before the accident happened, showing the compound of S.E. fireworks, at which the explosion took place. These pictures are going to play a very important role in the investigations that are taking place now. Forensic experts already started working last Sunday, to find clues about the cause of the explosion.

Quiet procession

Yesterday evening, there has been a quiet procession of at least 100.000 people walking through the center of the city. It was quite impressive. I did not join the procession, but I know of many people who did. Afterwards, I think I would have liked to join it. Although, we have not been personally affected by the disaster, it really has been constantly in my mind for the past week. It has been a long time since I spend so many hours watching television as last week. I think that collecting all the maps and arial pictures has been my way of reacting to it.


Sunday, May 21, 2000

Revival prayer meeting

During this evening's revival prayer meeting, much of our prayer focused on the fireworks disaster. One of the high lights was that we claimed back the disaster area for God, that He may bless the people whoes houses were destroyed.

Friday, May 26, 2000


Today, we received an email from my mother-in-law telling that the packages we send some weeks ago arrived undamaged. Inside the package there was about 9 hours of video tapes of videos taken in the past two years of our family life. Video tapes send inside the P.R. of China sometimes disappear for unspecified reasons. We think that the video tapes will be regarded as the most precious of all gifts that we send inside this package. We think that the tapes will be played over and over again, and be shown to many neighbours and friends.

Sunday, May 28, 2000

Andy calls me "Mamma"

Today, Andy started to call us "Mamma", the Dutch equivalent of mommy. He seems to understand now that he can call us in this way, but it looks like he still doesn't know how to say "Pappa", the Dutch equivalent of daddy.

Monday, May 29, 2000

Thunder storm with hail

Around half past one in the afternoon, there was a thunder storm outside, and within minutes the ground outside was covered with a layer of hail. The hail stayed there for more than an hour. Quite exceptional weather.

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