Another Uganda Story

Well, I've been back for several days now and have been meaning to post a few stories here ever since my return. I'm sorry I haven't gotten to it until now. Jet lag + 24-hour flu = slow blogging.

We were able to see the final installation of the well that so many of you helped to pay for. On the day we were there, the installers put in the pump mechanism after testing the depth and volume of the well. (There will be a strong supply of water for a long, long time.)

This location is just outside of the main settlement of the village of Makoomi. As part of our ministry here on this day, we also provided an HIV and health clinic. We were also guided to the current source of water for the village. We went for a 10 minute walk, further away from the village and found a capped off artisian spring with a cistern. While we were there the water was flowing steadily.

There were 2 boys filling their jerry cans with water for their home. They stepped into the murky cistern and let the water from the pipe flow into their cans. (I should say the little one did, while the older one looked on.) We followed the boys part way back to their house and carried their filled cans for them (right on Rico and Jordan). It was on this journey that our missionary revealed the full benefit of this well installation to me.

We were there at the beginning of the dry season. The pastor of the church at Makoomi shared that as the dry season goes on, the spring will get continually less productive. Eventually the water will trickle out of the pipe and a couple of things will happen. 1 can will take up to 30 minutes to fill. The villagers will line up to fill their cans. In their society, the older people will get preference over the younger and so children sent by their parents may spend several hours waiting to fill water for their home. Many children and adults alike will give up on this process and journey down to the marsh to fill their cans with swamp water (another 15 minute walk beyond the point of the spring). It is during this time that many families go without necessary water. They use less and less to drink, reserving their precious water for food preparation. dehydration leads to illness and further complications.

It is from this spring that the school operated at the church receives its water. And with just the spring to supply water to the village, church, and school, one ministry vision for the area had been put on hold. An orphanage: Homes of Hope.

This village is near a handful of other villages and the school and orphanage here would rescue many children from death, illness, and a hopeless future. Not only has the provision of a constant clean water source on the campus of this ministry provided a village of a few thousand with reliable drinking water and better health, it has opened the door for the orphan home to be built, rescuing children from death, neglect, and abuse.

In Uganda, water changes things. I think Jesus knew that when He talked about himself as living water. Jesus changes things... Well, He mostly changes people.

Thanks to so many of you who are the missionaries who provided this well through prayer, financial support, encouragement, help, and in 1000 other ways. God did it through you. And His name is honored.


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