Tuesday, April 23, 2013

recent Water for All International newsletter

Dear Friends
Did you ever have something just make your day?  Mine was just made.  With all the tragic  stuff happening in America I needed this.
Rob sent a brief video from Ethiopia of something we have been working on a long time.   Out here in Paint Rock we have been building and testing a very low cost pressure pump for our fam­ily wells and family windmills so that gardens can be easily irrigated, and now we are testing it in the field in Ethiopia.   Our WFA dream is to not only help families have enough water to drink, but to have abundant water for gardens and irrigation through the long Ethiopia dry season.   It just doesn’t seem right for families to basically be out of business doing nothing through the long dry season, living on meager short rainy season pro­duction.  And you can only pump so much water by hand.  Hand pumping doesn’t go far when irri­gating.  It takes basically a five gallon bucket of water for each square yard to put down
One of our test windmills placed a couple of  years ago in Ethiopia click  here to see it working today with our new higher  pres­sure irrigation pump
an inch of water.  So to do much of a garden you need a lot of water.  It takes a lot of work to lift water from deep in the ground, and then you have to haul the water out to the field. 

 So we are slowly figuring out how to help.  We have designed and made a family garden/ family livestock irrigation system that can push water where ever it is needed, under pressure.  This will allow for pressure drip systems, overhead, or even spraying irrigation.  We will see how large a market garden could be irrigated with the windmill and pump and maybe, just maybe the production can pay for a well and windmill.  The total raw materials cost for this well and windmill and pump is under $500!   Tomatoes in Ethiopia are pretty expensive so maybe we can one day help many families.   One day we want to see windmills and families pros­pering in Ethio­pia, Uganda,  Kenya (where James and Sarah will be headed in Janu­ary).  The fish farms in Bolivia are going great and many many families pros­pering from their wells.  Pray for us as we keep on working all this out and figure how to help families get a full system to come out of poverty and insure against drought.

I also realized I haven’t emailed you since I returned from Africa. Below are pictures from Ethiopia and Uganda where Rob and Almaz are just knocking a home run.  Six new wells last month  Almaz has started a school in Gora for first graders.  It was too far for the little ones to walk to school several miles away. Rob and Almaz have started true blue water clubs where families do their own drilling, right around the town where they live. Six wells done last month.   Yosi is great, and now helping the family that lost a dad in the accident.  Rob’s Oromo language skills are amazing and he is now teaching some in Gora and is just amaz­ing.

 In Uganda praise God Colin got his work per­mit and has learned to drill in the tough Ma­rum Rock. Here is another video link to see one of his wells that is helping a recent HIV widow named Helen.  Click here.  He and Ronnie are working with Dan and Jimmy and Emma to help them teach families to drill.  They are also teaching sustainable agriculture and testing different zero till planting schemes.    Silas the little boy they are fostering is a delight.  With the work permit Colin and Ronnie can now start the long road to full adoption.  Silas was found abandoned in a field and found by little boys playing soccer.  Praise God for Colin and Ronnie who are there to provide loving parents and a home for Silas as they make their life in Uganda.
In Bolivia we are setting up a well drilling and demonstration training camp from an old IMB place we are renting cheap and taking care of un kept kids in our church program called “Dulce Refugio” “Sweet Refuge.  Here in Paint Rock Jarrod and Lauren and  I are drill­ing, making gardens, doing culture, language, and bible study and making a windmill as part of the training and getting ready for drilling classes.   Jarrod has become quite the welder!  

Thanks so much for praying for WFA.  We need your continued prayers!!  The highlight of my trip in March was worshipping God with Ugandans.   God is still on his throne and the Yeast of the Kingdom is still out there affecting all the loaf, penetrating every part.   Pray for WFA that we continue doing our part.  Steve and Jerry and Silas all recently sent in reports of wells from Niger, Kenya, and Cameroon.  These the result of the classes we hold in Paint Rock.  Next class in in May.  Pray for us!  Below lot of photos of new wells from all over.

