Alliance News Feed – But First, Water

Adapted from a report by Joanna Gregg, an Alliance worker serving with Envision and Engage Burkina 

God has been teaching me how I’m quick to ask Him for something. But I’m not as quick to stop and give thanks when He answers.

I eventually get there, but it isn’t always my first response—as it should be. So, I want to use this opportunity to give thanks.

Safe Water, Living Water

Celebrating clean water! (Photo courtesy of Joanna Gregg)

During three weeks of drilling wells last month in local villages, over and over again God answered prayers—defying expectations, and showing off His power.

Drilling clean-water wells is one of our team’s strategies for bringing sustainable development solutions to Burkina Faso. It’s a tangible way to offer hope here, where up to one in two people in rural areas have no access to safe water.

Since most Burkinabè have not experienced the love of Jesus, every well our teams drill is at a local church. This gives pastors the opportunity to also share with the community about the source of living water (see John 7:37–39).

Our work crews during those three weeks included our drilling partners Friends in Action (FIA), the Envision/Engage team, and two short-term teams from the state of Georgia and one from Minnesota.

Answered Prayer in Week One

Children sit atop the casing placed in the borehole to prevent it from caving while drilling. (Photo courtesy of Joanna Gregg)

In the first week, we stopped to pray when one well gave us trouble. As we interceded, we could hear the well collapsing. I immediately thought of all the extra work it would take to complete the drilling.

When we finished praying, we put in the casing. This is a large pipe you put down to keep the borehole from caving so you can continue drilling. To my surprise, the casing went in easily. God helped us so we could complete the well with no further problems.

That is just one of several stories I could share about that first week of answered prayers.

Defying Expectations

Joanna Gregg (left) and Amanda Griffin, who is also an Envision Engage/Burkina worker with her husband, Joel. (Photo courtesy of Joanna Gregg)

The second week we were delayed a day in getting started. I kept thinking about how our group of six guys, who had traveled from the United States to help drill wells, would get only a few days of work.

Sometimes it takes several days to drill a well; in other instances it’s not possible to finish one in that amount of time.

But once again, God defied our expectations—we were able to drill four wells in three days, including wells in two different villages in just one day. That is a record. I don’t say that to give us credit but to once again thank God for doing more than we ever expected.

In the village where the team drilled more than 400 feet to locate clean water, women and children filled containers for more than four hours straight! (Photo courtesy of Joanna Gregg)

During our third week of drilling, we showed up at a location where the villagers told us we wouldn’t find any water because other groups had come out and drilled dry holes. (Someone told us there had been nine dry holes.) Well, we drilled and drilled and drilled and saw lots of dust—but no water.

We were approaching 300 feet—the deepest we can go with our equipment.

I prepared myself to pull out the rods and start over again. However, on this trip the FIA guys had an extra 10 rods (100 feet in length). So after two days of drilling, we got down to just over 400 feet, and we found a good source of water.

Drilling this deep was another record—and another reason for us to give God thanks for defying our expectations and showing off His goodness.

In total, our teams drilled 13 wells in four weeks, providing clean drinking water for 13 villages. More importantly, these wells will give 13 different pastors many opportunities to share about Jesus—our source of living water.

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Source: Alliance News Feed – But First, Water

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