Monday, July 26, 2010

Gold and Gray

One of my favorite times of day in Sudan is the evening time when the sun is low in the sky but still bright, and everything the sun touches glows warm golden tones.

The night before the dedication of the Bishop's house and our houses, we had some strange weather. First, there was a bright rainbow that came out behind our house after a hard rain. Second, the sun came out casting golden light on our house while the sky was still dark gray on the opposite horizon line. Third, the wind picked up and we had some crazy clouds moving quickly across the sky. One cloud in particular was very low and looked like a wave rolling on itself or a small water fall in a steam.

The pictures don't quite capture what we all saw that evening. It was strange and beautiful. Our whole team was outside watching the sky change minute by minute.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pictures from Mundri

Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks in Mundri.

Kids watching the water office staff work during yield tests at the BNTC borehole.

The completed first tap for the Hai Salaam water project.

Michael teaching the water office staff how to weld.

The water tower was successfully raised.

Training the water office staff on pump curves.

The rehabilitation of a room on the secondary school campus to house the generator for the computer lab is nearly complete.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Woman at the Well

Today Bethany and I started our journey with Bible storying!

Well really our journey started about a month ago in Greece when we both attended a workshop on Bible storying at the WHM conference. We got excited about the possibility of using Bible storying at the Girl's Club we have been holding on Saturdays at Mundri Secondary School.

After talking and praying, we decided to try it out the first week of the Girl's Club. I was so thankful for all the materials that a fellow WHM missionary shared with us at the conference! Really we would not have been able to have our first Bible story lesson so soon otherwise.

We choose the Samaritan Woman for our first Bible story, which fit right in to my water themed week. =)

Over the last week, Bethany and I have been taking turns reading the story to each other. After we both had the basics down, Bethany practiced telling me the story since she was the primary speaker this week. Learning to tell a Bible story orally was harder than I expected.

The story of the woman at the well is a story we were both very familiar with, but after reading the story slowly and deliberately several times, we were both struck by new things in the Samaritan woman's story.

I was again reminded of the grace and patience Jesus has for sinners like me who just don't get it sometimes. My favorite line in this story is when the Samaritan woman replies to Jesus "Sir, you don't have a bucket and this well is very deep. Where would You get this living water?" It made me smile every time Bethany said it.

Today there were only two girls at Girl's Club because of some early morning rain. It was a wonderful chance to interact more personally with these girls who are S1 students and new to Mundri Secondary School. I really enjoyed watching them listen and respond to Bethany as she told the story of the Samaritan woman. The girls picked up on the story so quickly, even though it was told in English which is not their first language. In fact is isn't even their second language. They were learning the story faster than Bethany and I had, and English is our first language.

We are going to continue with Bible storying during our time with the girls on Saturday, and I'm excited to see God at work through His stories being told orally.

Next week, God willing, I will be telling the story of the healing of the paralytic.

Friday, July 2, 2010

An Abundance of Water

Water was the theme of the last week for me in Mundri. I guess that isn't unusual seeing as I am a water engineer. =)

Hai Salaam

Day one of work for the water project meant doing some testing on the borehole which is located in the Hai Salaam community.

We tested the yield and measured the drawdown. With a bucket and a stopwatch in hand we were expecting that after a few hours of pumping we would see the flow rate go down, but it didn't. At the end of the day we were surprised to find that the yield was even higher than we expected!

With the pump running powered by solar panels and a generator during different portions of our testing, people lined up with their jerry cans for water. It was a welcome break from the hard work of pumping water by hand for women and children in the Hai Salaam community.

Children watched eagerly as we did our work.

Later in the week Michael and I walked around the Hai Salaam community with Kenneth from the water office and our GPS in hand. We took a second look at the locations for taps and the water tower that will be built for the water project and talked about future expansion possibilities for the project considering the high yield of the borehole. Later we stopped to sit and talk at the local church in the Hai Salaam community which is named Mili Zakaria after Kenneth's grandfather. I am continually impressed by communities in Mundri that gather together to support one another and work for community development, and Hai Salaam is a wonderful example. I am thankful for the partnership we have with this community and the local water office.

Bishop Ngalamu Theological College (BNTC)

This week we also found out that God has provided funds to install a similar water project for BNTC through a church in Australia! With this news we set out for the BNTC borehole to do the same testing that we had done just a few days earlier at Hai Salaam. The yield at BNTC turned out to be very high as well, which means this system will be able to expand as the college rebuilds.

As we worked along side the local water technicians this week, I was encouraged by their eagerness to learn about yield tests and system design. I am looking forward to the continuing training we will be doing as the water project continues over the summer.

Praise God for an abundance of water!