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