Welcome to the October 2023 Newsletter
We thank you and praise the Lord for His faithful provision.
In the last year we have completed 27 projects, with 24 new wells. Thank you for your help, whether financially or prayerfully. In these difficult days in both Burkina Faso and UK, we still look to Jehovah Jireh (the Lord who provides!). In God’s will, we will continue to provide clean water in Burkina Faso and pray for spiritual blessing to follow.
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- Summer – the closed season for drilling!
- The 27 Projects completed this financial year
- Stories of some wells
- Burkina Faso – Humanitarian Crisis
- Village of hope
- Government well inspection
- News of our helpers in Burkina Faso
- Praise and Prayer points
- Donations in USD and EUR
Summer – the closed season for drilling!
Summer is the quiet season in Burkina Faso as far as drilling is concerned. This is because of the roads! The rainy season starts in June and continues into September. There are a small number of main roads which are concrete or tarmac. Away from these, even the slightly less main roads are compacted dirt roads – and the “roads” into villages are often just tracks over rough ground. Many of them become mud baths where heavy lorries would be come stuck fast. This, together with dried up river beds suddenly filling up with flowing water, means that we are unable to take the drills much beyond the boundaries of Ouagadougou during the summer.
So, summer is for planning, not doing. We have a number of sites in mind for when the ground dries up – usually mid-October. Please pray for wisdom in making final choices before we send Christine the list of places to drill.
The 27 Projects completed this financial year
In Summary, during this financial year, Myra’s Wells has completed:
- 24 new wells. Of these, 14 have been completed with a solar powered pump and water tower. These are mainly situated in larger villages and towns where the larger numbers of people justify the additional cost. The other 10 have the traditional hand pumps. These are in smaller villages where the smaller number of people means that hand pumps are adequate.
- 2 restoration projects. These were at two places where older wells (not Myra’s Wells!) had fallen into disrepair. The cost of repairing wells can be around a quarter – or less – of the cost of providing a new borehole, but the result is just as good.
1 conversion project. This was a place where the existing hand pump was no longer adequate for the growing population. The people who “owned” that well were very willing for Myra’s Wells to replace the hand pump with a solar powered pump and water tower, making the water available to many more people. Probably over four times as many. We will be looking to make this change in some other places this autumn.
Stories of some wells
This is one of the photos that we were sent with the request for a well at Logofourosso. However, there were also photos of good wells. We had a feeling that there was a genuine need for a new well, but could not fully understand the situation. Christine must have a lot of patience! We asked numerous questions before finally agreeing that a well was needed. Logofourosso is a large village and the good wells were a long way from where some people lived.
Here are photos of the new well. The date was 28th May 2023 and the occasion is the “official” opening. Some of the people are from the church, others are their neighbours. The man in the red shirt is the village chief. There were prayers and a short message telling of God’s provision.
We drilled this well back in November last year. Souli is near to Ouahigouya (the prize for being able to pronounce this correctly is still not claimed!) in the north of Burkina Faso. We were particularly pleased to be able to drill 2 wells in the area as it is in an area where terrorist activity is common. Souli is a place which has grown as people in the more rural areas have moved here to seek greater safety from these attacks.
The new water tower is well used. When we provide water towers, the local people are able to fill these huge barrels which may mean they have enough water for several days before having to return.
The message of thanks that we received said this: “Water is life! The Temple Elim church in Ouahigouya thanks the donors and the coordinators of Myra’s Wells for this precious gift which relieves the inhabitants of Souli and many other neighbourhoods! May God bless you! Dr GANAME.”
Our prayer is that many will be drawn to the “Water of Life”.
If you take the (main) road from Ouagadougou going west, you come to a roundabout after about 40 miles. Turn left – this is the road towards Bobo-Dioulasso. After another 80 miles, you will reach Boromo. Near here, there is a village called Kaodara. Myra’s Wells drilled a well here in April 2021. It has taken some time to obtain photos and the ones we now have seem to have been taken around 6:15 pm with the light failing. But the people using the well are very pleased with it.
Christine received a message from the village and this is what she sent to us:
“Pastor Jean Ouedraogo at Boromo told me 3 days ago that people say that our water tastes differently and the taste is good. Even pastors at the others villages, when they come for a meeting, at the end they go back with a bottle of water for drinking. So they have got the best well at Boromo.”
Burkina Faso – Humanitarian Crisis
Our trustee John has prepared the following about the growing humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso caused by the extremists operating (particularly) in the north and east.
Readers of our Newsletters will be familiar with the success stories of wells drilled and communities blessed with precious clean water. We have, sadly, also related where the drillers were not so successful. From time to time reference is also made to the ongoing security situation in Burkina Faso, which places restrictions on where it is safe for visiting Trustees to travel. Indeed, there are some regions where the drillers will not go!
However, we feel that our supporters should be aware of the humanitarian crisis which now exists in Burkina Faso. As a result of the terrorist activity over the past five years, there are over two million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who have had to flee from their villages to the comparative safety of larger towns such as Dori, Kaya and Ouagadougou. Many have sought refuge in Cote D’Ivoire and other countries to the south. Hundreds of schools and churches have been closed or destroyed. The International response has been inadequate. The needs are dire and humanitarian aid is insufficient.
The Norwegian Refugee Council in their report published 2nd June 2023 state that Burkina Faso is the world’s most neglected crisis and highlight the following:
- 4.9 million people in need of aid.
