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- Good news of drilling!
- Update from Tanvi
- “A Miracle”
- Thank you from Vallée de Kou
- Plans for January and February
- Trustees visit to Burkina in January 2022
- NGO Status in Burkina Faso
- New 4×4
- Donations in US Dollars and Euros
- Anonymous Donors
- Prayer Points
“We have found water”
Whenever we receive a message from Christine to say “We have found water”, it gives us great joy – but to the people who will use it, how much greater joy. Most importantly, this well belongs to the whole community, not just particular sectors. A condition of drilling for a community is that anyone is allowed to use the completed well, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or social status. In one of the stories in this newsletter, you will have a glimpse of what a great testimony to God’s love this really is.
4,000 years ago, in the days of Abraham and Isaac, it wasn’t like that. Isaac, Abraham’s son, decided to go back to where his father Abraham had lived. He repaired some wells there that had been sabotaged and dug some new ones. Even back then they quarrelled with others living there about who could use the wells. There was trouble, until they dug in Beersheba, where there was a degree of harmony, and Isaac’s servants cried out – “We have found water!” You can read about this in Genesis 26 in the Bible.
Sadly in many places in Burkina Faso, wells today are still only accessible to certain people groups. But not when Myra’s Wells drills. When we drill a successful borehole we say – “We have found water – it is for everyone!”
Thank you for helping us to do this is. Indeed, we could not do it without you.
Good news of drilling!
For a variety of reasons, we were late restarting drilling this autumn after the usual summer break. However, we were very pleased to be able to complete six new wells over a three week period. They will all have plaques on them as they have all been paid for by kind donors. Here are some photos which show why we chose these villages for wells.
Drilled on 25/11/2021. There were some good wells here but some of the people were not allowed to use them. So they had to make do with this one.
We have received some photos of the new well. Here are some including the pump being assembled. Quite a difference!
Drilled on 26/11/2021. On the face of it, there is not much wrong with the well they could use – see the photo. A perfectly good well. But it was 4 km away – and at a school which often means limited access allowed.
Again, we have recently received photos of the newly completed well. Here are some of the photos that Christine has sent us. There will now be no restrictions on when people can have water.
Drilled on 27/11/2021. Unusually for Myra’s Wells, we have provided a well at a school. We heard that it is quite a large school and the head teacher has promised that the local people will be able to use it at any time. What convinced us of the need was this photo.
Drilled 28/11/2021. Here is a photo of one of the wells they had to use. The other two were much the same. We would not fancy drinking the water from any of them. If we visit the village in January, we won’t have to – neither will the people in the village now.
Drilled 2/12/2021. Not much wrong with this well in the village either. Except that it belongs to the chief and he sells the water to the villagers. The new well is near to the church and will be free for all to use.
Drilled 19/12/2021. Once again, there were two drilled wells for people to use, but only if they paid the owners. If they could not afford to pay, there was the option of the open well in this photo.
You may notice a gap of over two weeks between Guy and this well. There is a reason. The first borehole at Doulou was negative. The second borehole was positive and people were very happy. But, suddenly, to our huge disappointment, the borehole collapsed. The next borehole was negative. We sent an email to some who have asked for more regular updates and asked for prayer. The fourth borehole was positive. (If anyone else would like the more regular prayer requests, please let us know.)
Update from Tanvi
Last February, Christine visited a village called Tanvi. We had received a request from there for a well. This is what she told us about the visit.
“We continued to Tanvi 17 km away, the pastor sent his son to meet us on the way as you know there is no map or GPS to direct us on the way. When we arrived, the pastor was very happy with our visit he said he is confident that God has answered his prayers.”
Over the 13 years that he was in the village, the pastor had tried three times to dig wells. He had not been able to find water.
The pastor said, “The borehole will allow the village to do great things and allow full development in food, health, economic and social terms to relieve women and children from fetching water.” He particularly mentioned breeding and crop growing.
Thanks to a kind donor, we were able to drill the well here last March. Recently, we received these photos. Looks like the pastor was right! This field is right next to the well.
Breeding includes goats ….
… and Guinea fowl and chickens.
Well number 200 was drilled at Palpagdo in March 2021. Recently, Christine had a delegation from Palpagdo to thank her for it. There is a small water tower there. As with all our wells, everyone is allowed to use the tap there. In many places, wells provided by other agencies are for particular sectors of the community – religious or ethnic.
The delegation that come to see Christine included the pastor at the church in Palpagdo, two others from the church and two Muslims from the village. They brought a goat, some chickens and cabbages.
They told Christine the story of a man who arrived in the village. He was from a Fulani background. Many of the Fulani people are Muslim. He saw Christians and Muslims both using the same tap. He stopped and watched and said it was a miracle! Christians allowing Muslims to use “their” well. He told them, “You are a true Christians and surely God will bless you and what you are doing.”
Our prayer is that this simple demonstration of love will lead many to see the greater love in God’s provision of His Son to be a Saviour to all who trust him for salvation.
Thank you from Vallée de Kou
It is some time since Myra’s Wells provided a well near a school here. Recently, we received photos and a “thank you” note.
