Read this newsletter section by section by clicking the section headers below – or just scroll down to read it all. A printable version is available by using this link.
- Welcome to the October 2022 Newsletter
- A brief update on progress this year
- Thank you for your support
- Well stories
- Living in Burkina Faso
- Working with Rotary International
- Zoom report meetings
- Prayer Points
- Contact Details
As we look towards the next few months, we are planning which places are in most need of water. One of the most difficult tasks we have is to decide where we should spend the money you have generously given.
We think you might agree that this place called Kopar is a good candidate. Here is what it is like:
We have received about 50 requests for wells since the beginning of the year. There are still many others which we haven’t yet been able to fulfil. A place like this will often go to the top of the pile!
Thankfully, in the goodness of God, we are able to bring you news of more wells drilled and more blessing brought to the people of Burkina Faso. After the busyness of January, February and early March, we needed to slow down a little with drilling so that we could catch up with the administration work. However, by the end of July, we had been able to provide 43 new wells and one major repair in the year September to August. Here are photos of just one of the recent wells.
People at Tango-Tango are Dancing-Dancing with joy! Here is what was happening before the new well was drilled:
In May this year, the village chief came and cut the ribbon to “officially” open the new well. Then he tried it out. Men are not used to fetching water so it looks as though he needed a bit of help to work the pump!
Then he tried it out. Men are not used to fetching water so it looks as though he needed a bit of help to work the pump!
The well at Tango-Tango has been kindly donated in memory of a much loved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
In the current financial circumstances, we want to particularly say “Thank you” to all who have supported the work with gifts. Whether this has been a one-off donation or regular monthly donations, your kindness is very much appreciated and valued.
Wherever possible, we will acknowledge individual donations. However, we receive anonymous donations from time to time, sometimes as direct transfers into our bank account without the donor letting us know or giving us contact details. If you have made a donation this way, and we haven’t been able to contact you, please accept our sincere thanks. In particular, we want to acknowledge one donation which we think was $1000 from USA.
On 28th February, we received an email from a pastor named Chuck in America. This is what he said:
I am the pastor of a Baptist church, located in Pineville, WV USA. Our congregation has been supporting Boukare “Phillipe“ Ouedraogo’s work in Sapouy (Burkina Faso) for some time now. His ministry name is Good Shepherd Ministries. He has started a Christian school in Sapouy, but is in need of a drilled well in place of their hand dug well. There is a drilled well in Sapouy that is controlled by Muslims. Two weeks ago they stopped the Christians from using the well. If we wanted to pay you to drill a well in Sapouy for Phillipe, what would the costs be? He is saying the well would need to most likely be 75-80 meters deep.
We exchanged messages with Chuck and he said that, if we drilled the well, Phillipe would be very happy to make the water available to all the people in the area as well. Here is the new well nearing completion.
On 29th March, we heard from Christine that the drilling has been successful. Soon afterwards, the pump was fitted.
A while ago, we also had this email from a supporter named Ian:
I have been to Burkina Faso a number of times on building projects with a team from my church in Jersey. We always go to Bobo where we are committed for 10 yrs to building a school, primary and secondary, medical centre, administration block, and maternity unit. We have also put in a well on the site. I sponsor 2 children through Compassion and it has a very special place in my heart. My father died last year and I wondered how much it would be to dig a well in memory of him. He went to Uganda when one of my brothers lived out there and was “bitten” by the African bug too. He loved it.
Please can you let me know as I would love to support the amazing work you are doing.
Christine heard about a place called Satiri, not too far from Bobo-Dioulasso which is the second largest city in Burkina Faso. The conditions there were dreadful as this photo shows. The family all agreed that this would be a suitable place for the well to be drilled.
The well was drilled on 28th April and the supply of water was excellent at 7000 litres and hour. It was an easy decision to place a water tower there.
Here is the water tower arriving and two engineers under the solar panels.
Sadly, the Ian’s mother also passed just a few days before the well was completed.
These photos show the water tower and tank being erected and the tap now in use.
Don’t forget that the cattle and other animals benefit from having clean water. In many rural villages, the people’s main occupation is raising cattle to be sold at the market in the nearest town. Having clean water means healthier cattle – which means better prices!
Well at Pefrou. We were considering putting a water tower here. Then the pastor contacted Christine. He said that there were other villages that needed water; the people at Pefrou would be very happy just to have a hand pump (which is less money than a water tower) so that other villages could also have clean water.
Well at Yoroko Feso. This well is another one that has been paid for by a Christian family charity based in Wilmslow.
This insight has been provided by our Trustee Jeremy from his experience of living in Burkina Faso for 14 years.
Travelling in Africa is hot and thirsty work. The challenge for me, going from village to village doing “Jesus Film” evangelism, often on a motorbike, was carrying enough clean water with me.
One night I ran out of water and I was dreading the consequences if I had to drink from the water sourced locally. Fortunately, I was able to get water from a drilled well that night. One missionary friend once drank the dirty water he was offered and was extremely ill, so much so when going to the bathroom to vomit he collapsed unconscious resulting in a head injury. Pastors would tell me about which villages they avoided drinking the water. My standard question when offered water was, “is it pump water”?
On another occasion, where I was based for three nights evangelism, they showed me the source of water. (You can watch a brief video of this using this link). I couldn’t drink it without being ill so they kindly sent a boy on a bicycle 7km to the nearest pump so I had clean water to drink.
In those days, I used to help them to dig open wells. That village was the first place where I did this. These were dug by hand by the local population. They would also gather the sand and gravel. I would pay for the cement and the wages of the well specialist who would line the well with concrete bricks to prevent the walls collapsing. The gap round the outside was filled with sand and gravel so that filtered the water. The sources are clean but limited to maybe 10 households and can run dry. I did about 15 of these in my time as a missionary.
At a pastors’ conference in Nov 2018 the pastors surrounded me each pleading for a source of clean water for their own, or a neighbouring village. That is when I contacted Myra’s wells. I met Eddie and Mark in Ouagadougou in Jan 2019. Myra’s Wells responded and 5 wells were drilled. The following year Jan 2020 I travelled with them down to Gaoua and we visited these new wells and saw the need in other villages requesting wells.
Myra’s Wells is a Christian charity and most of our wells are the result of requests that have come from church pastors. We vet these requests very carefully because we provide water for communities irrespective of ethnic or religious background. However, Rotary International asked us to act as contractors drilling some wells for them. So far, six have been completed during the course of this year. Here are some pictures.
Posomtenga village, Ouagdougou
Fondation RAMA – refuge for abused women
The security situation in Burkina Faso continues to deteriorate. Attacks by Islamic extremists continue to increase. The target is sometimes churches, but is often just ordinary civilians at random. Please pray for peace to be restored.
Since starting to prepare this newsletter, another military coup has taken place. Another army Captain as displaced the Lieutenant who displaced the elected President in January. There appears to be calm at the moment. Please pray for safety for all our helpers, including Christine and Michel – but also our trustee Jeremy who is currently in the Ouagadougou.
With the Covid situation being less of a problem, “in person” reports have been restarted. If your church or other group would like to hear about what is happening, please contact Eddie (email@example.com).
However, “in person” reports may be difficult due to distance. To enable us to update supporters who live further from the Bournemouth area, we are planning two ZOOM reports. Details will be circulated shortly.
- 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 planning and drilling as we restart in October after the ground has dried following the rainy season.