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A thought from Eddie
“Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” Genesis 21:19
Reading your Bible, you get many surprises. One of them is that Sarah, Abraham’s wife is mentioned in the ‘Hall of Fame’ in Hebrews on account of her faith, despite some of her actions appearing to us to be ‘faithless’. Not only did she not believe God was going to keep His word by giving her a son, but Sarah was positively cruel to the woman to whom the verse above refers, throwing her out of the house, such that she found herself abandoned in a thirsty desert with her young son. Yet God in his grace still honours Sarah.
Hagar was the woman for whom God provided a well, and the water from that well changed her life. Right now, in Burkina Faso, many thousands of women – and their families – have transformed lives because – through you – God has provided a well of water – physical AND living.
When Sarah became (or becomes) aware of the list in Hebrews 11, I suspect she got a big surprise. No doubt you would not even contemplate adding your name to that list for showing faithfulness to God through your support for Myra’s Wells, (or anything else). But Hebrews 6:10 tells me ‘God will not forget your work, and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people.’ This is why Christine recently received this banner from the village of Bondounkuy.
Thank you for your continuing support,
3D – DIARY of DRILLING at DEM
Thursday, 16th January 2020.
Three of the Myra’s Wells trustees (including Jeremy!) were sitting in the courtyard of Christine and Michel’s house. In the morning, we had heard the news that a new well had been successfully drilled in a village near to Kaya. The drillers had another two to try in the same area.
Also in the courtyard, there were pastors from four other places. They had all brought with them requests for wells in their own areas. As we talked with them, Christine came out of her house holding another request. It was from a village called Dem (at least we could see how to pronounce this one!). Christine asked, “As the drillers are in the area, would we consider asking them to do one at Dem as well?”
We looked at the details. 1000 people whose nearest water supply was a lake 4 km away. “Isn’t there any water closer?” “Yes, there is, but it is a private well and only people at the school can use it.” We wanted to check the facts. So, we rang a contact back in Scotland (Keith Smith) who had been a missionary in the area for many years. He gave us the number of a trusted contact, a pastor of a church in the same area as Dem. Jeremy spoke this pastor (Jeremy speaks fluent French as he had also been a missionary in Burkina Faso). The facts were confirmed – 1000 people relied on a lake, 4 km away, for their drinking water. We told Christine to go ahead with a borehole.
Saturday 18th January 2020.
Christine came with news. The borehole at Dem was successful 3000 litres of clean water an hour. How we thank God for His goodness. That is the fastest ever turn round from request to borehole there has even been.
We recently received pictures from Christine. These pictures are not as clear as we would like. This is because the only time photos could be taken was in the evening. Christine told us, “people go to their field early in the morning and come back by 5 or 6 pm.” There is still a queue! But they now get clean water.
Planning for the Autumn
We have planned 15 wells in some very needy areas. These pictures show the conditions at some of these sites. The planning was done before we saw the security map below. However, having looked at the requests we have, it was clear that there were some clusters of places with very great need towards Tenkodogo (East), Kaya (North), Banfora (West) and Gaoua (South West). When we saw the map, these places marked the edges of the area which the French authorities consider to be safer.
The sites near Kaya may be more difficult as they are a little way further north and Christine is concerned about whether travel there will be possible. Please pray about this. The need in this area is very real as populations have swelled with refugees and the water supply was already very poor – mainly open wells and lakes/rivers.
We are also planning wells nearer to Ouagadougou and also Koudougou, 60 miles west of Ouagadougou. If you have very good eyesight (perhaps 21/20), you will be able to find all these towns on the map below!
We have created a short video – 2½ minutes – of video and photos of three of the places where wells have been planned. Click this link to view it.
The security situation in Burkina Faso has not changed much in the last 3 months. Terrorist and inter- community violence still continues to disrupt everyday life in large areas of the country, particularly in parts of the North and East. The British travel advice on the FCO web site remains as before – “Advise against all but essential travel” in Ouagadougou, and “Advise against all travel” elsewhere. The equivalent advice from the French government is a little less pessimistic – their map is included here.
