March 25, 2020

Corona Virus in the DRC

Like the rest of the world, Congo is taking measures to mitigate the spread of the corona virus.
• International flights are shut down.
• Stores, churches and schools are closed.
• Food sources open, but supplies are limited.
• Prices are doubling and tripling.
• Drivers have jacked up prices for transport.
• Lack of transportation restricts access to food supplies.
• Changes occur daily and sometimes hourly.
• Cases of corona virus: As of Monday (3/23/20) 36 confirmed cases, including two deaths.
• As with other news in the DRC, the challenge is to determine the accuracy.
• Monetary assistance from WHO (World Health Org.) is tied to properly documented reports.

Another difficulty is that some people do not believe there is a new disease.

Drill Arrived

Praise the Lord! Our drilling equipment arrived safely at Ndjoko Punda. This is a big deal. We are one step closer to offering the people safe drinking water.

It traveled from L.A. to Matadi via ocean freight, but was lost for a time in Matadi. After searching 4-6 weeks, it was found in a warehouse, then transported by truck to Kinshasa and from there by river transport to Ndjoko Punda.

Such is the common story in the DRC. It’s a far cry from what we expect (or demand) here in the U.S. We can track our shipments and see where they are—sometimes on a daily or hourly basis. Not so in Congo.

Prayer Items

Praise and thank the Lord with us today for:
Keeping the drilling equipment safe and delivering it to Ndjoko Punda.


Pray for the people of Congo.
May they be alert to health safety. May they find adequate food. May they remain calm.
May the Christians be a witness. In their speech and behavior may they exhibit Christlikeness.

© 2020 Hope4Congo.com

Kandale Spring by Brad Graber

The walk to the spring at Kandale is a daily routine for many women and children. The village sits on top of a plateau and the spring is located down in the valley, about a 30 to 45 minute walk.
My brother, Stan and I walked down to the spring during our visit to the village in October 2017. We hoped we could install a Ram pump to provide fresh spring water at a location within the village.

Follow along with us through words and photos as we share the journey we took.
The path wound its way down into the valley—a drop in elevation of 270 feet from the village to the spring. Portions of the path were easily managed and the slope was not too difficult to walk. But other times the path was narrow, steep, and washed out. Still, the beauty of the view took our breath away.
During our walk we met a steady stream of people coming and going. The photos show some of them, including children who were all seven years old or younger.

It is not unusual to see young children helping to get water—it is the norm in the DRC. Women and children are tasked with getting water each day. An entire day can be spent obtaining water for the family. Many children never get an opportunity to go to school because of the daily need for water.
We followed the children through an opening between the trees. As we reached the final descent to the spring we heard the sounds of activity, voices, and water running downstream from the spring. The shade provided cool relief from the extreme heat.
Stan and I found two very strong spring water sources feeding into one stream. Our hopes were high that a Ram pump might be a good option.
People washed clothes, took baths or filled their water jugs. The containers came in all sizes and shapes—bright yellow or blue plastic—referred to as jerry cans. The jerry cans weighed 40 pounds or more when fully filled.
These bright colored plastic containers reminded us of the water crisis, which exists around the world for millions of people in third world countries. People spend hours each day with some sort of container strapped securely on their backs, held tightly to their hips or balanced on their heads. The average distance to a water source for people in the third world is 6 kilometers or 3.7 miles.
We followed the people back to the village. Most of them carried the water on their heads. Their trek uphill was even more arduous as the women and children lugged the heavy containers. The return trip took longer and required more precious energy—energy that required more food to sustain them. As we’ve mentioned previously, people in the DRC already live constantly on the edge of hunger.
(Editor note: Imagine carrying 40 pounds of water on your head. It makes my head and neck hurt just to think about it. To carry it up a steep hill seems a daunting task.)
After our visit in October, Stan and I received news of a mudslide. It totally destroyed the spring. The village was devastated.

Since then Kandale villagers have found a new water source, but it is even farther away than the spring. A Ram pump is no longer a viable option to bring water into the village.

A Village Drill is the best course of action for Kandale now. The Village Drill is a manual-drilling rig that will allow us to dig down to a depth of 220 feet.

We have the money to purchase the drill and ship it to Congo. But we need an additional $20,000 before we can begin drilling for water at Kandale. The additional money will cover the costs of training workers, purchasing supplies, and transportation within the DRC.

It is our prayer and Hope4Congo that we can bring relief to the people with a well that is located in close proximity to the village. This would provide them with clean safe drinking water. This would allow the women to spend their days in more productive ways. This would allow the children time to attend school.

Your donations to Hope4Congo will allow us to bring change to Kandale and other villages through the use of the Village Drill.

Please consider how you might bring Hope4Congo.

Donations may be made via mail to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744
Designate your gift is for: Hope4Congo
Specify: Please use for the Village Drill

You can also make an online donation at: http://www.aimmintl.org/
On AIMM’s web page, click on the donate tab. Below the $0.00
Click on the phrase: “Add special instructions to the seller”
In the area that opens, please note you wish your gift to be given to
Hope4Congo and tell us where you wish your donation to be used.
For example: Village Drill

Reminder: Everyone here at Hope4Congo is a volunteer.
No one receives a salary or any pay for his or her work.
Your gift will be used specifically where you ask it to be used.

© 2018 Hope4Congo

Do It for Me

“ . . . ‘Master . . . When did we ever see you thirsty and give you a drink?’ . . .”
“ . . . Then the King will say . . . ‘Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored . . . you did it to me.’ ”
“ . . . Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored . . . you failed to do it for me.’ . . .” (Matthew 25:31 – 46 MSG)

Nearly one billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. Most are in undeveloped or underserved portions of the world.

Hope for Congo has researched various methods to bring water to the villages we serve in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Village Drill is our choice for the job.

