By Doug Conkle, an Alliance international worker serving in Burkina Faso, West Africa
Young women and children in Burkina Faso often walk up to four miles roundtrip to obtain water; about 3 million people lack access to clean water. “Digging a well is a wonderful testimony of God’s love to the Burkinabe!” says the author.
Earlier this month, we partnered with a team from Greenview Alliance Church (Montoursville, Pennsylvania) to dig wells in four remote areas without adequate clean water sources. Each community also has lacked understanding about the living water (see John 7:37–39).
A Well For Nana
Our first well site was in the village of Nana, populated by the Marka people, who are devoted followers of West Africa’s predominant religion.
When an elderly leader heard that a group was installing a well, he visited the pastor in Nana, expecting to see a team of Burkinabé drilling. He found instead a group of mostly North Americans, who had left their families and the comforts of home to freely give his village a well.
“What have we done for these people that they would come all this way to provide clean water for our village?” he exclaimed, tears streaming down the face. The pastor told him that it was the love of God’s Son, Jesus, which compelled the team to travel thousands of miles to provide the well for his people, whom they had never met.
Doubt in Synzekuy
We then traveled to the town of Synzekuy, where the small Alliance church received property for a well on a hill quite distant from the only well in the area.
When we gathered with the pastor to pray before beginning drilling operations, the thought entered my mind: I wonder if this will be a dry well?
As the drill bit ground through foot after foot of solid granite bedrock that day, spraying thick gray dust, doubt began to creep in. The team became tired and discouraged.
Pastor Luke, who had accompanied us to help with the drilling, excused himself to find a quiet place and plead with God to provide a good well. At a depth of 280 feet, with just two drilling rods remaining, the team had to make a decision.
We prayed for wisdom to know if we should quit and pull up the rods to start over at a second site. During the prayer time it was decided to drill another 10 feet. At 290 feet, the bit tapped into an underground river, and clean water began flowing.
Later, Pastor Luke told us that the village elders were telling townspeople we would not find water, since we had not sacrificed chickens to the ancestral spirits. But that night, our team washed away the grime and dirt from the dusty, hot day in a shower of sparkling clean water pumped from the new well.
God’s Power Revealed in Koana
In the Marka village of Koana Pastor Josue leads a small band of believers. He told us about the government medical clinic’s well, about 200 hundred yards from the small mud-brick Alliance chapel.
Oily and reddish in color, the well water at the clinic has been unusable. It also stains anything with which it comes in contact.
Our team members, Pastor Josue, and local believers gathered to pray before beginning to drill, asking the Lord again to provide a clean source of water. When the drill bit had descended to between 50 to 75 feet, oily, scarlet-hued water spewed up.
When we hit bedrock, the water began to clear. At 120 feet, we struck an aquifer that released a geyser of fresh water that gushed from an artesian well. A water-flow rate of up to 10,000 gallons per-hour testified of God’s power to local believers and doubting villagers.
Later that day, Pastor Josue shared how villagers said the chapel would now be filled with believers. People who had heard the gospel would be inspired to follow Jesus because they had witnessed this visible manifestation of God’s power and grace.
Intercede on behalf of the Burkinabé who witnessed God’s love through the installation of clean-water wells in their villages. Pray for receptive hearts as the pastors continue to share about the living water.
The prayers of God’s people strengthen Alliance personnel to live and serve across the globe. Using the weekly Alliance Prayer Requests, join our worldwide family in praying for them.
How do we coordinate these trips? Envision facilitates the logistics for short-term teams from U.S. congregations to come here and help dig the wells, using equipment Friends in Action International provides. Alliance international workers, like me, coordinate the trips with Alliance churches located in some of the least-reached areas of the country.
Check out how your church can engage in short-term team partnerships with Alliance workers on the field.