- Over the last five years over 14,000 people have been killed.
- Water points have been damaged depriving at least one million people of access to water.
- 6100 Schools closed and one million children deprived of education.
When our prayers are answered and peace is restored to this country, the Trustees will have to consider the repair of wells damaged or destroyed, so that people may return to whatever is left of their homes and villages.
It is all very sad that the peace-loving Burkinabe people have been overrun by these terrorist groups. Please uphold in prayer the people of Burkina Faso especially our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Some of our early wells are located in this area, including this one at a village actually called “Myra”! It is on the border (or possibly slightly over the border) with Niger.
It may well be that the two local ladies in this photo no longer living in here – they may be caught up among the 2 million IDPs.
Please pray that current security problems will be brought to a peaceful end very soon.
Since our last Newsletter, there have been disturbing developments in the security situation.
You will perhaps know that, in the last 18 months, there have been 3 coups d’état in Burkina Faso. Since the last of these coups, the French troops and the French ambassador were asked to leave – which they have done. These coups have all been, largely, because of the failure of the previous regimes to deal with the increasing terrorist threat.
Then, at the end of July, a military coup also took place in neighbouring Niger. This means that the three countries that share their borders in the Sahel – Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger as all now under military government.
The other West African states are very concerned about this and have threatened military intervention as a group in Niger. In response to this, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have signed a mutual support and defence agreement.
The result is that the political stability, which was already fragile because of the Jihadist activity in the north and west of Burkina, is now even more fragile.
Please pray that peace will be restored to the region and that the work of the Lord will be continued and that Well Blessings, like this at Bassanwara four years ago, can be resumed.
Village of Hope
Thank you for helping to provide food for these orphans
Just before Christmas last year, many of you were kind enough to contribute to a one-off appeal that we made for the Village of Hope. This is an orphanage set up by Michel Ouedraogo, the former president of Assemblies of God in Burkina Faso. There are about 600 children at the village and there is a Christian school there for them. There was an urgent need for food. Eddie had hoped that, by making an appeal, he would be able to send, perhaps, £1000 to help them.
In fact, the amount that came in was around £4,500. This photo shows some of what this money provided. We must say a big “Thank you” to everyone who contributed to this provision.
This was very much a one-off appeal. Myra’s Wells’ key focus is on providing water in places where it is most needed. During January, Myra’s Wells was able to arrange for a fault to be fixed on a water tower at the Village of Hope. This should enable them to produce more food for their needs on the farm that surrounds the orphanage and school.
Report Meeting in Bournemouth 15th Oct
Michel Ouedraogo is expecting to be at Emmanuel, Southbourne on 15th October at 6.30 to report on Village of Hope. Eddie also will be there to report on Myra’s Wells. Please ask for details if you would like to go along.
Government well inspection
As Myra’s Wells (Burkina Faso) is now registered as an NGO in Burkina Faso, there will now be annual inspections of the work there. The first of these inspections took place on 25th May. Christine was not sure what to expect!
There were 5 inspectors who arrived, including the Director General of the Water Ministry. They wanted to look at 5 wells in the Koudougou area. This included a well at a Blind Centre that was drilled about 2 years ago. We praise the Lord that the inspection went well. Christine reported that they were completely satisfied and said:
“On behalf of the Government she thanks you very much. What you are doing is a big help to the Government. The Government will never be able to provide enough water for the population without your help. They wish the best to Myra’s Wells so more villages can benefit.”
News of our helpers in Burkina Faso
You may remember Lydia. She is the first of the two people in Burkina Faso who are employed by Myra’s Wells as opposed to being volunteers. (The UK trustees pay the salaries for the two employees so that all donated funds can be used for wells projects.) In a newsletter earlier in the year, we mentioned that Lydia was married in November last year.
Another happy event is due, God willing, in October – Lydia and her husband are expecting the arrival of a baby. We pray that all will be well and that they, together, will have wisdom and blessing from God in bringing up their child.
By way of contrast, we heard sad news from Christine during August. Her brother Marc sadly passed away unexpectedly due to undiagnosed diabetes.
Marc was a pastor in Koudougou where he and Christine were born. The announcement that the family prepared reminds us that he has been “called to be with the Lord”. Please pray that Christine and her family, including her mother, will know the Lord’s comfort.
Praise and Prayer points
- Praise for the wells that have been drilled recently and all who have become Christians as a result of wells being drilled.
- Pray as we decide on the places where we will drill during the autumn. This may include a 5th borehole at Poéssé where you may recall a good borehole became blocked by part of the drill falling back down it.
- Pray that the provision of clean water will be a witness to God’s greater blessing of salvation through faith and by grace.
- Pray for safety for the drilling teams in areas where security is not guaranteed, and pray that the security situation will very soon improve.
- Pray for safety of Christine and her helpers based in Ouagadougou.
- Pray for Lydia and her husband with the imminent arrival of their baby.
- Pray for wisdom in making decisions about the usual visit to Burkina Faso in January 2024.
Donations in USD and EUR
We are very grateful for all the donations that we have received. Thank you for your kindness – we give thanks to God for this provision that enables us to provide clean water in Burkina Faso.
For any who wish to donate from USD or EUR bank accounts, we now have accounts in these currencies. Please ask for the details so as to save currency conversion fees.