Saturday, May 16, 2015

An Unexpected Gift

I have greatly enjoyed this season of drilling.  It is very fulfilling to spend time celebrating a newly-completed well alongside locals and missions teams.  The part that I have not yet shared much about is the times that we get a dry hole at a village and have to leave them with no well.

Praying for the drilling

This happened at one village called Sideradougou.  The Friends in Action drilling organization that we partner with has had a number of dry attempts at a well there. Their first time there, they tried drilling in two different locations in the village before having to move on without success.  The second time that they returned to drill at Sideradougou, Molly and I were part of that drilling team.  We spent a day and a half drilling in a third location there to attempt to get a well for the village, but all we got was a dry hole with lots of dust. 

Molly with some of our team members from Georgia

When packing up to leave for the next village, we were all a bit discouraged with not being able to get a well for this village in need of a water source.  We were, of course, quite disappointed that we still had not been able to hit water for this central village in the church's district that wanted it so desperately. However, as we sat down at a church and ate dinner with the team and the local pastor, we still were joking around and laughing together as we always do on drilling trips.  After we had finished dinner, a couple of the team members expressed concern that it might have looked bad to the locals that we didn't seem more upset about not being able to get a successful well.

We quickly learned that the opposite was actually true. The next morning as we packed up to leave, the pastor approached us and wanted to give us a gift: a couple of chickens and a goat.  He told us that the local believers who had been there the night before at dinner were amazed by the joy that we still had at the end of the day after working hard for many hours only to have a dry hole to show for it.

The local pastor (brown shirt) with the district pastor (striped shirt) and local believers
The story doesn't end there, though. In April while we were in the U.S., yet another Friends in Action team went back to Sideradougou to drill once more near the church.  A day or two of work later, they had a good flowing well in a location close to the church.  The church and locals now finally have a nearby source of water as a result of this fourth drilling attempt!

It is not always easy to see the whole picture of what God is doing and can be frustrating when things do not go as planned.  This is evidenced in that some of the previous dry wells would have been in less ideal locations that were farther away from the church, but this one is close by in a good location.  I was so glad to hear the report that the village finally has water after multiple dry holes.  God is so very good!