Joel accepts a generous gift from a villager in the field.

The dictionary definition of perspicuity is simply to be clear or clarity as to explanation. This was the topic of one of our four man Zambia team’s daily devotions at 5:30 a.m. It helped me to put into perspective why this was my 7th trip with MMM, my 8th to East Africa.

This year’s trip took me back 50 years to my freshman philosophy 101 class. One of our required readings was Viktor E. Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”

I think I answered it- to make a difference

Team one installed 1,352 shallow water wells effectively providing an estimated 202,800 villagers in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia with clean water. My partner and I did 108 of those wells.

Every well installation dedication includes a segment asking the villagers for their thoughts on their new well. Without fail each response includes these three comments.

(1) An expression of profound gratitude and thankfulness (they had been drinking from watering holes shared with their animals, causing frequent sickness and disease and now for the first time in their lives they have a source of clean safe water)

(2) Pronouncement of a blessing upon us (Asking God to bless MMM, the volunteers and America for our efforts to provide clean water.)

(3) A request that we continue to provide shallow wells to their neighbors, to those in need. (Sharing their good fortune with others is an essential tenet of their culture)

I often tell first time volunteers that this trip will be a life changing experience, which invariably they confirm afterwards. It has been for me. Every year, it renews my soul.

Every well has inscribed on it the words “Glory to God” in English and in their native language. We tell the villagers that each time they use this well to give thanks, for water is life. Every well dedication starts with an opening prayer. Although it is given in their native tongue, you have no uncertainty that they are fully aware of God’s presence in their lives and their dependency on him. It makes you want to be more like them.

If you want to make a difference- come to Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, I guarantee you won’t return unfulfilled.