David’s Third Photo Blog from Ethiopia
This afternoon I had the bittersweet blessing of dedicating a new water well funded by Heaven’s Family’s Safe Water Ministry. It was sweet because the beneficiaries, tribespeople from miles around, have been drinking unsafe, muddy water all their lives. Now, for the first time, they will have pure, safe water to drink. They will no longer be plagued by waterborne diseases.
It was bitter because people created in God’s image will still be walking miles every day to this new well, and they will be carrying heavy, water-filled plastic jerry cans back to their villages for the rest of their lives. This is as good as it gets. Our new well will serve 20 small villages, and in some cases, those villages are a two hour’s walk away.
Still, the well committee, respected representatives from several of the local villages, thanked us almost to the point of embarrassment. It’s a new day for them and their animals. And they humbly requested more wells for their region.
They are not people who are lazy beggars. Very close by, I inspected four immense holes that had been dug by hand. Those holes must have been 12 feet wide and long, and 25 feet deep, at least, and all but one was completely dry. The one that was not dry had a little muddy water on the bottom. Our well is 150 feet deep, and the water has been tested. It is very pure. You can drink it without fear.
This well cost us $15,000. Some wells cost much less to drill and install, and some cost more, depending on the location and the geology.
Our Safe Water Ministry exists for two purposes: (1) to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those who are not yet in our spiritual family, with safe water, as a testimony of God’s love for them, and (2), to serve those within our family whom God has blessed with resources, by giving them an opportunity to show their love for the One who will one day say to everyone either, “I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink,” or “I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink.” More than once on this trip I’ve been asked by Jesus’ followers for wells. Our Safe Water Ministry, directed by our dear Diane Scott, has never had too much money.
I was very impressed that the well committee requires everyone who uses the well to pay a little money, which the committee is saving for eventual ultimate pump repairs. Only the Lord knows the number of broken wells around the developing world that remain nonfunctional, as villagers wait for the NGOs that installed them to repair them. Thankfully, the committee for our well has taken ownership.
Below are some photos from the day.