Welcome to the May 2023 Newsletter
Thank you for your interest in the work of Myra’s Wells. We hope that you will enjoy reading this latest newsletter and ask that you pray for continuing blessings, physical and spiritual, as we continue to make clean water available to the people of Burkina Faso. Please share the newsletter with any who may be interested to read it. We can also supply printed copies – if you can use copies for your friends who may be interested in Myra’s Wells, please just ask and we will send some to you.
Ways to read this newsletter
- To read the while newsletter, just scroll down
- To download an A4 printable version, click this link
- To read the newsletter section by section click on each section in this index:
- Visit to Burkina Faso in January 2023
- Drilling news
- Donations by Bank Transfer – NatWest
- Donations in US Dollars or Euros
- Looking to the future
- A message from Lydia
- Prayer requests
Visit to Burkina Faso in January 2023
The visit this year was shorter than usual, but still highly profitable. The security situation is becoming more difficult, but it was possible to visit a good number of wells and places requesting wells, mainly within 20/30 miles of Ouagadougou.
This picture below of happy children at Kouba was one of the highlights of the visit. The story of what happened here is a little lower down in this newsletter.
What follows in this newsletter focuses on some of the places where we have drilled since the beginning of the year.
Since the last newsletter, there have been encouragements and disappointments. On the positive side, the Lord has granted 13 new wells. Some of these have interesting stories attached to them!
Our trustee Jeremy had previously been to see this village near to Ouagadougou. It was agreed that we should drill here. Some people were having to go 4 km to find water after the well in the village had broken down beyond repair.
The first two boreholes were negative – no water found. When this happens, we take time to prayerfully consider the next step. Sometimes we decide that we cannot try a third borehole; however, we felt it was right to try once more at Lougsi. The proviso was that the pastor should agree with the village chief a different location. The new location was agreed and, at a depth of 92 metres, the drilling team found water.
The roller coaster kept going! When the water level settled in the borehole, the picture on the left is what the water looked like. Clearly, this water was not drinkable. Again, more prayer …
Our main surveyor, Kabore, is a lovely Christian and also highly knowledgeable. He went back to the borehole and put in place some special treatments. After a number of treatments, this is what the water looks like now. (Ignore the label on the water! It really is water from the well.) It has passed the strict water test with flying colours.
We agreed to drill a well at Kouba. We felt there was a real need here – the application stated that over 2500 people would benefit. (We check these figures carefully – more about that later!). So Christine arranged for our surveyor, Kaboré to go and make preparations. When he arrived at the area designated for drilling, the locals told him there was no chance of finding water there. A “curse” had been placed on the area by an ancestor following an inter-tribal dispute. Anyone who tried drilling would be dead within 3 days.
The first borehole was negative. The local pastor prayed about the second borehole and it was positive. Five months on, Kaboré and all the drilling team are still alive!!!! Success is due to the goodness and grace of our God. When Eddie and Geoff visited the finished well in January, it was being well used by the ladies of the village and children from the school.
There is more about all the places that Eddie and Geoff’s visited in the “Diary” that they have written. We hope you will now have received a copy but if not, please ask and we will send you one. And if you can pass it on to others, we would be pleased to send you more copies.
If you have read Eddie and Geoff’s diary, this village name may be familiar to you. It is a village near to Koudougou, about 60 miles/100 kilometres west of Ouagadougou. When they arrived back from the visit there, they had a feeling that the place needed a well. However, we were still not sure. We thought it was strange that there were no people queuing at the existing well. There was just a line of containers. One of the things that tells us a well is needed is that there are people there the whole day long. So Christine and Michel went to take a look too.
Christine talked to the local people, including this lady, and asked them why nobody was using the well. The answer was simple. There was no water in the tank. This well was simply inadequate for the population. Sometimes, the only way of getting water is to be there in the night.
There are no pictures yet of the completed well, but this is a still from a video of the moment that water emerged from the borehole.
We had received these photos from this village in the south west of Burkina. The pictures told us all we needed to know! It was in an area that we were able to visit 3 years ago – but an area that we would not be able to visit now. So we were pleased that the surveyor and drilling contractors were willing to go there, despite the security risks.
On 15th April, we heard the good news. The first borehole resulted in water – and a truly excellent supply at 4300 litres/hour. We have just received photos showing us that the well is now ready for use.
The pump has been fitted and the new well is being used. Soon, the trainer will visit to ensure the locals know how to keep the pump in good order and keep the well area, and themselves, clean and healthy.
This well has a plaque – “Sylvia’s Well” in memory of the much loved wife of the kind donor.
Koubri Bible College and Balolé
We don’t normally provide wells for churches or Bible colleges. However, we have contact with the pastor of a church in Florida who is often in Burkina Faso at the same time as we are there. He runs Bible teaching courses in Ouagadougou every 2nd year. His church decided that they would like to provide a well at the Bible college in Koubri. The college was started by missionaries in 1941 and last year had over 330 students together with wives and children – over 1000 people. The existing well could not provide enough water for all the people and the market garden used to grow food for them. The photo shows students, wives and children in the Bible School’s chapel.
The pastor was not sure that they would be able to raise enough money for this. We helped by providing a list of the tasks and materials that would be needed – and how much each would cost. Members of the church contributed for individual components. In the end, they had provided enough money for two wells! An idea for your church perhaps?
Our pastor friend was in Ouagadougou when the church finished collecting money and he chose a village called Balolé for the second well. There is clearly a need there. Both wells are now drilled but no pictures yet.
Christine sent us a little more information on WhatsApp:
“Yesterday I was at Balolé and the Pastor there remembered his beginning when he was at Tambetin. No food to eat. On Sunday the tithe for his stipend was 175 FCFA – only enough for one loaf of bread for a week. The well there changed his life, the church and all the village.“[Myra’s Wells put a well at Tambetin in 2014, and 17 young people were recently baptised there.]
