Sunday, May 7, 2000
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
4:1,2,6 that he read to close out time of prayer.
Tuesday, May 9, 2000
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
I found two arial pictures (picture 1
and picture 2) from the inner disaster area,
which you can compare with the satalite image.
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).
Again the size of the inner disaster area has been
reduced as is shown in this map below.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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