Water for All International

New family wells in Ethiopia right at the house. 
Another well in Uganda.  This grandmother  with a child on her back was pumping when we pulled up.  The wells are owned  by families but used also by many hun­dreds of neighbors.  This lady still has to haul the water home.   We pray that Colin and Ronnie can start a well drilling movement in Uganda and family water clubs so that each family that  wants one can have a well right at the house and  this lady not have to haul water.   Pray the Christians in Uganda too and that this area might that used to be so war torn would have peace and minister to each other.  There are so many orphans in Uganda.  Pray Colin and Ronnie can teach families to farm better and farm more and farm more of their land so that they can care for each other and all of the orphans.
This is Helen’s well.  Click to see it working in Uganda.  Helen is an HIV widow who has five kids.  Her wells serves the family plus many many neighbors.  Pray one day that our program progresses to windmills so families can farm year round.
Colin checking out a nursery of trees and vegetables grown with water from one of the wells.  Family wells provide not only water but income!
This is the very hard Marum rock at the surface that we must drill through on each well.  Sometimes it is 30 feet deep.
Another family well in Uganda.   People told us it can’t be done.  The material cost for every­thing is less than $150.  1.25 inch pump and 2 inch casing and a bag of cement.  The work is the hard part but  Dan and Jimmy and Colin and Ronnie are teaching families to do it!
This is an older well done by Rick and Sherry when they were there  2 years ago.  It is still seving over 600 people.  That is too many.  Pray  Colin an Ronnie and Dan and Jimmy get some well clubs started in the area so many more families can have a well at their homestead.
This is Paul of Global Care who are our host in Uganda.  Paul saw some of our work in Ethiopia and it is because of him we are working in Uganda now.
Global Care is a wonderful  old Christian Ministry  working in Uganda for more than 30 years.  They care for war orphans  and victims and do wonderful work around the world.   Thanks Paul for inviting us to collaborate in Uganda!
One of Colin’s zero tillage gardens he uses to teach sustainable agriculture.  This plot planted using “farming God’s way “ as a teaching technique.   Zero till allows fragile tropical soils to stop deteriorating and allows farmers to put more of their land in production with only a fraction of the work normal ox tilling requires.  Currently farmers must practice “shifting” agriculture only farming a small portion of their small acreage in a vain attempt to maintain fertility.   They know without thinking about it fields won’t produce  well if plowed year after year. (Three ton of carbon per hectare are lost each year to plowing in the humid tropics) The simple practice of zero tillage stops soil decay immediately and begins building fertility by making in-situ  compost as the ground is never left bare.  Compost is created all over the field by microbes  naturally as litter and roots decay.   We found sites to do experimental  zero till trials and demos.  A simple back pack sprayer and hand seeder will replace a whole teams of oxen and  plows and allow farmers to put more of their land in productions immediately.    We have been teaching zero till for small farmers in Bolivia for years.    It has been standard practice  all over South America for large farmers for years.  We  may one day introduce our zero till seeder from Bolivia to Uganda if needed.  It drove me crazy seeing all the idle land while people so poor.  To come out of poverty sustainable production must increase. Zero till will allow farmers to immediately increase their production for very little extra work and cheaper than plowing.   “Farming God’s Way” is an excellent way to teach  the basics of how zero till works for small plots.  I can’t wait to one day see much of the idle fallow land  around Soroti put into continual production using safe sustain­able zero tillage methods and families multiplying their meager incomes.  There is always so much to do.  Pray for WFA and Colin and Ronnie as they seek to start a well drilling movement plus maybe change the way folks farm in Uganda.  
Pray for Dan and Jimmy, Colin’s main helpers who are drilling and teaching families to drill.
Pray for Rob and Almaz too the home run hitters in Ethiopia!. 
Finally a few wells sent in from around the world from others we have trained. 
Jerry Ohs who trained with us has been working in Cameroon with Michal Toolan an neat Irish Baptists Church that is drilling.  They are also retro fitting our pump design on old out of service pumps and finding they work great and much easier to maintain.
Guys drilling either with Dave Rierson in the Gamia or Jerry in Cameroon.  I can’t tell which.  Both trained with us. Or it might be Silas drilling in Kenya.
Gary Mitchell, WFA’s great friend who trained with us several years ago went to help Steve in Niger this year.  Steve also who also trained with us has a group of guys working well in Niger and are to well number 6, I believe  (below.)
This well recently drilled by  Jerry  Oh’s and Michaels “Water For Cameroon” group from Ireland.  Ivo the young man we trained years ago in Bolivia also helped them get started drilling.  Nice work Ivo!.  Notice the fancy pump jack.  Groups we trained have discovered our pumps work fine for community wells to if one wants to beef up the pump jack.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Is it really the middle of April already!  We dropped off my mom and spent a few extra days in Kampala.  There were a few things that we needed to pick up and we looked at vehicles. (The ol' Land Rover is needing to be retired.)  We found a place where I can go ride horses, which was a HUGE surprise.  I was very glad to see that the horses were well taken care off and a beautiful barn and ring.
My trusty mount, Ranger, and me at a dressage clinic a few years ago. 
We also are moving forward with our visa process and that is exciting!  Also we will be getting Silas's birth certificate soon!!  And Colin and I will be listed as his parents.  It may not seem like a huge deal but it makes all the other paperwork that much easier.
Love this little man!  He is truly a wonderful blessing and a gift from above.  
We have been busy in the garden in the village.  It is the biggest plot we have done so far with FGW.  Colin has carried LOTS of grass on his head the last few days to help cover the garden with mulch.  

