A year ago this month our team was hoping to finish drilling a well in our village. We had high hopes for supplying clean drinking water for the Nahuatl that didn’t pan out how we had hoped. The drill bit broke off and couldn’t be repaired. It was decided that a bigger rig would be needed and a bigger rig can’t make it up here on the rough roads.
Read what my co-worker Pete has to say about the rest of the water story below:
“We were disappointed. We wondered what God had in mind, freshly aware that his plans were not our own. Our Nahuatl neighbors had urged us to leave offerings for the local patron spirit to ensure success. We had assured them our trust was in God, and we wondered what our trust looked like to them.
As time went on, though, our disappointment began to fade. The piles of supplies in my office were a reminder, and occasionally the people would ask if there was any news on the project. All I could tell them was that it was over, and I had no idea what God had in store. Sometimes it’s easy to be honest.
Months later, the government came in and put in a new waterline to everyone’s home in the village. They pulled off a water project bigger and better than the one we had planned, even if ours would have been clean water.
Then last fall, Avelino, whose family lives two miles south of the main village, asked if there would be a way to get water to his home. The government water project hadn’t reached his or his extended families’ homes. He wanted to know if a solar pump would work. I told him I had the one from the failed well project sitting in my office.
Within weeks a plan began to form. In late June, just three weeks ago, a fellow NTM missionary came out and helped install the new water system for Avelino’s family – five homes in all.
As we stood next to the water tank, the water overflowed, and I got a little choked up. I’m not much for waterworks, but seeing the kids play with the water, knowing what it meant for the women who used to carry buckets of water on their heads a quarter-mile uphill…it got to me.
Or maybe what got to me was the fact that God’s plan was better. If we had been successful in the village, the government water project would have, in a sense, made our project redundant. But the failure of our project, and God’s timing, allowed us to serve where it was most needed and reach those unreached by the new waterline. We had our plans, and He had his. We strove to make our plan work, and when it failed, His plan was waiting. And it was better.
It’s not an unfamiliar story. Many of us spend our lives striving, following our own plans, attempting to earn a salvation that can’t be earned. Our striving is never enough. Some might see God as cruel for dismissing our attempts to please Him. But I find mercy in His accepting me regardless of what I deserve, on the basis of His grace and mercy, because of His Son.
Knowing that by His plan, He brought water to those it did not reach, gives me hope that likewise, He will soon bring the light of the gospel to those it has yet to reach.”