Photo courtesy of Phil Hamer.
This post was written on December 12. As you read you will see why I saved it for today.
Today is the day I was going to write about the fresh, clean water pouring forth from the new well Russ, Rusty, and the Until Then team dug in Kenya. Today I was going to tell you that, since I didn’t want to announce to the world that my husband was out-of-town (in fact, off-this-continent), he has been to Kenya and back.
I was going to share with you how God was glorified through the way this team served the people in the Dago region, about how they worked long, long hours to share the love of Jesus through the gift of water. It was going to be a glorious post.
That is not what I am writing to share today. Rather, I want to tell you about how God’s ways are not our ways.
During the nearly two week trip, the team faced:
- Typhoid Fever
- Chicken Pox
- Long days of drilling using a unique low-technology method our friend dubbed “The Flintstone Method”
- Hitting rock and pressing on
- Breaking through rock only to hit more rock and damaging the drill bit
- Deciding to hire a man with a truck-mounted drill to get through the rock
- Finding that the compressor for his drill was broken
- Spending a day repairing the rig
- Drilling all day through 35 feet of solid rock
- Beginning the next day full of hope, with one aquifer said to be at 45 ft. and another at 100 ft.
- Drilling all day, with no sign of water
- Drilling into the night
- Drilling again all day – the last full day in Kenya
- Still no water after 135 ft. of solid rock (160 ft. total)
The team met with a hydro-geologist at the site this morning who told them it was possible that even with two more days of drilling, they would not hit water.
Photos courtesy of Phil Hamer.
They were scheduled to leave for Nairobi at noon to catch their flights home. Russ and I talked about whether or not he should stay, but ultimately we decided he needed to come home.
While he was gone, I prayed my heart out each day, slept with my phone in my hand, and prayed through the nights. Initially I was completely optimistic, then worried, and finally devastated.
Saturday morning when I heard the news that there was still no water, I was crushed. I wept. When Russ called, I could hardly speak due to the lump in my throat. As the morning wore on, I questioned God. Then I grew angry. WHY? WHY would He send my husband to Kenya full of hope and talent. WHY would He send a team of gifted people whose hearts were to bring water to the poor, only to have them stricken with illness? WHY was there no water in this well?
We hoped for WATER , clean rushing water bringing life and health to people, feeding them by irrigating their gardens, freeing their children to go to school rather than haul water. I wanted my husband to come home with joy on his face and a deep sense of satisfaction.
But God is sovereign and although the team is on their way home, let me share some of the hopeful news and evidence of God’s hand in everything.
- The team connected with three Kenyan men who had a ministry drilling wells, but were unable to continue when their rig was reclaimed by financial backers.
- Russ trained the men in the low-tech method of well drilling and gave them all of the equipment needed
- The men are confident it will work in Kitale, another area in need of water (they know the soil there) and will begin digging at a hospital today
- One of the three men has a son who was injured and has been paralyzed from the waist down for at least two months. He needs surgery, but our new friend cannot afford it. The needed funds are being raised through Until Then and we are so thankful to be part of this boy’s healing.
- Partnerships have been formed. Friendships have been made.
- Much has been learned.
- A hydro-geologist has been hired to assess the property where the first well was drilled in the hope that Until Then can still put a well on that property. The people are in desperate need of clean drinking water.
As I write, Russ and Rusty have made it safely to Amsterdam and will arrive home this afternoon. Each time I talk to them I feel more encouraged about the wonderful things God did during these two weeks. It was not wasted time, energy, or resources.
God has a purpose and His ways are higher than ours and His thought are wiser than ours. We put all our trust in Him.
Postscript: We have beautiful news — we hit water for Christmas!
Thanks be to God, tearful, relief-filled thanks.
I wrote the original post two weeks ago, but couldn’t bring myself to post it until I could share good news with you. I am so happy to be able to do that today.
We invite you to join us in providing water to the poor of Kenya. You prayers are precious to us. If you are looking for opportunities to make a tax deductible donation before 2010 comes to a close, I can promise you that your money will be used to directly provide water through Until Then. If you have questions, please email me at email@example.com.
Most of all, thank you for sharing our lives, our struggles, and our joy.
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