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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dancing For Joy

Mary Kay writes...

Last weekend, I went to Lawra to watch a borehole being drilled. The water is for the Lawra Integrated Health Project, run by the Methodist Church Ghana. This program started as a nutrition and feeding center for malnourished children and pregnant/nursing mothers. As the program grew, and those in charge could see the needs around them, a general health care clinic was started, then an HIV/AIDS clinic and counseling center, and finally an orphanage. While the program has been in operation for many years, they have never had a reliable source of potable water.

When I first visited in March, the clinic staff was fetching water from the river. They did have one connection to city water, but this was a problem because they never knew when the water would be turned on and for how long. Some days, the city water flowed only 10 minutes for them, some days not at all. (One of my US water engineering magazines recently carried an pipe manufacturer’s advertisement featuring a dry faucet with the headline “What if you turned on the tap and nothing came out?” This reminded us just how crazy that would have seemed just last year, while it is very much part of our life here in Africa.)

A group of churches in Georgia, with a heart for Ghana and the orphans at Lawra, generously raised the $6700 needed to drill a borehole for the clinic. I arranged for a driller to put in the borehole, and last weekend, it was installed. The borehole is 63 meters deep and is producing 36 liters of water per minute. This will be enough to serve all the clinic’s needs for years to come. Praise God for his provision of water!

I was privileged to be present for part of the drilling and installation of the borehole, though I was not able to be there the entire time. Seeing the joy on everyone’s face as the well was going in was wonderful.

The children were so cute. The clinic staff had set up a bench where the children could watch, but be out of harm’s way. They sat there, fascinated, for two days watching their borehole being drilled. Big grins were on all their faces!

The best part was the dancing, though. The diesel engine on the drill rig had a definite rhythm to it, not unlike the native drums these children are used to hearing. So, at one point, they got up and danced! Danced for joy at the gift of water – hope for the future. And Marjorie, the clinic’s director, and I danced, too. It was a moment of grace and joy in the midst of struggles and adversity.

“Sing to the Lord a new song…Let them praise His Name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.” Psalm 149:1,3