“He moved from Tambetin to Nabitenga at Balolé. He is now happy to get another one at his new place. The church members are happy and said the Pastor is a blessing to them.“
This picture shows the local people at Nanwerga helping to build the surrounding wall at their new well. The pastor sent Christine a message of thanks:
“Truly, it is a great miracle and joy for the village. They had to go 3 km to find water before.”
Christine told us the Pastor is very happy. He said people did not believe that he could get a well. Actually, the people were right – but God is able! Now they are all happy.
It is good to be able to talk about successful wells. However, it doesn’t always work out that way. Here are a couple of instances where we had disappointments.
This is a village in the west of Burkina Faso. The conditions in this area are often very poor and the photos and videos we were sent showed a place where a well was needed. There was a good-sized population and the water supply was not sufficient. We always ask the applicant to send us a short video to show us 360° around the place where they would like the well to be. (Many people have mobile phones -even if they are old ones.) This showed plenty of houses around where the well would be.
When the surveyor arrived, he was taken to an entirely different place. It was the middle of a field with no houses in sight. We ask the surveyors to check that they are in the correct place and he realised immediately that this was not the case. He contacted Christine who asked us what to do. Sadly, this man’s dishonesty and attempt at deception may have cost the village a well that they needed.
This is a sad situation. Poéssé is some way north of Ouagadougou in an area where it can be difficult to find water. The photo is poor quality, but need was clear and we were disappointed when the first two boreholes were negative. We decided to try a third borehole and this was positive with a good supply of water. But, as the drillers were raising the drilling equipment from the borehole, part of it fell back down the borehole, blocking it.
Despite their efforts, they were unable to unblock it.
The drilling contractor agreed to allow us a free borehole and we decided that we would try a fourth one at Poéssé. However, that was unsuccessful. It will be a difficult decision in the autumn – do we try one last time? Please ask the Lord for wisdom for us in this decision!
Summary of the Drilling Season
Our “Drilling Season” is October to May. Over the summer, we are not able to drill very easily. The drills can be operated – but they can’t always to taken to where we need to drill. There are a few main roads which are concrete or tarmac, but most places where we want to provide water are only accessible via poor dirt “roads”. When it rains, these just become mud and the heavy drills and other equipment become stuck.
During the last drilling season, we have completed 24 projects. Of these, 3 are conversions of existing wells from hand pump to solar powered electric pumps and a water tower. 25 projects less than last year. In common with many others, the cost of living rises have had an impact on the funds that are available. However, we trust the Lord to provide in His will.
Donations by Bank Transfer – NatWest
When making donations by bank transfer (BACS), it is now necessary to specify the full account name. This is Myra’s Wells RCN 1143345. However, we have learnt that NatWest cannot cope with the apostrophe! It may also be the case with other banks.
So, if you try to donate in this way, and your bank tells you that the account name you have entered is wrong, you might try it without the apostrophe – Myras Wells RCN 1143345. If this does not work, please let us know and we will try to help you.
Donations in US Dollars or Euros
For anyone wanting to donate in US Dollars or Euros, we now have accounts for both these currencies. Please ask for details.
Looking to the future
Incredibly it is 18 years since Myra was killed, and 17 years since the first well was drilled at Zongo – and it’s still going strong. We have had many faithful and very generous supporters over the years, but some have now left this world to be in Jesus’s presence – which is far better.
That first well at Zongo is a “living memorial” for Myra. About 100 of the nearly 300 wells now on our list have also been provided as a memorial for those who have been “promoted to glory”. Some named wells have been provided as a memorial of other events, including weddings. Others have been provided as a means to display a short scripture or reference. At most wells, the local evangelists are able to use the provision of a well as a means for speaking about the Living Water to the people in the village.
The montage below gives an idea of the plaques that we place on the wells in these circumstances. Apart from plaques in memory of these who have been “promoted to glory”, the plaques celebrate weddings and achievements of various sorts. If you would like more details about this, please contact Eddie.
A message from Lydia
After the visit to Burkina in January, Eddie asked Lydia (our Administrator in Ouagadougou) and Ismael (our driver) to write a short piece each about their experience working for Myra’s Wells. This is what Lydia said:
I thank God for the life of Eddie and Geoff. Their visit in January was very beneficial. I particularly like their commitment to the ministry, given their (Eddie’s) advanced age. They always do it with joy and love for the people. Not a single day have they complained in the face of a situation. The visits to the villages went well and we had no problems.
My prayer is that the Lord will further strengthen them that He will bless all those involved and expand their boundaries so that they will be channels of blessing for Burkinabè people and that Myra’s Wells will continue to make an impact in Burkina Faso.
Please pray for Lydia. On the positive side, she was married in November and we trust that she and her husband will know the Lord’s blessing – and that they will be a blessing together for others. However, after an aunt died in November, her father has also died about a month ago. Please pray that she will know the Lord’s comfort.
The security situation in Burkina Faso continues to be a concern. There are still attacks being carried out, perhaps twice a week, in villages in many parts of the country. It is usually the extremists who are responsible, but there have been recent reports of army troops being involved when they suspect that villages sympathise with the extremists.
The local contractors are still able to drill in most places, but we are not able visit anywhere far outside of Ouagadougou when we are there.
– Praise for the wells that have been drilled recently and all who have become Christians as a result of wells drilled;
– Pray that they will be a witness to God’s greater blessing of salvation through faith and by grace;
– Pray as we decide on a 5th borehole at Poesse
– Pray for safety for the drilling teams in areas where security is not guaranteed;
– Pray for safety of Christine and her helpers based in Ouagadougou;
– Pray for Lydia and her husband, newly married but losing her father and aunt.