We were really hoping to be able to report that our well was working and providing streams of fresh water for Mnonga, but unfortunately it was not to be. There was not enough water in our borehole to provide a steady water supply even in the dry season. Each of our setbacks had cost us in depth of the borehole, and in the end we were just missing that depth.
However, our first borehole will still become a well! We had hired a hole digger to dig out the 3 lost pipes and the 6” drill bit that were stuck at the bottom of our first hole. As the bit is completely stuck he has to dig all the down there, so now TMI is hiring him to keep digging a little further, until he hits a sufficient water layer. This should not be much further than how far we had managed to drill before losing the bit. A national team will then come and build up bricks inside the hole, and use the PVC pipes and the pump that we have prepped. So the first hole we drilled will be the core of the well, which should be completed in about a month.
The team was disappointed that we will not get to see water flowing, but encouraged that the well was not the only reason we were there. The team accomplished so much more that it is clear that God had us there for a reason. The people that came to Christ through our evangelism program are proof of this. And the patients we were treating every day – little Davidson with the burned arm, Besta the grandfather who almost cut his fingers off, little Jennifer who had been hit in the head with a rock – have experienced healing that was nothing short of miraculous.
As we were walking back from the well site we heard children singing about Jesus everywhere – this team has left a deep impact on the villages we visited!
On Friday afternoon we all went to “downtown” Nalounga. The kids bought treats and soda and ate the freshest French fries ever (they call them Chips here) – the vendor was slicing the baby potatoes right before he tossed them into the oil to fry them. There were 2 booths right next to each other and they were both sold out when we were done.
In the evening we had a Fun Night with skits and charades: We split the kids into 3 groups based on their last work groups, and first each group acted out a bible story as a charade. Next was different objects and the group consisting of Levi, Jedikiah, Josiah, Joshua, Garrison, Zoe, Riley and Mary did an absolutely brilliant portrayal of the drill rig! The best was when they took a new pipe (aka Garrison) off the rack and put it on.Then they did commercials and Kaylee was a perfect tomato.
The most laughter of the evening was the last piece when Bohdan hosted the “Late Late Late Show” and Gabby, Olivia and Jessica spoofed the assistant leaders of the team. It was hilarious!
Saturday we packed up base camp and moved back to the TMI base in Chipoka. After an emotional farewell to our hosts Anthony, Maggie, Jahswel and Moses (whom the kids will miss a lot), we piled into the truck again for the bumpy ride. Our dear friend Fisherman (one of the BMW students that several of our kids became good friends with, especially Daniel) joined us along the way.
At the base the kids were thrilled to see the monkeys again that were playing around on the roof and in the trees all around us. We had not seen any bigger wildlife in the villages, only farm animals – the ever present goats, chickens, ducks and pigs. And at base camp we had 3 dogs that kept visiting, which the boys named Spanker, Spanky and Tanner.
Today at the base the kids got to visit the farm animals there as well. They got to hold an adorable little baby sheep goat.
Tomorrow we will work on our projects here – building chicken coops and installing drip irrigation. Josiah especially loves chickens, so he is thrilled about this project.
Our team has such wonderful kids! I’m sorry if I don’t mention everybody equally. Especially the quieter kids tend to fall under the radar, but they are such a joy to have on the team! There’s Josiah who is always helping with the kitchen dishes, Gabby who has such a servant’s heart and helps everyone, Mary who cares for everybody who is not feeling well, Jacob who is such a calm presence and peacemaker, Garrison who is so eager to learn, Marissa who is such a dependable hard worker, Isaac and Kaylee who both are so gifted in drawing, and Daniel who is growing so much in the Lord.
“Leaving the village was very hard, especially because we had made such good friends with the TMI staff and students there. However I know that we will be able to stay in touch, and hopefully this won’t be the last time we see each other.” – Jessica M.
“Living at home I always took things for granted. Even when things were hard I always had a roof over my head, shoes on my feet, and food on my plate. Once we got to the village it broke my heart to see children who look like they’ve never had a good meal in their life, walking up and down the rough terrain with no shoes and only one pair of clothes.
Being on this trip has made me realize just how lucky I am and how blessed we are to have family that love us and care for us. This trip has truly changed my life forever.
But I have peace in knowing that God has His hands on every single one of these children.” – Olivia S.
“This trip has been full of so many new experiences for me, ranging from seeing monkeys in the trees to watching 5 people come forward to accept Christ after a drama I performed in. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to connect and make friends with local people, including Teen Missions staff and students like Jahswel and Fisherman. I also loved getting to do fun new things like eating a mouse and operating the drill rig. I will miss Malawi!” – Daniel S.
“Teen Missions has exposed me to a lot of new ideas about Christianity, and it’s great to be able to explore this ‘new side’ of Christianity with all of my teammates.” – Sam M.