Marion Medical Mission’s 2010 goal was to build 2,500 Shallow Wells in remote African villages providing the extreme poor with a sustainable source of safe drinking water. Construction began September 1 – less than 11 weeks ago. It was a battle between David and Goliath.
In September, Mr. Henry Soko, head of MMM’s Shallow Well pump manufacturing, said: “What we are trying no one else is doing, no one could, no one would even try. It’s impossible.” No one would be so foolish – 2,500 wells built before the rains come in November.
Tragedy struck Marion Medical Mission beyond description and understanding:
- On August 22, 2010, Martin Jay Logan, was killed diving into shallow water on Kentucky Lake. His neck was broken and he died within minutes. He was 36 years old, beautiful, strong, brilliant and loved by so many. He lived the second commandment.
- Nedson Malata, the foundation of the Shallow Well Program in the Synod of Nkhoma Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, died of malaria on July 24, 2010. He was a good friend to many providing 10’s of 1000’s with safe drinking water.
- Migriton Banda, the foundation of the Shallow Well Program in the Mzimba District in Malawi died on October 19, 2010. He was a good friend to many providing 10’s of 1000’s with safe drinking water.
- Rev. Mwasakifwa, Coordinator of the Tanzanian Shallow Well Program, was driving a Shallow Well pickup truck on September 21, 2010, when a 4 year old boy ran out in front the truck and was killed.
The difficulties and obstacles faced by Marion Medical Mission were unrelenting:
- Mr. Mhango, Coordinator of the Shallow Well Program in Zambia, got malaria; Mr. Khosa, Coordinator of the Shallow Well Program in northern Malalwi, got Malaria; Mr. Soko, in charge of our pump manufacturing, got malaria; Jon Hanson, MMM team 2 volunteer, got malaria. Yet, they struggled on.
- Mr. Damalankhunda, Shallow Well Field Officer, was in a motorcycle accident and lost the index finger on his left hand. 2 days later with his hand bandaged up, he was carrying pumps to the pickup truck working to provide his people with safe drinking water.
- There was an acute fuel shortage in Malawi. Diesel fuel had to be brought across the border into Malawi from Zambia and Tanzania.
- The supplier for the galvanized fittings for the shallow well pumps was unable to complete our order. We were out of pumps before MMM’s Team 2 was to arrive from the US. We were short 1400 pumps. The pump fittings arrived and Mr. Soko and the Shallow Well Maintenance people (who are subsistence farmers) worked nonstop making 700 pumps in 2 days providing the pumps needed.
- Three times I decided to shut the Shallow Well Program down and cancel MMM’s Team 2. Three times Mr. Khosa, Coordinator of the Shallow Well Program in northern Malawi, quietly suggested we carry on regardless of the difficulties. Together, MMM teams 1 & 2 along with the Coordinators, Field Officers, Synods, the ELCT Konde Diocese Bishop, church officials, installation supervisors, well builders and village communities, carried the program forward. God again blessed this program carrying all of us.
There were 20 volunteers on MMM’s Team 1. A record 1049 wells were built before MMM’s Team 1 left Africa on October 10th; the same day MMM’s Team 2 arrived.
There were 20 volunteers on MMM’s Team 2. A record 1207 wells were built before MMM’s Team 2 left Africa on October 31, 2010.
Jocelyn and Tom Logan continued working with the Shallow Well Coordinators; Mr. Khosa, Rev. Mwasakifwa, Mr. Mhango and the Field Officers until November 6, installing another 192 pumps bringing the total completed wells to 2,448.
As of November 8 an additional 60 wells were completed and the pumps installed on or before November 11, giving us a total of 2,508 wells in 11 weeks providing 100’s of 1000’s with a sustainable source of safe drinking water from Tanzania to Central Malawi, from Chapata – Lundazi, Zambia to Lake Malawi.
We have been a part of the impossible. We have participated in the miraculous – God has blessed this Program again – let there be no doubt.
Know the battle continues on. We ask you to continue to pray hard often and daily for MMM, the Shallow Well Program and the safety of those struggling to provide the extreme poor with a sustainable source of safe drinking water. We ask you to tell the story, tell the story, and tell the story. Together as God’s people we must press on!!
Join us in the miraculous. A well costs $350 and there are still 771 wells to be funded this year. 771 opportunities to buy a well in honor of someone or give as an alternative Christmas gift. Every $350 donation receives a picture of the village well their funds helped build.