A word from Eddie. (Fortunately, not in his own handwriting!)
‘Myra’s Wells is a thrilling adventure and the adventure continues. We are about to drill 12 more wells (which will only make a slight dent in our waiting list). This adventure can cut out a three mile walk for water, innumerable health problems, enables year round horticulture – and you can even wash!! And the Good News of the Gospel is shared at almost every place we drill.We thank you for your support, trust you will continue with us and are thrilled by what follows.’
If you would like printed copies of this newsletter to give to others, please ask – we have some available. The web version is not really suitable for printing!
The main headings are these. Click on any to jump to each section:
- Stories Wells stories which we find thrilling!
- Plans Drilling plans for Autumn 2019
- Drilling process part 4 – Making the well ready to be used
- Security situation in Burkina Faso
Wells stories which we find thrilling!
The psalmist David spoke of “a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” This describes the Sahel region of Burkina Faso where Windpagouri is to be found. At this village, there was a choice of two places to find water. One was a pond and the other was an open well. Both had dirty water in them. There were alternatives – 2 proper wells in other villages, but they were 2 km (1½ miles) away with a waiting time of up to 2 hours. This would mean 3 hours to go for water, probably twice a day. So, these “alternatives” were not really viable and people tended to settle for the pond or the open well. The pictures made it easy to decide that a proper well was needed.
In November 2018, we were able to arrange for a well to be drilled. The well is quite deep at 82 metres, but the flow rate is a wonderful 6000 litres per hour. We praise the Lord for such a wonderful provision in a place where it is difficult to find water. The well has the plaque “Harry’s Well” on it in memory of a much loved father who started a Christian family trust some years ago. We know that this well will be helpful to the local pastor in his work of the gospel in an area of Burkina Faso that is seeing great trouble from terrorist activity.
The situation at Yambelga was bad! In the village there was an open well. However, the water was dirty. Not only was it dirty, it was claimed by shepherds which meant that the sheep and goats had the water before the people could use it. A second open well was also available, but this dried up in the dry season.
The next nearest water was a proper well with a pump, but that was 6 km (4 miles) away. In addition, this was in a village where a lot of people were also using the well, so the queue could be up to 3 hours long. “The impatient people go home without water,” the request form says.
In December 2018, Myra’s Wells sent the drilling team. On the second attempt, water was found at 57 metres. The flow rate is 1800 litres per hour. The village used to be empty of people as they tried to find water. Now, the people are able to spend time earning a living, rather than walking miles to find water.
This is the village where we were able, by the grace of God, to find water when we tried the 4th borehole. We only tried the 4th time because the people were so grateful to us for just trying, even though we had not succeeded. This picture was taken before we started drilling.
We have only recently heard another part of the story. When the drilling team arrived, they were met by the pastor and the chief of the village. The chief was very keen to help out and asked the pastor if they should sacrifice a chicken to help to ensure success. The pastor was very emphatic to say “No”. About 6 hours later, they were able to thank God for His wonderful provision of clean water.
This is another sequel story. At Gabou the pastor’s children had been shouted at and had their water containers thrown away when they went for water at a well at the other end of the village. In some villages, this can be up to 3 miles. When the surveyor arrived to mark a place for drilling at his end of the village, he cried with joy. When water was found, he was suddenly the most respected person in the village, having previously been the most despised.
Now, we have heard that having a well is still an absolute joy to him. Sometimes he goes to the well in the middle of the night to check that it wasn’t just a dream! Something that we take for granted brings so much happiness in places where water is unavailable. And, since the well has been there, it has been a testimony to the love of God shown in the gospel message. Many have come to faith in Christ.
Drilling plans for Autumn 2019
In the goodness of God, we are able to start this new drilling season with firm plans for 12 more wells. These will be done in batches of six. We have modified our processes a little to make more efficient use of resources. So, we will be asking that the first six wells are completed to the stage of having photos before proceeding to the next batch of six.
With having a large backlog of requests, we have arranged for these batches to be in the same area of Burkina Faso. For security reasons, we don’t want to say too much about location other than that the first batch is planned in the south west. These are some of the conditions in the villages which are in the first batch.
There are about 600 people in the village. They have to use one open well for their own water and the livestock. Although the people get on well, the women often have disputes about access to the well. And the water is dirty anyway. The fancy border round this photo does little disguise the fact that this lady is bending down, fetching dirty water from the marshes.
This is a district of a larger village. There are nearly 5000 people in the whole village and it covers a large area. Individual families often have a small compound with land around for their livestock. Because of this, although there are three proper wells in different parts of the village, those living in this particular district still have about 4 km to walk to reach them. When they get to the pump, they have to await their turn and it makes the round trip into a 3 hour exercise. The new well will benefit up to 1000 people by providing water much nearer to where they live.
800 people live here. They have the choice! Walk 3.5 km (about 2.2 miles) and then waiting for up to two hours to use a proper well, or use the open well or ponds in the marshes shown in these pictures. When we see pictures like these, it is an easy decision to approve drilling! Once again, the pretty border put round the photo cannot disguise the dirty water being extracted from this open well – nor the fact that the queue to use it is building up.
This village is smaller – about 400 people. However, the need is very clear. There are no photos to include, but that is probably a relief. Water is fetched from a river. The request form just says, “parce ce qu’il n’y a pas autre eau au village.” “Because there is no other water in the village.”
Villages 5 and 6
These last two villages have similar stories. We hear these stories so often. The problem we have is deciding how best to use the funds the Lord makes available! At each place where we try to find water, it creates a real desire to know more about the God who has made such a wonderful provision.
Please pray with us for success in the drilling at this first batch of six. Another batch of six is already prepared and when the first six are completed, we will proceed with the next six. We pray that we will not have to leave without finding water.
To see the full list of 149 wells so far, click this link. Our prayer is that we shall be able to add to this list in about 3 weeks’ time!
Drilling process part 4 – Making the well ready to be used!
There is an article on the web site which talks about the last stage of making a borehole ready to be used as a well. It covers water testing, pump fitting and building the surrounding wall. Please use this link to read about it.
Security situation in Burkina Faso
The security situation in Burkina Faso continues to be a concern. The biggest problem is in the north. Many people have fled their homes there and moved south. Schools have had to close. Please continue in prayer about this and, in particular, about decisions that have to be made in November about the proposed visit in January.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
Myra’s Wells trustees.