Well drilling brings fresh water, gospel message

By Holly Beech, news@africanazarene.org

 

A boy from Ndofane, Senegal, drinks from a new well drilled by EmmanuWell Ministries Africa.
(Photos: Rev. Tim Eby)
 
 

SENEGAL - A team of well drillers led by Rev. Tim Eby, the Nazarene Church's district superintendent in Senegal, has touched the lives of thousands of people in West Africa by bringing a fresh water source and the message of Jesus Christ to thirsty villages. 

 

The well-drilling ministry, EmmanuWell Ministries Africa, has drilled about 12 wells in Senegal over the past two years. The wells are funded by individual donors, churches from various denominations, and The Christian Broadcasting Network.

 

"This is a region of the world that only receives a very small percentage of rain every year. We're lucky to get two months of rain out the year," Rev. Eby said. "Most of the villages either have a poor source of water or no source. They're traveling long distances just to get water to survive on."

 

Community members in Sangé, Senegal,
line up to fill buckets at the well.
 
In 2004, only 64 percent of rural Senegalese had access to safe drinking water, according to the United Nations Development Programme. Several organizations have been working to bring that number up.  

 

The change that fresh water brings to a community is enormous, Eby said. People contract fewer illnesses; young girls' days are no longer consumed by hours-long treks to retrieve water; the well-being of the village dramatically increases, he said.

 

But for Eby and his crew, the wells are about more than just physical health. The group is also concerned about the thirst in people's souls.

 

"The power of the wells is that bringing fresh water brings you the chance to tell somebody about the Living Water. And ultimately their thirst, which is physical and very real, pales in comparison to their spiritual thirst," Eby said. "They live in fear and darkness. ... We offer hope and light in a place that is full of darkness and hopelessness."

 

"It's pretty hard to preach the Gospel without meeting the need. And the physical and the spiritual need are both there, so you can't meet one without the other."
-Rev. Tim Eby

Eby told a story of when the crew was drilling in a village where witchcraft was prevalent. It was the first time they were using a large, high-tech well-drilling machine called the Hydra-Fab. Each time the crew drilled, something went wrong. Chains broke. Sand caved in and buried the drill. Time and time again, the group drilled unsuccessfully. 

 

"It was one of the greatest spiritual battles that I had ever had," Eby said.

 

A grandmother in the village asked them to stop drilling, saying every time they did, she heard screaming.

 

"I told the team, 'This machine is not making any noise. It's the fact that we're drilling in the devil's back yard,'" Eby said. "'If we succeed here, then we're going to prove that Christ is more powerful than Satan's attacks.'"

 

On the seventh try, the group succeeded. The grandmother eventually came to the Christian leaders, who were also reaching out to the children in the village, and said, "I need to be delivered," according to Eby. They prayed for her for several hours until she testified about having freedom from the voices that had haunted her.

 

"You look at this lady's face, and she is totally different," Eby said. "From her victory, we had 27 people come to Christ and were baptized, and we started a church there."

 

Rev. Tim Eby (right) prays with village members in
Ndofane, Senegal, after the installation of a well.
 

The village of about 2,000 people gave the Nazarene Church land for a building, Eby said. He hopes that a new building will be paid for through an agricultural project that the church is launching in Senegal called the Joseph Project.

 

"We're hoping that out of the agriculture project, when we sell the crops we'll have enough money to build a church," he said. "We can't wait for money to come from the outside to build a local church. We have to get the resources from within."

 

The work of EmmanuWell is expanding from Senegal to other parts of West Africa to improve access to water and share the gospel message.  

 

"It's pretty hard to preach the Gospel without meeting the need. And the physical and the spiritual need are both there, so you can't meet one without the other," Eby said. "Our goal is not just to put a well in an area but to help the community to be transformed physically and spiritually. And with that testimony, village after village, we hope to win them for Christ."

The chief of the Ndofane village smiles as
water pours from the new well.
 

