We need your prayers! On Thursday we were hoping to finish drilling our 6” borehole and to put the PVC pipes for the casing into the hole. However, a terrible thing happened: First a bracket on the drill broke, and then we discovered that a pipe had broken and we lost 3 pipes and the 6” drill bit in the hole!
The top of those pipes is about 28 feet down. Thanks to a minor miracle we were able to repair the drill and replace the bracket (the miracle was that when Mr. Maher noticed that the key had fallen off the shaft, one of the BMW students found the small piece of metal in the dirt right away), however the initial attempts to retrieve the pipes with the drill bit failed, and the retrieval hook was terribly bent.
We tried all day Friday to retrieve the pipes & bit, using different methods, but the bit was just too tightly stuck, and we did not succeed.
So our only option was to start a new borehole, just a few yards away from the original one (so we could reuse the setup around the drill rig and the water pits).
As we lost the better 6” drill bit in the hole, we will need all your prayers for the success of the borehole (when we’re widening the hole from 4” to 6”, which is called “reaming”, we will need to use a bit that is not as ideal). We are having the National BMW students with us dig down for the drill bit. Pray they are successful.
On Saturday we only did a half day of evangelism and bricklaying. On the drill we were hoping to work until we were 7 pipes down on the new hole. Bohdan, Gregory, Sam, Jack and Riley volunteered to stay as late as needed and operate the rig. The others went back to base camp.
At the end of a long week most of them were exhausted and some rest did those good that weren’t feeling so great.
During the day it is sunny every day. In the sun it gets very warm, in the shade it is very pleasant. The nights get cold. In the morning we can sometimes see our breath. Those who take bucket showers really enjoy how warm the water from the well feels then.
The 2 groups that go over the hill each day take lunch with them. Lunch is sandwiches, sometimes PB&J, other times with egg or chicken or tuna salad, and a special treat. The favorite treat was the local tomatoes, which are so delicious (and cheap). Jessica and Sam got to go to the little market in our village to buy more tomatoes and other items for the kitchen.
All our meals are wonderful, the kids are really happy with whatever Mrs. Maher and Mrs. Stencil cook, and are always eager for seconds and thirds.
The village where our base camp is is called Nalounga, the village where we are drilling the well is Mnonga (which is pronounced more like Mgonga).
Whenever we walk to Mnonga the little kids meet us at the edge of the village by the soccer field. They are so excited to see us, and so eager to help us that they beg us to let them carry our buckets and other gear for us. One day we had to carry some big PVC pipes for the well, and the kids even carried those, being all proud and happy to have a part in our work. And seeing them carry Bohdan’s guitar on their heads is just too cute.
In the evenings we do bible study (we are studying the book of James), and every other day the guys and gals have a separate “GG” study – for guys that’s “God’s Gentleman”, for gals it’s “Grubby to Grace”. All the leaders take turns teaching these. A special part of the evening is Team Time, during which one of the team members chooses a few worship songs and then leads a short devotion. This past week it was Isaac, Olivia, Caleb, Joshua, Gabby and Jedikiah who led the devotions, and they did a wonderful job sharing what God is teaching them. In the discussions that follow it is great to see how the kids are opening up to the group, and how they encourage and support each other.
Sunday we went to a different local church, this time to a small Pentecostal church. They are still in the process of building an actual church building, so we worshipped in open air, under a simple canopy, surrounded by the partially built walls, sitting on woven mats. We performed 2 worship songs and 2 puppet songs. Everybody, young and old, loved the puppets!
We continue to treat little Davidson for his burn wound, and also an old man who has a deep cut in his finger. Both of them are healing extremely well, given our very limited resources. Mary, Destiny and Riley are wonderful nurses that are helping Mrs Stencil with our patients. Other kids (e.g. Bohdan and Jedikiah) that are interested in the medical field are also learning from this experience.
The kids just finished their weekly B
ible verse quizzing (team “Eugeniouses” won: Destiny, Marissa, Sam, Jack and Isaac), and now Mrs. Stencil is giving haircuts to Jack and Sam.
“I have learned how much I have and how much I don’t miss it. And how even though people who go to a church that is just brick walls and no roof, and that are just sitting on the floor, are much happier than people that go to a fancy church. And they don’t care what you look like, they just care how you act.” – Jedikiah M.
“The minute I stepped into Malawi, I was immediately greeted by happy faces all around. God has been teaching me to be grateful for what I have and to be happy, even when life gets hard.” – Jack O.
“Malawi is a beautiful and friendly country. The people have so little and yet they give so much. The people are so friendly, when we go to the work site the little kids come and take our buckets and carry them to the drill for us. They have so much energy! They love to sing and dance!” – Zoe K.
“I have learned how to be grateful for what I have, and I also learned how to be a better servant.” – Bohdan T.