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Aid volunteer's diary: Day three
07 June 2006, 10:34
by Father Agus Gunadi

Volunteers try to line up earthquake survivors as they queue up for food at a distribution point in Bantul, Indonesia, May 31, 2006. Relief efforts for an estimated 650,000 people displaced by Indonesia's earthquake picked up Wednesday with a surge of foreign aid workers coming into the region and the reopening of a key airport. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara Volunteers try to line up earthquake survivors as they queue up for food at a distribution point in Bantul, Indonesia, May 31, 2006. Relief efforts for an estimated 650,000 people displaced by Indonesia's earthquake picked up Wednesday with a surge of foreign aid workers coming into the region and the reopening of a key airport. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara
I have just held mass for my regulars in the tent.

The church isn't ruined, but some of the walls are damaged so it's too dangerous to hold services there.

We haven't thought about repairing the building yet. The church was built in 1934, which for Yogyakarta is old.

We now have about 100-150 people living in front of the church. More people are finding their families so they leave to go home. This is good.

We are in the city centre. We are getting more and more village representatives coming to us from outside the city.

Most of the aid we are getting to hand out to them is noodles and water.

What they need now is tools to rebuild their houses. Hammers, saws and wheelbarrows will be very useful to quake victims.

They will also need rubber shoes, so they can walk in the ruins of their homes. And they need cleaning materials.

Spiritual help

My volunteers are starting to get very tired.

In fact, many are victims too. Some volunteers come to help because they have no home themselves.

It has impressed me.

Today, one of my volunteers discovered her mother was killed in the earthquake. It is a long time to wait to find out. Now she's crying.

I try to give spiritual help to the volunteers. I am also visiting victims.

I want to give them hope and optimism. But I don't know if I am successful.

This evening I dedicated my first prayers to the victims. Then I prayed for all the people who are able to help others.

This is an opportunity to reach out to one another despite differences of religion or ethnicity.

For Christians, this is a chance to express their faith. If we love Jesus Christ, we must help each other.