The air was suffocating in our non-air conditioned van as we waited at the ferry crossing in Mombasa, Kenya. We had just begun our drive to a rural village of Mwangaza, which means “light” in Swahili. This very poor and mostly Muslim community has been the focus of several of my mission projects since 1999. With the help of a church I formerly pastored, we had built a Christian school building for a local Pentecostal church. We also supplied its pastor with a motorcycle for him to take the gospel far and wide. But what was needed more than anything was safe drinking water. So we later spent thousands of dollars drilling a borehole that failed to produce. In 2007, I returned to Mwangaza to distribute emergency food supplies and to attempt to treat their drinking water with water-purifying chemicals. The results were less than we hoped for.
Sawyer Water Filters Provide Fresh Water
This time, however, I had something I knew would work. I had five Sawyer water filters. I also brought more emergency food for the poorest of the poor believers in the village of Mwangaza. When we arrived, I discovered that their only source of water was rainwater collected from their roofs. Since my last visit, they had added several large cement and plastic reservoirs to hold the rainwater. So I rejoiced to know that the Sawyer water filters are well-suited to make such water safe to use.
After a short training session on hygiene, sanitation, and the proper use of the Sawyer water filters, we distributed one of the filters for their school (400 students and teachers), another for the Pentecostal church (200 members), and three additional Sawyer water filters to families who will share the filters with perhaps 150 other people. They rejoiced to receive, not only those five Sawyer water filters, but also large sacks of corn and beans, made possible by Heaven’s Family’s Food Fund.
It is also important to note that the Pentecostal church school is attended by perhaps 25% Muslim children. The Muslim parents used to object to their children being trained in a Christian program, but they soon realized that this school is the only good local option for furthering their children’s education.