Welcome to the January 2021 Myra’s Wells Newsletter. Here is the index to the sections. You can use the links to read it section by section – or just scroll down to read it all.
The Saatenga Story – Tremendous blessing.
Pougneerkougri – A new church established following the well.
Adam’s School – What has happened since the new well.
Other Wells – Short notes about other new wells.
Bantougri – The old open well had no water in it.
Ramongho – A well to remember a well loved son.
Some other Wells – Brief details.
Visits – Plans do not always happen!
Plans for more wells in January
Prayer Points – Praise and Prayer summary
For anyone who prefers it, a printable PDF version of the newsletter is available by clicking this link.
THIS IS THE LORD’S DOING
“This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23
Myra’s Wells is a Christian Charity. Not only does this mean providing a cup of water to someone who is thirsty, irrespective of their religion; it also means we rely on God to direct us in all sorts of situations. This is particularly the case at Saatenga, as you will see as you read this newsletter.
While sharing our good news with you at the end of 2020, we want to affirm that what has been achieved through Myra’s Wells in the past year is indeed “marvellous” and “the Lord’s doing”. We don’t advertise or have fundraising campaigns, and even though sharing in churches has been severely restricted, our income is up! Now we simply share what has been achieved through your generosity in one of the poorest countries of the world. And we continue to give 100% of your gifts to projects. No deductions are made for any other expenses.
None of the trustees knows much – indeed anything – about hydrogeology, but we have access to excellent surveyors, drilling companies, and other necessary disciplines mainly through our Field Manager in Ouagadougou, Christine Bonkoungou. Christine is a 21st century woman of faith whom God has made available to us. She gives her time totally freely!
We are delighted to be able to say “Thank You” once again.
THE SAATENGA STORY
We decided to try to drill a well at Saatenga. This is a large village divided into about twelve “quartiers”. In this particular quartier, there are about 1000 people who didn’t have easy access to clean water. There is also a small primary school there with four classrooms, but no proper access to clean water.
So, drilling there was planned during the week starting 20th October.
On Wednesday, 23rd October, we received a message from Christine which thrilled us. Not only was the borehole positive (that is enough to thrill us anyway); but it was the second best supply of water we have ever had – 18,000 litres per hour (initially measured at 16,000 but corrected later). That is 25 times the minimum viable supply! God had really blessed!
With such a good supply, we had to decide how best to use it. We wanted to provide a solar powered pump and a water tower. However, these are expensive. In fact, to get the best water tank would mean using money which could provide wells at two more villages. We needed guidance and so prayed about it.
As we pondered the dilemma, one day, the morning post brought an unexpected cheque – enough for one well. The next day another unexpected cheque arrived – also enough for one well. We took this as an indication that we should proceed with the water tower at Saatenga. The result is shown above.
As we have been preparing this newsletter, the work was completed. The solar powered pump has been fitted and all the pipe work is now in place. Three taps have been installed in different districts (quartiers) of the village. In a rural village in Burkina Faso, this is the height of luxury!
The chief is also delighted. He visited the water tower and promised that the people would look after it.
God’s provision has been wonderful and the local Christians will lose no time in telling others of this – and the even more wonderful provision of a Saviour. Christine tells us, “The Pastor at Saatenga said that the water tower itself is preaching the Good News”
The plaque “Ruth & Peter’s Well” has been fixed on the side of the small concrete structure housing the solar powered pump.
Some of the people at Saatenga got together to make this short video to say “Thank you” for their new borehole and water tower.
Last January, Eddie visited Pougneerkougri, a remote village in the south of Burkina, near to the border with Ghana. Eddie recalls nearly treading on a 2 hour old baby goat (Billy the Kid?!) as he visited this well which had just been drilled. The local people had been waiting a long time and had creatively landscaped the surrounding area, and also made the well “animal friendly”. The cost of this well had been covered by supporters locally in Dorset in memory of one of their family members, who had passed away.
It was only in recent weeks that we received these photos, and we were encouraged to see how the well was being used, and also how the lives of the local people had been transformed. When we visited that village, there was no church. Christians in nearby villages were trying hard to share the Gospel, but with the coming of the well, their task was easier, and they now have a church in their village.
ADAM’S SCHOOL IN NATIERA – THE STORY SO FAR
In 2019, seven-year-old Adam, then a pupil at St Mary’s School in West Moors, walked for 16 miles to raise money for a well in a very needy village called Natiera, in the West of Burkina Faso. In due course, the well was drilled, but there was another big problem. There was no school except for 5 – 8 year olds, and, as a consequence, there was no moral education, and many girls as young as 12, were becoming pregnant.
