Sunday, April 19, 2009

Timbuktu, Mali

The End of the World ~ The Middle of Nowhere ~
A God Forsaken Place ~

None of these misconceptions apply to Timbuktu, Mali. Some people may think it is the Copy of IMG_1876end of the world and the middle of nowhere since it is located on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. But God has definitely not forsaken this place. Timbuktu is a very special, historic and religiously influential town where there are evangelical works and outreaches in spite of the Copy of IMG_3074many challenges that come with being one of the five holiest cities of Islam.

In April 2009 I had the opportunity once again to go to Timbuktu with the understanding that we would be putting in a well and pump for the Touareg encampment just outside the town in the desert. The Touareg are a nomadic people that traverse the desert on the ever present camels and they live much like their ancestors have for centuries.

At this point it is important to tell you  Copy of IMG_3128that the plans made by the missionaries do not always work out. We made the trip to Timbuktu and on Monday morning we found the driller was ready and the drilling truck and other equipment was in place and ready to go. Then it was discovered that the distributer that was providing the plastic pipe for the casing had Copy of IMG_3158supplied the wrong  pipe. You cannot drill a well in the desert without the strong casing pipe to keep the sides from falling in. Of course there was no other supply of the correct pipe available in Timbuktu at that time. There was some of the correct pipe stockpiled by another group that was led by a very high profile Muslim political leader but they would not consider selling the pipe to Copy of IMG_3100a Christian group. The casing pipe had to be shipped in from the Ivory Coast and it would take at least a week to get the pipe through customs and trucked up to Timbuktu.

I am sorry to say that at that point I was  questioning God about the whole situation. “God, Copy of IMG_2920we did not accomplish what I had planned, but did we accomplish what You had planned?” I have to believe we did. We had opportunity to have a very productive interaction with a pastor that deals with these issues every day. We also had the oopportunity to visit THE SCHOOL OF LIGHT, an Assemblies of God Elementary School that has the highest ranked  education program in the region. We were able to see the tremendous need for fresh water at The School of Light. They are trying to plant trees and grow a garden to help the students and the Copy of IMG_3016staff and the surrounding community. There are 93 students in kindergarten through the second grade and over 90 percent of them are from Muslim homes. The Africa Oasis Project really wants to help the school get the much needed fresh water well and pump. The well will cost $19,000.

The well for the Touareg encampment is resched- uled and we will do whatever we can to bring fresh water and the Living Water to the desert of Timbuktu, Mali in the next few weeks. Won’t you join us Copy of IMG_3133by praying and giving financially so that others might have life? The Touareg have a proverb in the Tomasheq language that is actually quite common across Africa. It says “Aman Iman”, which means “Water is Life”. Please prayerfully consider helping us reach the people of Timbuktu and the School of Light with the life giving water they so desperately need. Help the AFRICA OASIS PROJECT bring fresh water to Timbuktu, this place that is ...

Not the End of the World
, or
Not in the Middle of Nowhere and especially
Not a God Forsaken Place.

It is a place where people need fresh, clean water and people need the Lord.