Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Water from the Rock In Benin, Africa Oasis Project

What a joyous day it was, January 22, 2009, when we saw the drilling truck drive onto the campus of the Institut Biblique, (the Bible School), in Dassa-Zoumé, Benin. We were in a morning chapel service and looked out through the nonexistent walls and saw the truck arrive bringing with it hope for a plentiful supply of clean water. The students and their families often had to walk into the surrounding neighborhoods looking for drinkable water. The municipal water supply was very erratic and unhealthy. The campus never had enough water for everyone that lives there.

After 8 meters of drilling they hit what turned out to be a large rock. For the next 13 meters they pounded away and finally broke through. At 55 meters they hit a large reservoir of the sweetest water you ever tasted. There was rejoicing from us all as the water began to flow.

At first they calculated that the water flow was 2,000 liters per hour, which is fantastic. The director of the drilling company went to the municipal water office for Dassa-Zoumé and told the city water director about the fresh water and the wonderful volume. The man said that is impossible. The city has done three geophysical surveys and drilled three wells in that area and they did not find water. The drilling company director brought the man from the city to see the water himself and he was amazed. What they did not know at that time was the water flow increased to 9,000 liters per hour and continues to flow at that rate. God is still in the business of bringing water from the rock. This water will assure the students and the people in the surrounding area an unlimited supply of fresh and healthy water until the Lord comes.

Now a 10 meter (33 feet) tower is being constructed and a 5,000 liter (1320) gallon tank will be on top to provide water pressure for all the buildings on campus.

Once again we want to thank Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC) for funding this well. Buddy Barrel and Buddy Bucket were there to lend a hand. They represented BGMC very well.

And thanks to everyone who has been praying for and giving to the Africa Oasis Project and Mark and Vickie Alexander.

Blessings to you all.

Mark & Vickie

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wells For Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a small country in West Africa that has been ravaged by over a decade of war and wide spread poverty. Sierra Leone has seen the atrocities of what man can do to man, but they have also experienced the joy of seeing what God can do for man in the Assemblies of God churches across the country. Vickie and I spent a week traveling the back roads of Sierra Leone with three Assembly of God church leaders as we visited the pastors in many villages and heard about the tremendous need for clean water. In recent years they have struggled to survive the residual affects of the war, but they continue rejoice in the souls that have come to Christ and the miracles of protection that they have experienced.

In November we went to villages like Rogboro where the village well was contaminated and unusable after the rebel forces came through the village. Pastor Tommy Bangura told us how the entire village could use the fresh water that a new well could provide. In the village of Mile 91 Pastor Albert shared with us how the people must go to the swamp during the rainy season and dip the filthy water for drinking. In the dry season they dig a hole in the swamp and wait for the dirty, unclean water to seep in. They desperately need fresh water as well. Pastor Albert lived in a tiny house about the size of one small bedroom where they have very little furniture. Five of us ate from only two plates of humble food that was graciously prepared for us. Masuba was another village where Pastor Tucker is planting a church and there is a great need for clean water. The church meets under a small shelter of small wooden poles with palm branches and grass woven for the roof.

Rogboro, Mile 91 and Masuba are the three priority projects waiting for wells in Sierra Leone.

We must drill in March at the end of the dry season, because April brings the rainy season and then we would have to wait until March of 2010. These wells will include drilling down to 180 feet and putting a strong hand pump on each one. We anticipate the costs to be around $7-8,000 per well.

There are so many stories of God’s protection and provision for these children of God. But for now, our heart’s desire is to bring fresh, clean, healthy water to the villages with the help of the local church, so the message they bring about the Water of Life will soak into the souls of the people.