September 16th is the departure date for the 2016 Marion Medical Mission Shallow Well trip. I have reflections and comments. This will be my fifth trip to Africa with Marion Medical Mission. I will once again be representing the First Presbyterian Church in Thomasville, GA. There are an additional three volunteers from Thomasville going, two from First Presbyterian. This year I will be a volunteer for teams one & two. I will be in Africa for 50 days.
We will be a part of installing 2,500 shallow wells in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. Each well requires 10 bags of Portland cement. Each bag weighs 50 kilos (110 pounds). Marion Medical Mission’s African employees deliver the cement to each village chosen for a well. The African employees deliver 2,750,000 pounds of cement in pickup trucks to villages with goat paths for roads. There are well locations where the villagers carry the cement long distances because the trucks can’t drive to the site.
Marion Medical Mission has a singleness of purpose. The purpose is to Share the Love of Christ and provide extremely poor Africans with a clean, sustainable source of water. The volunteers work hand in hand with the Africans to complete the wells. Each day begins at sunrise and ends at dusk. There are six days of work and one day of rest when we attend church services. The routine is three weeks of long work days. The difficult task for the volunteers is driving. The driving is exhausting. The trip is not one where Christian coloring books and Crayola’s are given out in a church decorated with rolls of crepe paper. This trip is one that makes a significant difference in the quality of life for those being served for the Glory of God. Evangelism comes in many forms and efforts. Sharing the Love of Christ by providing clean water is at the top of my bucket list!
In chapter 58:6-11, Isaiah tells us:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”
~Bill Krech, MMM Volunteer