Thursday, May 14, 2009

the well offering

During the month of April Two Rivers Church collected $2977.15 to build a well in either Africa or India. What an incredible thing for a church that is only three months old. Thank God!

Below is an email I sent to Gene Morden who has been working in Kenya for the last 10 years and his response:


My name is David McCants and I am the Lead Minister at the Two Rivers Church of Christ in New Bern, NC. Our congregation is about 4 months old and we have recently collected $3,000 to build a well through I.D.E.S. in Africa or India. I got your name and email from Larry Sims from I.D.E.S. and would like to know a little more about what you are doing with your well projects. I read your most recent newsletter and it sounds very promising. I do have a couple questions:

First, are the wells that you are building primarily for irrigation or is that just another use for them? Do these wells provide clean drinking water also? If so, describe the typical problem that a village is facing concerning clean water and how these wells are meeting those needs. (for instance, how far would a typical village have to go to get clean drinking water and how much of their time was spent in dealing with meeting this basic need?) Also, since we are a new church we would like to do more than just send money, would you be open to a follow up visit from a few of our leaders to see what you are doing or would that just make things more difficult for you? It has been on my heart as the Lead Minister that I should get out of the country this year and I would love to go see what our money did and possibly begin a longer relationship with a missionary or mission. I know that $3,000 is not a huge amount of money, but for us only 3 month into this new church work, I think it is amazing.

Thanks for what you are doing. May God bless your efforts as you work to expand His kingdom.

grace & peace.



Hello David,

Thank you for your interest in wells in Turkana.

As Larry Sims told you they have supported 10 wells in Turkana.
Turkana is in northern Kenya. WE work in the central part of Turkana which is much like a desert in Arizona. Most of the population lives within 2 hours walk of a dry river bed. They get water by digging open pit wells in the dry river beds. When we test the water in the open pit wells they are full of e-coli and other normal water diseases. When it rains it usually a flash flood and with or without a flash flood the river water is dark brown and very turbid. During these times, they drink water from running river. Skin infections, eye diseases, colds, and diarrhea are the major side effects. We have seen many children die from dehydration due to diarrhea. We have taught them to boil water, but not everyone takes the time. Having a clean water well eliminates nearly all of these problems. When we were first installing clean water wells, people were skeptical of their value. But after they started using the clean water and then went to visit friends who were still using open pit wells, they were believers. Many people have told me stories of the sicknesses they get when they visit friends.
All the wells we drill are for clean water first. Since the standard greeting of a Turkana is "I'm hungry" , we have also tried to install irrigation so they can have food everyday. We can see a difference in the skin and attitude of those who are growing their own nutritious food. When we visit them, they keep working and only speak to us with words of thanks if we come near their farm plot. One older woman when asked if she liked being a farmer said, "I never thought I would be a farmer, but I sure like eating everyday."

The open pit wells take the women at least 20 minutes to fill a 5 gallon water can with dirty water. They can fill from the pump in 2 minutes.

During drought times some people have to walk 10 kilometers to get water from open pit wells. One man was elated to find there was clean water only 20 feet below his land. He said he couldn't believe water was so close and his ancestors had been walking 10 kilometers to get water for as long as he knew.

We still need to reach the more remote areas with wells and many areas with water within 20 feet do not yet have wells.

WE and the Turkana welcome visitors. It is very hard to communicate the desperate conditions the Turkana live under. Feeling it is the only real way to understand. You would be able to experience and decide first hand if this is an important work that you want to be a part of or not. And $3,000.00 may seem small, but every well affects up to 2000 people.

Thanks again for your interest.

May God bless you and your church with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,



Kristin said...

This sounds promising...I like how they're not just giving the people wells for clean water but also helping with irrigation systems so that the people can grow their own food and be more self sufficient.

Levi said...

Wow! With the help of God and His son Jesus change lives man, change lives!