Welcome to the Myra’s Wells Newsletter – July 2021
Scroll down to read the full newsletter – or you can use this index to read it article by article. A printable PDF version (with less photos) is also available using this link.
- Introduction from a new trustee
- What has happened since the last newsletter
- D and D’s Well – An amazingly good well
- Pictures from Palpagdo
- Well at Boby. A test of faith!
- First Adam’s well – now Adam’s School
- Gratitude from Dimpaltenga
- A 100th Birthday Well
- Join us for online updates
- Video newsletter? Would this be useful to you?
- Pointers for Prayer and Praise
What a Year!!!
Welcome to the latest Myra’s wells newsletter. My name is Chris and I’m one of the newer trustees within Myra’s wells. I help primarily with the accountancy and financial side of the charity and it’s been such a blessing to me to be involved and to see God’s faithfulness to us as a charity.
I think this year so far (and the last year in general) has probably been the strangest one in my life and I imagine it’s the same for many others. Only now are we finally seeing the loosening of restrictions and a return to something like normality. It’s been easy to become negative and pessimistic at times, but when I reflect on the last year within the work of Myra’s wells – in particular some of the amazing successes we’ve had in places of such desperate need – I’m reminded that we’re serving a God who is never restricted, who is always at work blessing his people regardless of the circumstances.
In a year where it often seems like time has stood still, we see God continuing to work in amazing ways through the efforts of our team in Burkina Faso and through your generous and faithful giving. Thank you all for your continued support.
John 5:17, NIV In his defence Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
Since the last newsletter at the beginning of April
As Chris says, it’s been an extraordinary year! In the news, there have been reports of charities struggling with their finances. God has been so good! This year looks like being the best year that Myra’s Wells has had in terms of provision of funds. This has allowed us to complete another seven wells recently at a time when, in previous years, we have begun to wind down before the rainy season. Since October, there have been 33 completed projects, including six water towers. This brings the total to 211 well projects as we prepare this newsletter (click here to see the full list). We even hope to try four or five more in locations near to Ouagadougou in the next 4 – 6 weeks.
Since the April newsletter, we have received many photos from some of these and others completed just before April. Here are just a few!
D and D’s Well at Sinsinguene
This is another place where we have built a water tower. The supply here was a wonderful 12,000 litres an hour (about 17 times the minimum required for a sustainable well). At first, we were a little annoyed about where the borehole had been drilled. There was an existing well and our new borehole was very close to it. But then more information emerged.
The existing well had been provided some time ago by the King of Saudi Arabia! However the supply was very very poor. In fact, it was so poor that there almost no point in having a pump there. When we found this out, it made us thank the Lord for providing water – not just an average supply, but an enormous supply – a matter of 50 yards away.
These pictures are from the well blessing that Christine’s church arranged. The man in the red trousers is Michel, Christine’s husband. While they were there, Christine chatted to a lady. She is from the Fulani ethnic group who sometimes feel they are marginalised by the government. Here is what she said:
“Before we had this well, the water we used to wash the children, or to wash their clothes, was the same dirty water we collected for our animals. Now we have enough water – clean water – for all the people and the animals.”
Once again, at the well blessing, many said they wanted to trust Christ.
Well number 200 – SML Well at Palpagdo
As mentioned in the April newsletter, well number 200 was drilled at Palpagdo and has been paid for by St Mary’s Longfleet in Poole. We have these pictures taken at the well blessing where many people said they had become Christians. Because of the tremendous need here, we felt it right to provide a small water tower.
The story of the well at Boby
An unexpected request!
There is no Embassy in the UK for Burkina – the nearest is in Brussels. Eddie went in December 2019 to obtain visas for the trustees’ visit to Burkina in January 2020. He was seen by an assistant by the name of Monsieur Ba. It became clear that M Ba was not only Bukinabé, but was also a Christian and he was very interested in what Myra’s Wells is doing. He told Eddie about a village called Boby where his wife was brought up – it is a large village that had insufficient water. Many people were relying on an open well where there was always a queue.
Eddie explained the rules – we would need a request form to be completed and in due course the form arrived. After asking more questions, we put Boby on the list of places where we agreed to drill. It was going to prove to be a rollercoaster experience!
An unexpected provision!
Drilling was planned for December 2020, but had to be delayed because other projects had overrun. So, it was in January 2021 that the drillers arrived in the area. There were three wells that they were going to do in the area for us. It was with sadness that we heard that the first borehole at Boby was negative.
However, the next day, we heard that the messages had been mixed up! Boby was positive with a supply of 11,000 litres an hour. It was one of the other places that had been negative – and, in any case, the second attempt there had also been positive with 12,000 litres an hour.
This meant yet more decisions about whether to provide water towers instead of hand pumps. At the second place, others had already said they would pay for a water tower. That left us with the decision about Boby.
Providing a water tower typically doubles the cost of a project and we decided that we should visit Boby before making a decision. We wanted to be sure that there would be sufficient demand to justify the extra expenditure. As Jeremy, one of our trustees, was planning to be in Burkina, and would be travelling past the area, he offered to make the visit to Boby in early March.