The effect on children is that many schools are closed, depriving hundreds of thousands of children having their education. Many churches in these areas are closed and pastors have had to retreat to Ouagadougou (we trust only temporarily).
Travel within Burkina is still possible and we have tailored the drilling plans to areas where it is possible for the local people to travel with a reasonable guarantee of safety.
Testimony from Bango
We have recently received this testimony from the pastor at Bango – “Moira’s Well”, number 68 – drilled in 2015. You will need to know one French word “forage” which is used for a proper drilled well. Priscilla, one of the Burkinabe trustees, has done the translation into English.
My name is Ouoba, I am the Pastor of the village of Bango. It has been about 6 years since we received the forage and after the first forage, we benefited from two more forages in Kokin and Lierdeni. Before the arrival of the forage we used to drink the water from the ponds during the rainy season but in the dry season we had to travel several kilometers to go to other villages and have a little water, because the ponds dry up in the dry season. Thanks to the forage we have water to drink, to wash our clothes and water for our animals.
There was no church at Bango before the forage. Pastor Paul LANKOANDE came and preach the gospel to the village people some accepted to give their life to Jesus, so a church was built without a pastor. The pastor from the village of Nana used to come for Sunday services time to time until I came there. The church started with around 125 people. Indeed, we went to more than 300 people which motivated us to open the two annexes to reduce the distance that the members had to cover. This is how we were able to open the annexes of Kokin and Lierdeni where the work is growing. In one of the annexes, there is a young man that I am training, and this young man is helping me with the management of the third church. We pray that the Lord will call people to serve him full time.
The forage of Bango serves as a water point for around 400 to 500 people. The water problem is so critical that we cannot use this rare source of water for gardening. So, we use the water from the forage for family needs and for breeding.
The forage has strengthened the faith of many, because since the installation of the forage in the locality, the surrounding populations value more the Christian community.
In addition to the forage, in Bango, we also received some metal sheets, some windows and doors and some poles for the church and for the pastor’s house. We also received 10 chairs and 20 benches for the church. We received some carpentry equipment which we gave to a carpenter in our church and he is using this equipment to train other people.
God continues to do great things. We pray that God will provide us with means of travel to enable the evangelism team to travel. We also pray that God will give us evangelistic films in our national languages.
We travelled to Ouagadougou, to greet Mrs. Bonkoungou and show her the gratitude of the Church of Bango because we could not see and thank you. We take this opportunity to say thank you to you dear supporters. Thank you for accompanying us in this ministry of evangelization. God bless you, bless your children and your families.
Myra’s Wells coming to a PC (or tablet or phone) near you!
We held two Zoom Update Events in the summer. These were well attended – thank you to those who joined us. A recording of one of these Events in available on YouTube using this link.
We have planned two more to give an update on the drilling in the autumn.
The format will include reports separated by an interlude when our Trustee Sonja (a professional singer) will sing two pieces for us.
The dates arranged for these events are:
Evening event: 20th November 2020 at 8pm and
Afternoon event: 23rd November 2020 at 3pm.
We will send another email with more details nearer these dates.
We would ask you to pray about plans for some trustees to visit in the coming months. In addition to the problems posed by the threats related to security, there are question marks against whether the COVID-19 situation will make travel impossible anyway.
In particular, one of the trustees hopes to go to Burkina in October. He plans to combine his work with Mission Africa (visiting churches in a number of places) with visits to some of Myra’s Wells sites and (possibly) proposed sites.
Prayer and thought are also being given to the possibility of the usual visits in January 2021. There is a strong desire for these visits to take place, but wisdom is needed to know if this will be possible.
1) Praise God for new wells last year – the provision of physical water.
2) Pray for the knowledge of the living water to follow!
3) Pray concerning the drilling plans and the provision of new wells in needy areas.
4) Pray for safety in travel for people in Burkina Faso and UK trustees travelling there.
5) Pray for continued good rain until the middle of October. This is much needed for good crops.
6) The COVID-19 situation is far less serious in Burkina Faso than in UK. But please pray for the safety of all our friends there.
May you know the Lord’s blessing in this difficult time.
Myra’s Wells Trustees