In September this year Christine, our Field Manager had a vision to provide a secondary school for the village with Christian teachers. She shared that vision with Eddie. It all seemed impossible (but nothing is impossible with God). A school with simple but sound construction, including toilets would cost £50,000. Only a few people knew about this, and we didn’t publish it widely as our primary purpose is to provide wells.
Amazingly over £25,000 has already been given towards this project. The very large church in Ouagadougou which Christine attends has agreed to provide the balance. The local council donated the land, and the local people found some of the basic materials, such as sand. There will be other costs of course, but all this has happened in the space of 3 months. The photos of the school under construction are testimony to the goodness of the Lord and His people. Eddie can give you more information or answer your questions. Christine says: “What a wonderful God we have. Our God is a God of stories, and he can make our lives into stories for Him.”
OTHER RECENT WELLS
Earlier this year, Christine’s husband Michel visited a village called Bantougri. There was an open well there. Three ladies were trying to use it. However, it was during the second part of the dry season and the well was just about dry. Every time they lowered their buckets into the well and brought them back up, there was only a dribble of water – see the video clip below. The next nearest water was about 45 minutes walk away.
We decided to drill here and on 22nd October we heard the wonderful news from Christine that the borehole had been successful. This well has now been completed. The plaque on the side declares this to be “Colin’s Well” – paid for by a very generous supporter.
The story was similar at Ramongho. The nearest water was 1 mile away – and this was a river. Not only was the water dirty, but it dried up four or five months after the rainy season finished. Many “rivers” in Burkina Faso are like this. There were two alternatives, both proper wells with pumps – but the water was not pure enough to use as drinking water, even though one was near to a dispensary! 2000 people here badly needed clean water.
Another generous donor came to their rescue. The new well is “Simon’s Well”. This well is near to the local school and will be a real benefit for the pupils there.
Other wells since early October
After the rainy season finished, we were able to restart drilling in the first week of October. Between then and the middle of December, eleven boreholes have been drilled.
Nine of these wells have been completed – seven with hand pumps and two with water towers – one of which is the one at Saatenga. The trainer has been to each place to explain how to look after the well and give some basic advice on matters of hygiene. We plan to tell the story of the other water tower (a small one to help blind people to have easier access to water) in the next newsletter. Two more wells have been drilled very recently – they should be finished in the New Year.
This short video shows the moment that the drill struck water at one of the last two wells mentioned above:
VISITS TO BURKINA FASO
It is the Apostle James who tells us that we should not say “Tomorrow ‘I will do this’ or ‘I will go there’”. Rather, we should say “If it is God’s will …”.
Clearly, it is not God’s will that Eddie should go to Burkina Faso at the moment. Plans were in place for travel on 26th December. Eddie’s friend Geoff was also hoping to make the journey. There were plans to visit some of the wells featured in this newsletter and to visit some potential sites for wells. Then, along came a new “variant” of COVID-19 and all travel plans were disrupted. So, if it is God’s will, Eddie hopes to be able to make the trip in early Spring.
It means we won’t have a “Diary” to offer yet. Of course, UK travel has been difficult this year as well. Consequently, we have been unable to visit many churches or other groups this year. As a result, we still have copies of the “Diary” (100 colourful pages!) describing our visit to Burkina in early 2020. If you would like one, or can give some to friends, please email Eddie at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge but a contribution towards postage – which will go into our wells fund – would be appreciated. (“Myra’s Wells RCN 1143345” – Lloyds Bank – 30-93-25 – 24159560)
If it is the will of God, we hope to continue drilling into the New Year. There is a long list of applications and we cannot fund them all. However, we expect to be able to drill another five, perhaps more, in the coming months. If you would like to help one of these projects, by means of a ‘one-off’ or regular donation, please get in touch. Bear in mind that this Newsletter is only a brief summary of what’s going on. You can get details of how to contribute, and also read much more about many of the projects by visiting www.myraswells.org, which my colleague Mark keeps very much up to date, and we are grateful to him for that. Or just send me an email at email@example.com
We always remember that it is through God’s blessing that water is provided. Myra’s Wells is the channel; He is the provider. In summary, praise and pray about these things:
1) Praise for the wells that have been drilled recently;
2) Prayer that they will be a testimony to God’s greater blessing of salvation through faith and by grace;
3) Prayer for safety for the drilling teams in areas where security is not guaranteed;
4) Prayer for safety of Christine and her helpers based in Ouagadougou;
5) Prayer for guidance in choosing the most needy places to drill wells;
6) Prayer for the provision of more wells as funds are provided.
Thank you for your support in prayer and practical ways. You can read more about these stories by visiting the News section of our web site.
Myra’s Wells Trustees