An unexpected visit!
In due course, Jeremy arrived at the village. He asked for the pastor whose name we had been given and was told that he was in Ouagadougou – Jeremy had just come from there. So Jeremy asked around and found a young man who told him that he knew where the borehole was and would take him to see it.
What Jeremy saw caused huge alarms! Not only was the borehole in the middle a completely deserted area, there were two others, also recently drilled, a matter of 1 km away. We were disappointed and, we confess, annoyed. It looked as though we had been misled and the money wasted.
A prayer for resolution
Prayer is necessary! There had to be a solution. We asked Christine to contact the pastor that Jeremy had wanted to see. He sent us pictures of another borehole. This was not like the three that Jeremy had been shown. The capped pipe is blue – the other capped pipes were red. Ours are always blue! This blue borehole was very near the houses – about 50 metres away, which is very close for these villages. (The photo makes it look further than it is.)
The boy who Jeremy met had taken him to the wrong place. The pastor sent many other photos showing the area around the blue pipe. It became clear that Boby was a very large village. The nearest of the three other boreholes was about 2 km away from the houses surrounding the blue pipe. He sent us pictures of people using a dirty open well. It was with thanksgiving that we were able to ask Christine to provide a water tower which is now in place.
The three other boreholes are still capped as far as we know. It seems they have been provided by the government in a different part of the village. Our water tower will be their nearest clean water and there will be plenty of water for everyone – with enough left for livestock and crops. Two taps have been fitted. It is far quicker to fill a container from a tap than from a handpump and with two taps, the waiting time will be short.
We praise the Lord for His wonderful provision. An email from Christine has just arrived telling us about further difficulties (please ask if you would like to know about them!) However, it also told us that the people used to sacrifice animals near to the open well – and their blood got into the water. Pray that the light of the Gospel will open their eyes.
Those of you with good memories may recall the story of an eight-year old boy called Adam who completed a 16 mile sponsored walk about 3 years ago. We named a well “Awesome Adam” in honour of his achievement. It is in a village called Natiera
Following on from that, the church in Ouagadougou decided to build a Christian school at Natiera The lack of moral teaching and of anything for young people to do was resulting in many pregnancies among the very young teenaged girls. The church needed some help with the finances and two large donations covering half the cost were made via Myra’s Wells last autumn to enable the work to go ahead. The school is now nearly ready for its first intake of pupils. The school trustees paid for a well to be drilled at the school and Myra’s Wells has funded a small water tower which will mean another source of water is now available for the expanding village.
Perhaps we can mention that our primary objective is to provide water. Our governing document makes provision for assisting schools and for providing Christian literature and Bibles, but we use all funds for wells projects unless the donors make other specific requests.
Thank you from Dimpaltenga
While in Ouagadougou in March, Eddie met a blind pastor who had come to see him. He had come to ask for a well at a village he knew towards the south east of Burkina Faso. As he talked, it was clear that he was a very sincere and caring man. Eddie listened and the village he described sounded familiar. As details emerged, they realised that this was a village that we had just agreed to put on the “to do” list of wells. Imagine his delight when Eddie told him that we had already agreed to drill a well there. The village name is Dimpaltenga and we now have photos of the completed well.
Soon after it was completed, Christine received a letter from the pastor, addressed to her and Michel. This is what he said:
“May the grace and peace of God be multiplied to you through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I want to express, in the name of the people and the chief of the village, our thanks for the drilling of the well for the benefit of the inhabitants and families.
I ask the Lord to bless you continually in all things.”
100th Birthday Well!
It is not every day that someone turns 100! Recently a lovely lady, Phyllis, did just that. “What do you want for your 100th birthday?” was the question. Phyllis’s answer was that she had everything she needed. “Give something towards a well in Burkina Faso”.
Many people know Phyllis and the “something” turned out to be £5000! “Thank you” to Phyllis, “thank you” to all who contributed. And “Thank you” to the Lord whom Phyllis has served so faithfully for 80 of those 100 years.
A plaque will be placed on the recently drilled well at Villy to mark the occasion.
Zoom update meetings
Last summer, we arranged two Online Update Meetings via Zoom. Following feedback from these, we are planning two more this year. These are planned for:
Friday 16th July 2021 at 8 pm and
Sunday 22nd August at 8pm
Click this link to join either (or both) of the sessions.
We will send out reminders nearer to the dates.
And we are always pleased to arrange report meetings, either by Zoom or in person (as restrictions allow) for churches or other gatherings.
Please let us know if you would be interested in having a video version of future newsletters. We are considering having the newsletter being read with the pictures as a background.
Pointers for Prayer and Praise
- Praise for the wells that have been drilled recently;
- 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 guidance in choosing the most needy places to drill wells;
- Prayer for successful drilling at four or five further locations;
- Prayer for integrity within the Burkina Faso government. The needs are innumerable.