The Village Drill was engineered to offer affordable, reliable access to borehole drilling technology for the developing world. It can drill through most substrates including rock to a depth of 250 feet.

All this can be done manually using mechanically simple and efficient equipment that can be broken down and transported easily from location to location.

Hope for Congo received a $20,000 grant from the Schowalter Foundation to purchase a Village Drill. We are excited about this opportunity to bring life-saving water wells to the DRC using this drill.

Hope for Congo needs to raise an additional $20,000 to begin drilling.
The additional monies will be used to:
• Ship the drill to the DRC
• Transport the unit in country
• Train operators
• Provide material and necessary supplies
• Make our first well fully operational

Estimated cost to drill one well and install a hand-operated pump: $8,000

Our goal is to begin drilling our first well in early 2019. We encourage you to give what you can . . . be it a small or large amount. Please give according to your ability.

We have a tremendous opportunity to serve King Jesus as we give our thirsty Congolese brothers and sisters access to safe drinking water. We encourage you to share this opportunity with your friends and family and your local church so they too may participate in blessing these villages.

Donations may be made via mail to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744
Designate your gift as “Hope4Congo”

You can also make an online donation at: http://www.aimmintl.org/
On AIMM’s web page, click on the donate tab. Below the $0.00
Click on the phrase: “Add special instructions to the seller”
In the area that opens, please note you wish your gift to be given to Hope4Congo and tell us where you wish your donation to be used. For example: Village Drill, Farm to Market, Bible, etc. or wherever needed most.

© 2018 Hope4Congo

Life Giving Water

Post
by Brad Graber

One hot day, a thirsty little five-year-old boy came to our mission house at Ndjoko Punda. Mother gave him a drink of cold water from our refrigerator. That delicious cold water left such an indelible impression on his mind that he told me about it years later. He had never had cold water before.

This past year I took the opportunity to ask several Congolese to share the three greatest needs that exist for the average Congolese. Without exception the number one issue was “safe” drinking water.

We take water for granted. We assume our water is safe and we have no concerns. For millions of people in developing countries water is the source of life threatening diseases.

The World Health Organization estimates that safe drinking water could prevent 1.4 million child deaths from diarrhea each year.

80% of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water.
1.1 billion people do not have safe drinking water.

One way to change this situation is through access to well water. Clean water leads to better health, more opportunities, and therefore, a way out of poverty.

We have searched for a drill to meet this need in remote locations. We have found one such tool in
The Village Drill.

Benefits of The Village Drill:
• Utilizes local labor and resources since it is human-powered
• Can bore a 6 inch hole up to 250 feet deep
• Most economical drill available
• Provides pride and ownership for each community
• Provides access to safe drinking water
For more information about The Village Drill please click on this link: http://www.villagedrill.com

Safe drinking water has the power to change lives, reduce disease and begin the rise from poverty. Along with the gift of safe water we can share the story of Living Water as Jesus did when he spoke with the Woman at the Well.

To help meet the need for village wells, please consider giving to Hope for Congo. Let us be your hands and feet for the Congolese people.

Please send your tax-deductible U.S. Dollar donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, Indiana 46527-0744

Please send your tax-deductible Canadian Dollar donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5

On your donation please indicate you wish your gift to be used to help Hope4Congo drill village wells.

© 2018 Hope4Congo

Safe Drinking Water

Safe Drinking Water
by Brad Graber

How would you like to spend 3 – 5 hours of your day collecting water for your family’s use?

Several studies show that women who live in rural areas of Africa spend a quarter of their time just fetching water. Plus the water they collect is not always safe to drink.

Hope for Congo has collaborated with Fred Suter and his Congo Water Project to assist communities with access to nearby potable water so that women and children do not need to spend so much time and energy fetching water for daily use.

Fred worked closely with Hope for Congo at Ndjoko Punda to install a ram pump at a spring located down a hillside deep in the forest. With the pump installed and underground pipe laid, this provides water to a nearby hospital and the village. Not only is the water more accessible, it’s also safe to drink.

The ram pump has operated non-stop for three years. This spring Fred will make a trip to Ndjoko Punda to check on the operation and condition of the installation. We hope to improve the delivery system and the volume of water produced.

Fred has also trained a small group of young, strong Congolese to use a hand-auger kit to drill water wells (plus install a hand pump) to provide potable water in other Congolese villages. This local team also designs and constructs gutter systems for roof water collection.

Hope for Congo purchased the first hand-auger drilling kit. We would like to purchase additional kits and equipment. This would provide additional communities with access to safe water.

Hope for Congo’s Goals include:
• Raise sufficient funds to develop an ongoing well drilling program
• Develop and improve water collection systems
• Develop a routine maintenance program for the wells
• Develop community financial support for the water systems

It is only through your generous donations that Hope for Congo can continue to walk alongside our brothers and sisters in Congo and bring hope to their lives.

Safe drinking water is a critical health issue.

Your donations are tax-deductible.

Make your checks payable to: Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission or AIMM
Designate your donation to: Hope 4 Congo and please indicate which project you wish to support. Monies sent to our general fund will be applied where needed.

Send your U.S. dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission or AIMM
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744

Send your Canadian Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission or AIMM
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5

____________________

Thank you, Brad. Next week we will share the opportunities that exist through evangelistic youth soccer camps. Until then, please pray.

Pray Requests:
• Please pray about your involvement in Hope for Congo’s ministry.
• Please pray that a great awakening and revival would stir throughout Congo.
• Please continue to pray for peace in Congo.

© 2017 Hope4Congo

 

 

Saturday Afternoon Off

IMG_3064
Gravel from underground river

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.

God is to get all the Glory.

IMG_3055
An afternoon off.

©2015 Hope4Congo