Meeting new people provides challenges when we encounter differing viewpoints.
Two weeks ago my husband and I took a vacation trip along America’s northwest coast. While we waited for our tour bus to arrive, I got acquainted with my fellow travelers. One couple had recently returned from a trip to Tanzania. They regaled us with stories of the wildlife they viewed from the safari tour’s land cruiser.
Another traveler spoke of his life in Congo during the upheaval of the 1960s. The talk turned to a discussion of Africa’s current political climate and poverty. The man declared, “Only Africa can solve Africa’s problems!”
“That’s an interesting perspective,” I said. I mentioned I blogged for this ministry to Congo. I summarized Fred and Dale’s Congo Trip 2015. Feeling pleased about the success with the rainwater collection system, I told them it also provided a small business opportunity for the Congolese men who were part of Fred’s team.
The man cut me off. “Humph! That won’t help. That’s not enough water.”
Fred has returned safely home. Dale returned three weeks earlier. It’s time for a summary of this year’s trip to the Congo.
As reported earlier, Dale and Fred along with their drilling crew were disappointed that they were unable to successfully dig a well. Although two attempts were made and they did strike water, both wells collapsed. This is a problem that needs to be investigated further with the company that engineered the equipment. Pray for wisdom and a solution to this problem.
Before Fred left the Congo, he and his crew were able to attach rainwater collection systems to four houses. Using roofing tin, the team devised guttering to carry the water through a downspout into thirty gallon plastic containers. These containers, readily available in the Congo, make fine water reservoirs. The system should work quite well during the approaching rainy season.
Pray for the success of the collection systems on these homes. The Congolese have never tried to collect rainwater before. If the Congolese people see these reservoirs as effective, they will be more willing to utilize this method to provide safe drinking water for their families. This could be such a wonderful solution for these dear people since they have a plentiful supply of rainwater.
Pray also for the Congolese crew members who learned how to create and install these rainwater collection systems. This could be a fine business venture for these men, a much-needed source of income for them and their families.
Finally, we here at Hope 4 Congo are so grateful for the work of Fred and Dale. They were not only willing to go, but joyful for the opportunity. Dale developed malaria upon his return home. Fred contracted malaria while in Congo and was quite ill for a few days. Please pray for the full recovery of both men.
Fred has been in Congo for seven weeks now. He reports that the second hole Dale and he started went crooked and collapsed last week just like the first one. A big disappointment!
Fred has wisely come up with an alternative plan. He will concentrate on rainwater retrieval from house roofs. Congo certainly has plenty of rain to catch. Here is what Fred sent:
“I have decided to use local materials as much as possible for the water-collection systems on individual homes. We’ll use one hundred liter plastic cans similar to the ones many Americans use for trash. They are readily available here in Tshikapa, and they are only $15 each.”
100 liters is approximately 26.5 gallons or about 5 – 7 trips to the spring or river to get water.
We here at Hope 4 Congo will have to rethink our method of drilling in Congo for the future. This makes five holes without water.
Catching rainwater is a great idea. We’re not sure why the Congolese have not done it. It has a lot of potential. It’s easy to do and rain is plentiful in Congo.
Sometimes our western way of thinking takes a lot of time and effort to catch on. Please pray that the Congolese will see the value of this system to supply their water. Also, that they may see the potential business opportunity in it as well.
Fred is trying to introduce good business practices to them. Pray that they will see this as a way to provide for their families.
We’ll post more information when we have it or on July 7, whichever comes first. In the meantime, please pray for Fred and his efforts to help the Congolese. Also, please follow us so you won’t miss out on any of our news and updates.
Dale writes: It is Saturday afternoon. We stopped drilling and took the afternoon off. We praise the Lord that we reached small gravel stones. This shows me that the underground river is close. I pray that we’ll reach water on Monday.