On Monday we drilled further down with the 4” bit, with the goal of getting 11 pipes down again, like in the first borehole. Pipe 10 went only halfway, however, and when we pulled the pipes out we found the 4” bit was gone. Another pipe had broken at the connection point, and there wasn’t any way to even attempt to get it out, as there was nothing to hook onto, and it was about 65 feet down. So now we had lost both our good drill bits. But at 65 deep this is still a viable borehole, and Austin and Mr. Maher were confident that we were deep enough for a good well. So we kept going, under renewed prayers. As our 6” bit was still at the bottom of the first borehole we resorted to using a rather worn down triangular bit for reaming (widening the hole from 4” to 6”). We found somebody in a nearby village who was able to weld pieces of rebar to the weaker parts of that bit, and we were praying that this makeshift bit would work, as it was not really built for reaming in this kind of soil. And our prayers were answered! The next day we made it down 8 pipes with our makeshift bit! On Wednesday we finished going down, but had another setback when we pulled the pipes out: Another connection had weakened to the point that we lost 4 pipes and the makeshift bit this time. Even though we didn’t need these pieces for drilling anymore, they were blocking the hole, so unless we got them out the borehole would be unusable after all. Our only chance to get them out was to put pipes down to where we thought the top of the lost pipes was, line them up perfectly with the threads in the lost pipes, use the drill to screw them back together – all this about 35 feet down, with water in the hole and no way to see what we were doing. The chances of success were minuscule. And God provided a miracle! He guided the hands of Jack, Levi, Bohdan, Gregory and Mr. Maher, and after about 2 hours we successfully pulled the pipes out! Praise the Lord! As soon as the drill bit was visible, not only did the team cheer, but the whole watching crowd broke into song and dance! So we finally had a viable 6” hole, and put the PVC casing down. So today we installed the pump and put a concrete pad around it (Jessica and Kaylee did a great job getting the concrete nice a smooth). Unfortunately a piece on the pump is not working, so even though we were able to manually bring water up at some point, the actual pump is not usable at this point. We will need to get a replacement before anybody can pump water out of this well. We dedicated the well with the words “To God be the Glory” (Sam wrote it into the concrete in very neat letters) and a short ceremony with the village chief. God has worked miracles with this well and we are confident that despite all the setbacks the village will very soon have a steady water source. But not only did we bring physical water, but also the living water of Christ! On Monday and Tuesday the evangelism group went with Jaswell on his regular Sunday school circuit, visiting several different nearby villages. In one of the villages Daniel, Gabby, Jedikiah, Mary and Olivia performed the ‘Colors’ drama, which explains God’s story from creation to salvation through Jesus. Right after the drama 3 young men and 2 mothers with their little children came forward to pray with Jaswell to receive Christ! Praise God! Other highlights this week so far included some of the kids trying a local food, which the Bible school students had cooked for them: Roasted mouse. The reaction was “ astes like salty chicken”. They really enjoyed it! But they enjoyed Miss Maggie’s homemade donuts (called mandas) even more, which she made over a little fire in front of the house. One day the drill crew got a ride back to base camp in the back of Seth’s truck – all 6 kids were piled into the trunk for a very steep and very bumpy ride, and they loved it. A major highlight was definitely mail day. Seth had brought the mail out, and everybody who got mail was so excited to hear from their loved ones! We don’t get visitors from the base often, only about once a week, and that is our only way for incoming and outgoing mail. Our time here in Nalounga is coming to an end soon, and we will miss our new friends very much, the lovely, warm and friendly people in the villages we visited, as well as the TMI staff that lives out here. We thank God that we were able to complete our well project, and we pray that the seeds we planted with our evangelism will grow and the Word of God will spread in this region.
“We just finished drilling the well. Yesterday God worked a miracle at the drill site. We had lost 4 pipes and a bit at the bottom of the well. God guided us as we attempted to retrieve them.” Josiah W.
“God taught me to love him. And that we should love him as our first priority.” Caleb L.
“The Lord has taught me to be thankful for every thing that I have, even if it is not really important to me, because what we have in America, like a silly bracelet, people here treat like gold”. Gabby H.
“I tried to find God in big ways, but learned that He shows Himself in little things. All of creation reflects His glory.” – Isaac B.