 

ABOUT THE WELLS

 

Well depth: 18 to 30 meters (60 to 100 feet)

Typical cost to drill a well:

$2,000, which covers materials (roughly $500), transport and wages. That does not include the initial investment in well-drilling equipment, which can cost upwards of $15,000. The Hydra-Fab drilling machine was donated to EmmanuWell Ministries by an American pastor after he visited West Africa. The wells are funded by private donations and partnerships with churches and with The Christian Broadcasting Network. A shallower well dug with a hand system costs about $500.
Contact: To learn more, email Rev. Tim Eby.

 

 

NEW WELL OPENS DOOR FOR NEW CHURCH
Submitted by Rev. Daniel Gomis, Field Strategy Coordinator, Africa West Field

 

Rev. Joseph Tiendrebeogo, the district superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene in Burkina Faso, shares the following story of a new well's impact:

 

"In the village of Vipalogo, located 50 kilometers from Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso in the Sahel zone, we dug a well and a church was planted. A member of the neighboring village of Lougsi expressed the need of clean water in their community. This village had a reputation of being very resistant to the Gospel, and there was no church despite many JESUS Film showings and outreaches. 

 

However, the promise of clean water opened their heart, and they asked us to send a pastor. One week later, Pastor Nikiema was sent and a church of 17 members was started. Praise be to the Lord."

 

The Lord is "doing amazing things" in DRC churches
By Gavin Fothergill, a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo

A Sunday service in the village of Kalima, DRC. (Photos: Gavin Fothergill)

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the province of Maniema in the interior of the DR Congo. I didn't really know what to expect there, as they received their last visitor more than five years ago. Knowing that the province is particularly isolated, I expected the churches there to be small and struggling. I had seen the limited report from the area and expected that there would not be a lot to see. I am pleased to say that the Lord is doing amazing things through the Church of the Nazarene in Kindu and the surrounding villages of Maniema.
    
"The churches are actively involved in the schools and raising up the next generation of faithful Nazarenes."

The first thing that struck me there was the warm reception by the pastors and many church members at the airport. Directly from there, we began visiting the Nazarene churches and schools in the city of Kindu. They have five schools in the small city and use them as a real ministry tool in their communities. The churches are actively involved in the schools and raising up the next generation of faithful Nazarenes. 

After staying the night and crossing the Congo River in the morning, we traveled to visit the churches and schools in the surround village areas. In all, we visited 20 schools and churches as a part of our 550 km round trip.

Being located in relatively small villages, I expected the churches to be equally small. But instead, we found churches of 100 people and up almost everywhere we went, including a couple that were approaching 200 in attendance. Not only was the number of churches and the number of their ministries a shock to me, but I was also pleasantly surprised by the fact that most of these churches were well built. This is shocking to me because I know that they don't, and have never, received money from an outside source.  Instead, each church has agricultural projects that pay for their building and new churches to be planted in the future. 

A Nazarene church in DRC uses this large fish pond to raise money for the church and others nearby.

"Each church has agricultural projects that pay for their building and new churches to be planted in the future." 
I spent a good deal of time with the evangelism team that uses The JESUS Film and plants churches throughout the area.  They were so motivated for reaching the next areas and often talked about their goals and vision to reach all of the province for Christ. Each pastor that I was able to speak with repeated the same sentiment.

The Church of the Nazarene in Maniema is not content where they are; they are reaching new areas and making new disciples. Each church is involved with planting the next church in the next village. The have continued so regularly that they have made inroads into other provinces where there is currently no work of the Church of the Nazarene.

In all, I can say that it was a huge blessing to see what God is doing through Nazarenes in the province of Maniema. There is such a spirit of unity and peace amongst the members and pastors there, with a real burden for the lost. I know that God will continue to bless them because of their faithfulness and devotion to the ministry. For me, they are a reminder of what we need to do and an inspiration to do so.

 
Free VBS tools available online

Many Nazarene churches plan to host The God of the Underdogs Vacation Bible School this year, including about 20 churches in Kenya and one in Uganda. The program teaches kids about five "underdogs" from the Old Testament: Joseph, Esther, David, Hannah and Daniel. If you would like to host this VBS in your area, click below to explore free resources online. Resources are also available in Spanish.

 
NCM sponsorship program provides food, education to thousands of children
Children attend school at a Child Development Center at Soche Church of the Nazarene in Blantrye, Malawi. (Photos by Holly Beech)

The child sponsorship program with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries-Africa supports almost 2,300 children across the continent. Donations of $25 a month boost a child's access to education, food and loving mentorship.