From a mother
“Honestly, I’ve been using the water from the Delwende School in Bama for almost a year. Thanks to this borehole, we have clean water for drinking, for our kitchen as well as for our toilet and laundry. Diseases due to dirty water are no longer part of our daily lives and all our families feel good. We no longer have to travel a long distance to fetch the precious liquid that is water. No more chores, short nights and early risings to get drinking water. Thank you to the people who considered us by giving us this great treasure in our village. It also benefits our children and prevents them from diseases such as Guinea worm, diarrhea, dysentery and others. May God return you a hundredfold your benefits and bless you. Thank you again.”
From a pupil at the school
“I am happy that our school had this borehole in the school site because before that we we had difficulty to have drinking water for drinking and for cooking. We had to filter the water from the well that we were using to drink because there were pieces of ropes and other things in it. Now that the school has had a borehole it relieves us even in the cleanliness of our toilets. Previously, the Director paid a woman who came to fill our barrels every day but now all that is finished because we, the students of the CM, fill the water barrel every day in turn in order to avoid the waste, to maintain our well properly, and to help our little brothers who cannot pump or who are often injured. Thank you very much to Ms. Bonkoungou and God bless them. The well has supported us and school results are better. 87.5% for the first grade and 100% for the second grade. We are in the third grade this school year.”
Plans for January and February
Here are a few photos of the conditions in some of the places where we may try to drill wells.
The plan is to drill in at least twelve of these places – and maybe more.
We also like to plan batches of wells in a particular geographic area. At the moment we are planning batches in two regions. One is for villages on the way to, or near to an area towards the south east. The other batch is for villages near to the towns towards the west. After that, we would hope to drill in other areas as well.
Please pray as we make decisions. Sometime, decisions are not easy and we need wisdom.
Trustees visit to Burkina in January 2022
Three trustees expect to be in Burkina Faso in January. Please pray for safety – and that they will be able to achieve what is needed.
NGO Status in Burkina Faso
Along with the UK charity Myra’s Wells, there is a sister charity registered in Burkina Faso – “Myra’s Wells Burkina Faso”. There are a number of trustees of this charity, including Christine and her husband Michel. Recently, Myra’s Wells Burkina Faso has achieved the status of an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) in Burkina Faso. There are a number of advantages in having this status – not least that it means that there is no import duty on imported goods. This includes the new 4×4 that we mentioned in the last newsletter. (Here is a picture of it in Gibraltar before it was loaded onto the ship to go.)
Our first full-time worker
It was only after the registration was completed that we were told that there is one condition of being recognised as an NGO. This is that there must be an office and two full time employed staff.
At first, we were upset about this. Since Myra’s Wells was started, it has always been run by volunteers. However, when we stopped to think about it, we slowly realised that, in Burkina Faso, this was placing a huge burden on those involved – particularly on Christine and Michel. Maybe the Lord was telling us something!
As a result, we now have a full time lady – Lydia – who will be able to look after the administration. She will actually be a real help to us as well as Christine. The large church in Ouagdougou has kindly allowed us the use of an office there. The photos show the office and Lydia on the day that she was offered the job.
Christine will also be recruiting a driver whose job will include taking pumps and other equipment to where it is needed for wells.
It is still our promise that 100% of donations will be used towards the cost of drilling wells and we will not be breaking that promise. We will be assessing which parts of their jobs are a necessary part of the process of drilling wells. This will not include any admin which is to do with obtaining of information before drilling. Any work which Lydia, or the driver, does which is not directly related to drilling will be funded by the UK trustees.
Lydia has already saved us money!
As part of her job, Lydia went to check the details on a request form. The request form said that there were no wells within 8 miles of where they wanted the new well. In fact, not only were there four wells in the village, but the place where they wanted to drill was in the pastor’s back garden! If we had just relied on the details given on the form, we would have spent £5,500 pounds (the average cost of wells) based on false information.
Part of Lydia’s job will be helping us to work out which requests are the ones that a really needed. We have over 400 requests outstanding! The photo on the previous page shows just part of the pile.
In connection with the 4×4, we must say a huge “Thank you” to everyone who contributed to the cost of purchasing it. Sufficient funds were received within about two weeks! It has been purchased from a Toyota dealership in Gibraltar which has much experience in supplying vehicles to charities in Africa.
Along with the vehicle itself, there are a lot of spares which will be stored securely in a container next to where Christine and Michel live. As we prepare this newsletter, it is somewhere along a route that will see it eventually arrive by train, having been shipped via the port of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire.
Donations in US Dollars and Euros
We have recently opened accounts that will allow donations to be made in US Dollars or in Euros. If anyone would like the details of these accounts, please just ask!
Having a dollar account actually saved us over £300 when buying the 4×4. We had a choice of paying in £ or $. The £ price was over £300 more than it cost us to buy the dollars ourselves.
Anonymous Donors – “Thank you”
We try to acknowledge gifts when we have contact details. Thank you to anyone who has given anonymously. Your support is much appreciated.
- Praise for the wells that have been drilled recently and all who have become Christians as a result of wells drilled;
- Prayer that they will be a witness to God’s greater blessing of salvation through faith and by grace;
- Prayer for safety for the drilling teams in areas where security is not guaranteed;
- Prayer for safety of Christine and her helpers based in Ouagadougou;
- Prayer for safety during the Trustees’ visit in January.