Thursday, November 3, 2011

Difficult Roads to Difficult Places

        65 miles from the “almost paved” road, five hours, one way. Then back again in one day. As I drove over the moonscape road toward the distant and remote villages in Togo, West Africa I thought about how this very difficult road typified the life the people in this region live. We drove through deep canyon-like ruts, over and around large rocks that nearly blocked the road, deep mud holes and deep sand in other places. And it just seemed to go on and on. In villages along the way we saw so many people living just as their ancestors have lived for centuries. Standing near a mud puddle in the road  a woman is bathing; children are playing in the dirt with sticks and rocks. Simple houses of mud, sticks and grass are deteriorating. And yet, in village after village we see simple buildings with simple signs that indicate an Assembly of God church; and equally as present in this region are mosques. If there is a well the pump is locked so only those who attend the mosque may use it. The Christ-followers are driven away from any local source of water, even if the water is unclean. The pastors tell stories of having to walk great distances to find water that causes cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, and even yellow fever. There is nowhere to go for medical help or medicine because of the roads and the distance. The national leadership of the Assemblies of God in Togo has asked the AFRICA OASIS PROJECT to provide fresh water wells in the four villages of Séiboudè, Tindjassi-Sara Kawa, Guerin Kouka and Agbawilika. In one village the Chief, who is a believer,  is suffering from yellow fever as we write this. The Chief asked his pastor “please pray to find someone to come and drill a fresh water well in our village to help relieve the sickness”. With your help the AFRICA OASIS PROJECT can meet that great need.
        In the villages the churches are accused of being corrupt and taking things from the village and giving nothing back. People are told to stay away from the church. “You are Christians but you don’t do anything to help us.”
        But there is more…. In the villages of Kadjale, Bonagana-sada and Mazada, in the same region, the AFRICA OASIS PROJECT was able to put in a deep well and a pump near the Assembly of God church in each village. The attitude of the people in the village and the reputation of the church has completely changed. The chief in Kadjale told the people that they must not destroy the church anymore and to leave the people of the church alone. The Chief said “the people of the church brought the clean water well to the village and if we bother them they will take away the water”. (Of course we would never do that.) Where the AFRICA OASIS PROJECT wells have been placed there has been a complete change of attitude in the village. Now the church is seen as a “good thing”.  The churches are growing and the village knows that they are there to stay and to help them. PRAISE THE LORD!
        WE NEED YOUR HELP… to alleviate the sickness and to show the love of Christ to the thirsty people in these villages  in Togo. Because of the remoteness of the area the wells are going to cost over $13,000 each. Please prayerfully consider giving financially and being a part of this great project to bring fresh, healthy water to fight back the diseases. And help us bring the Living Water of Jesus Christ to these wonderful, yet spiritually thirsty people … who live at the end of the difficult road in a difficult place. But that is where our God lives too.

Your missionary servants,

Mark and Vickie Alexander

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

“Why Have You Become a Wife?”

IMG_0050 - Copy     That is the question that the men of the village would ask Pastor Sampson SOLMA, the pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in the remote village of Waria, Benin.
     Waria is located on the Benin/Nigeria border where they are constantly troubled by bandits and thieves.
     Black market gasoline, guns and drugs constantly flow through the Waria area.IMG_0188 - Copy
     Because of the danger to his wife Pastor Sampson would do the work that is usually reserved for the women of the village. He would walk the two kilometers to the small river to collect the filthy water that would probably make his family sick with cholera, diarrhea, parasites, worms or other health issues.
     Some of the men will smoke the local marijuana to make them brave so that as vigilantes they fight the criminals, and then they become as much a danger to the local people as the criminals.
   IMG_0006 - Copy  This is why Pastor Sampson is carrying the water, doing his wife’s work.
     Today Pastor Sampson does not carry the water, doing his wife’s work. Today he and his wife, and the people of the Assembly of God church and the village of Waria walk a short distance to the fresh water well that is conveniently located to all of them.
    IMG_0166 - Copy That is the well the Africa Oasis Project drilled just a few weeks ago. Fresh water and the Living Water of Jesus Christ are flowing in Waria, Benin today because of people like you who gave so that others might be blessed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Okay, so that was an attempted play on words. Actually, what I am referring to is that we took on a project that is not about a water well. Let me explain.

We had a group of pastors from Kansas come to visit us and we took them to see the Africa Oasis Project well in the village of Tsito, Togo. While we were there a rain storm came through and we took refuge in the humble Assembly of God church facility there. During the storm a salvation message was given to the gathered people of the village and 12 people accepted Christ as their Savior. PTL! As we left the village the Kansas pastors agreed that the village of Tsito needed a permanent church structure and thus the idea was born.

Back in Kansas funds were raised and we were asked to oversee the erection of a tabernacle building. In the last few weeks we worked together with our dear friends and missionary colleagues Berry and Tracey Brown, and many others as we put up the tabernacle structure you see in the accompanying pictures. It was a joy to work with the pastor, the village chief and many others from the village to make this project happen. The women and children also worked bringing stones and sand to help with the concrete. It was truly a cooperative effort and the result is greatly appreciated in the village. The church graciously gave us and the Browns chickens in appreciation.

We want to thank all those in Kansas whose financial giving and continued prayers are making such a difference in this remote village. It is truly a testimony of the love of Christ. Very near the church, voodoo animal sacrifices are made exhibiting the darkness of Satan in the area. This church and building are a light in this dark world.

Matthew 5:16 (New International Version)
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

So, wells are not enough. We also serve in any way that presents itself. Now it is back to drilling the much needed water wells and providing fresh water and the Living Water.

Your missionary servants,

Mark and Vickie Alexander
Africa Oasis Project

Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 April Update

Greetings to all our blog friends. 

What a whirlwind these last few months have been.  Wells, travel, speaking, and much more.

We have been able to complete well projects in Dekandje, Togo and also in Tokpevia, Togo in the last few months.  Each of the wells were greatly needed. 

In Dekandje we experienced the greatest difficulty in putting in a IMG_0034 (2) - Copywell that we have ever had.  The chosen drilling company started but did not complete project.  After hiring a different company we continued but found that the drilling was very difficult.  Drilling through clay and also looking for a quite small reservoir of water was a challenge.  The ultimate water flow from the pump is not as much as we would like to have had but it is better than the mile and a half walk for dirty water that they had before.  Life does not always give us the 100% we ask for.  We pray that more water will come.IMG_0016 - Copy

In Tokpevia we found that the new well in the center of the village produced a good supply of clean water.  The people of the village danced with joy all as the water began to flow.  No more walking over four miles to another village to get clean water.

Vickie and I also took part in a one-day conference in Dallas, TX IMG_0012 - Copycalled the Long African Day.  This event was wonderfully produced by our own Assemblies of God – Africa office.  The Long African Day event was an opportunity for five different compassion ministries to be highlighted.  We were asked to return to the States to coordinate the Africa Oasis Project portion of the event. The response was great and we believe the results will be long lasting. 

US, Wales 192 - CopySince we last blogged, we had the opportunity to visit our daughter Cristi in Cardiff, Wales for Christmas.  Our son Ryan was also able to join us so we had a delightful Christmas and New Years.

We have exciting things ahead in the next few weeks and months so we will try to give you an update soon.spring 2011 048 - Copy - Copy

Your Water Warriors
Mark and Vickie