I love having days where I am able to learn new things, especially things that make such a difference in people’s lives. Today was one of those days, and the difference made could even be said to be a matter of life and death. I’m talking about water…I’m talking about well drilling.
For most of us, water is something that we seriously take for granted. We refuse to drink tap water because the bleach or chlorine doesn’t taste good. Or we only drink a certain brand of spring water because the generic brands certainly are not as good. We let the water run unnecessarily for countless hours whether it is doing the dishes, washing the car, or those extra long showers. Let’s face it, we Americans certainly take water for granted.
Not in Haiti. Water is like gold in Haiti. It is probably the most precious commodity for any village that has it. It really is the source of life for the people. And so today, I had the privilege of going out with the well drilling team and repairing a few wells. It was a great experience to be part of fixing the wells so that the people of the village once again have clean water. They were so happy once the well was repaired. Some gave us grapefruits, some gave us sugar cane, just as a way of them saying thank you to us for repairing their well so that the people have water again.
These wells that we repaired were way up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. I can’t imagine how the wells were drilled in the first place since well rigs are fixed on huge trucks and these roads were anything but huge. Global Outreach has really dome an amazing job in drilling wells for so many villages in this part of the country. Because of the work of these Global Outreach missionaries, hundreds of thousands of people now have safe water. It really is an amazing thing and I was glad to be able to be part of it today. I learned a lot and it gave me a first hand look at how much people depend on something that all my life I have never given thought to.
It’s a reality in Haiti that your day rarely goes as planned. We were supposed to go to 3 well sites and repair the wells and be back around lunch time. Well, as we were driving up the steep mountain road that they have recently put in to replace the mule path that it was just six months ago, a man flags down our truck and proceeds to talk to the other missionary about something that seemed very important. I was able to figure out somewhat of what he was saying, and then Chris (the other GO missionary) told me that the plans have now changed. Global Outreach has a well there and because they are making this new road, the well was just hours away from being completely buried under mounds of dirt and gravel. So, we had to immediately take apart the whole well so that we did not lose thousands of dollars worth of material under a big heap. It is amazing how God led us on this particular day to have to travel in that direction where we were told that we had a few hours before this well would be buried. So, we removed the well, but the sad thing is now that these people have to walk further now to get water. Thankfully, Global Outreach has another well in that village, but it is a little further up the road, which is a big deal when you have to carry these big buckets of water back and forth…usually on your head.
So, after that first site, I learned how to do some of it, and so I helped out on the next 2 sites for the remainder of the day. On the last site, a lot of kids were gathered around and so I spent some time talking to them and trying to tell them about Jesus. It was good.
Tomorrow, my wife and I, along with my kids, are going to visit an orphanage about an hour away from here in order to pray and see if this might be a place that God will have us serve. We heard that they are looking for someone to take over the whole orphanage. We will spend the night there with another missionary friend of mine and then return to the Global Outreach Mission Base on Friday. I am very excited.