We are also praying about building in the village.  It is something both Colin and I really want to do, but we want to be sure that we are following God's direction.  We have started to plant some trees and flowers out where we would someday like to live.  Silas and his friends went along and helped me plant the mulberry trees that I had.  Well, I planted and Silas and Naboths threw rocks into the woods.  

Our workshop in the village is coming together and Colin and Dan LOVE spending time working in it.  

Dan's son, Toni, has started some Jackfruit seeds and hopes to plant them and sell the fruit.  

This is a Jackfruit.

We have also just purchased a whole lot of pineapples.  Dan took the dirt bike and brought them all back in one big bag.  

Things here are clicking right along!  We were very refreshed by Terry's visit and my mom's.    There are just a few things that we would love people to be in prayer with us over:  

  • Building in the village and moving out there.  It is something that we both really want and pray that the funds and material and the details that go along with building all come together.  We have never done this before, and have no idea what to expect.  So if this is what God is telling us to do we just ask that you pray for guidance and the right people to work with.  
  • Our continued health.  We are very blessed with good health and are thankful that we have not had any real serious problems.  
  • Our ministry here in Obulle and Pingire.  We always want to continue to follow the Lord and what He is already doing and not get ahead and do our own thing.  So we ask that you pray for us to have wisdom and a humble spirit to follow where we are being directed.  
Thank you for keeping up with us and our lives here.  We are so very thankful to have so many people praying and standing in the gap for us.  We are blessed to be a blessing! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

we've been having some visitors

We have had a great few weeks with visitors staying with us.  First we had Terry Waller of Water for All International who came in for a visit to check up on us, see the progress with the well drilling and farming programs, and to encourage us and get us lined out for this year.  Having Terry here was very encouraging and energizing.  It was great to have someone come and see the work that has been done over the last year, to discuss the well drilling program, look for ways to make things better or more efficient, and to see our friend and mentor Terry.  Terry was able to go to church with us, meet the drilling crew, spend some time getting to know a few of our friends, eat some good local foods, view the wells and farming areas, see where we hope to build a home in the village one day, and to meet Silas.

We dropped Terry off at the airport and picked up Kathy, Ronnie's mom, the same day.  Kathy got to meet her grandson Silas, see Africa for the first time, experience Kampala traffic (she vowed to never ever... ever, ever, ever to complain about Raleigh traffic again), sleep under a mosquito net, spent time with us in the village and got to meet our friends, experienced the market, spent Easter and Ronnie's 29th birthday with us. We decided to go to Murchison Falls while Kathy was here so we could see some of Uganda's wildlife.  That was a pretty neat experience for all of us and Silas absolutely loved all the puppies (all the animals were puppies to him).  We even took a boat ride up the Nile River and viewed the magnificent Murchison Falls,  saw where the movie The African Queen was filmed, and saw the site where Ernest Hemingway crashed his plane.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Murchison Falls 2013

Well my mom is back stateside and I am already missing her!  But I am so glad that she was able to come and see us and spend time with Silas.  We had a blast with her and are already looking forward to seeing her again in Uganda!  We decided to go the game park at Murchison Falls with her the last few days she was here.  IT WAS AWESOME!!!  Really, like nothing I have ever done before in my whole life.  So below are just a bunch of pictures from the two days we were in the park and on the Nile river.  
We also received some wonderful news about the status of our work visa.  The process has moved to the next step and it is smooth sailing from here!  Thank you Lord!  And thank you to everyone that was praying for that whole process!  WE really couldn't be here doing all this without the support of our praying friends and family.  
Enjoy the pictures!