 

"The goal is to make them Christ-like, to teach them the Word of God, and to meet their needs physically," said Pastor Immanuel Themuka of Soche Church of the Nazarene in Blantyre, Malawi. The church opened a Child Development Center in July 2014, which serves 25 children ages 3 to 12.  

 

Pastor Immanuel Themuka at Soche Church of the Nazarene.
In the months that the CDC has been open, Themuka said he's seen a difference in the children's lives. Some of the children come from single-parent homes, and the extra support is very important for them, he said. The center helps prepare young children for school, he said, and its presence has led to an increase in Sunday School attendance.  

 

More than 500 children in Africa are on a waiting list for a sponsor, said Rev. Simbarashe Kanenungo, the Child Development Coordinator for NCM-Africa.  

 

Rev. Kanenungo shared details about the child sponsorship program with Out of Africa:

 

How many children are sponsored through NCM, and in how many countries?

Rev. Kanenungo: There are 2,272 kids sponsored by NCM, (including): 

  • 1,212 kids in the child development program in 10 countries. The Child Development Centers in this program are run by local churches.
  • 1,060 kids in the PK (pastors' kids) program in 17 countries. (This program serves pastors' and their families who are in financial need.)

How many children are awaiting a sponsor?

Rev. Kanenungo: More than 500 kids.


Q: How much does it cost the donor each month to sponsor a child?

Rev. Kanenungo: It costs $25 (U.S. dollars) per month to support a child.

 

Q: What does the sponsorship pay for?

Rev. Kanenungo: Sponsorship for pastors' kids support the education of the pastors' children. Sponsorship for CDC covers the food that the children receives, the

school supplies, school fees, etc., depending on the needs of the center.

 

Q: If someone would like to sponsor a child through NCM, where should

they turn?

Rev. Kanenungo: Contact the NCM office, and they will give more information on how to go about it.  

 

Note: Residents of Africa may contact the NCM-Africa office in Johannesburg, and residents of the United States may contact the NCM office in Kansas. Click on the links for details. 

 
"Passing the baton" in Côte d'Ivoire South District
Submitted by Rev. Daniel Gomis, Africa West Field Strategy Coordinator

Rev. Djédjé Yao Clément (left) will pass on the position of Côte d'Ivoire South District superintendent to Rev. André Aimé Maloula (right).

The position of district superintendent in the Côte d'Ivoire South District has changed hands from Rev. Djédjé Yao Clément to Rev. André Aimé Maloula.

Rev. Maloula has been appointed by General Superintendent Dr. Eúgenio Duarte as interim district superintendent for the next two years.

Rev. Djédjé served as D.S. for 12 years. He resigned in order to take an assignment as Area Coordinator of the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry and Mali. He and his wife, Lucie, moved to Bamako, Mali, in March.

Rev. Djédjé started few years ago the work of the Church of the Nazarene in Guinea Conakry, where our first elder was ordained in November 2013.

The Côte d'Ivoire South District is the first French speaking district in West Africa (25 years), and through the years has pioneered the work of the Church of the Nazarene in Burkina Faso and Guinea Conakry.

We rejoice in this example of "passing the baton" (mentoring) between Rev. Djédjé and Rev. Maloula and pray for the Lord to sustain our leaders.

 
PRAYER REQUESTS
  • Please pray for the family of Rev. Daniel Gomis, the Field Strategy Coordinator for the Africa West Field. On Monday, Rev. Gomis' nephew Freddy, a vibrant 11-year-old boy, died suddenly after collapsing at school last month. Freddy was the son of Rev. Gomis' brother, Philip, and Madeline Gomis. Please lift up this family in prayer and ask God for his incomprehensible peace and comfort to surround them and keep them.
  • Pray for God's hand over the well-drilling ministry in Africa. May he continue touch hearts and lives through this effort.
  • Pastors from three Nazarene churches in South Africa passed away in separate incidents last month. Please pray for their churches and families.
ABOUT THE REGION About 
The Nazarene Church is in 42 countries in Africa, with more than 600,000 members in six fields. 

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Holly Beech, editor