Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cistern #2 Nears Completion...Blessed Water!!!

February 15, 2009

Good Sunday Morning Everyone,
It is the day after St. Valentine’s Day and I am writing to you from Kigali, Rwanda. I have come to have two days of weekend with a friend whom I met some weeks ago. She and I are like sisters already. Her name is Venny Umulikanwa. She and I have had many similar life circumstances in marriage, children, hobbies, love of God, and work and also we are just one year apart in age so you can see how easy it is for use to connect and enjoy company together. She has been a nurse for many years, but has gone on to become a doctor and I went on to become a pastor or is it missionary…yet to be determined??? And we both live out our love of God in our work.

The love of God is one of the wonderful things we bring into our celebration of Valentine’s Day and now today I can sit to write to you of the love expressed in the building of rainwater cisterns for the Centre de Sante of Rugari.

We have now finished the construction to cover the second cistern and will wait the required three weeks before we remove the forms and let it stand on its own. Oh I wish some of my construction friends like Jeff Schlukebier and Blair McCaskell could come to see what we are doing. It would be good to have their expertise to reassure me.

Here is Cistern #2 getting off the ground; basic foundation work.

We are confident that the plan is working, but I just think they could help us improve even more and there is always so much improvement to be made here. And for me that is one of the satisfying things of working here, you can really see when you are doing something that can make a difference in peoples lives.

This photo looking across at cistern #1 reminds us of what we are working toward for cistern #2!!!

As many of you already know we are still waiting for the funds from other fundraising efforts to finish paying for the second cistern. I actually borrowed money in the certain hope and faith that the funds would be coming in. And so it is being worked out, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in St. Joseph, Illinois is working on this fund raising in the next couple of months.

I like this look at Cistern #2 just beginning with Cistern #1 across the way completed.

For sure all the materials are here and in one month time both cisterns will function at full capacity. We praise God for the effort of his love that has been made to shine through these two cisterns and the communities of St. John Lutheran Church, St. Anne Catholic Community, and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

This is the work down in the bowels of a rainwater cistern, cleaning, leveling, pouring cement. Then it will be putting a finishing coat of cement up on the walls, work to do yet.

I have to get a shot of some of my favorite things; those who know me well know that my favorite store is a hardware store where I can gaze in longing at all the fine tools I might someday possess!!

This is how we pour cement in DR CONGO; manpower we have plenty of.

This view of the work on Cistern #2 is framed through the doorway of the new toilets and showers that have built for patient use. Don't let the word shower confuse you, this is a place where they carry there water to and do a sponge bath at best. Also the toilets are pit toilets with a septic tank. A step in the right direction but we have a way to go until we have the best toilet systems to use here. Slowly, slowly things are improving.

Evening was fast approaching when they started the last pour to place the concrete lid on Cistern #2, but the workers were many and they stayed until all was finished.

Finishing touches in the dark; you will have to wait until my next visit to get the daylight photo of the fnished product. We have more to do in the three weeks of waiting. Now they will weld, paint, and hang the gutters. Then connect piping and fittings. After three weeks the form supports will be removed and Cistern #2 will receive the finishing touches inside and then we will have water flowing at RUGARI DISPENSARY!!!
Yours in the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,