Someone asked while we were on home assignment, what physical obstacle are you dreading going back to in Mozambique. For me (Michael), it’s water – or the lack thereof. Sure enough, when we got back the water situation needed attention.
We have three sources: rain (we have two more months of dry season), city pipe (in three weeks it has been turned on for just a few hours) and a well. I opted against a rain dance, prayed for the Lord to allow city officials to open the valve to our area a little more often and went to work on the one source I could do something about.
As some of you may remember, our well is by no means a modern bore hole. This is a hand dug well roughly 5 meters deep with a cement cover on top with a hole in the middle for the bucket. There is just enough room for me to squeeze through the bucket hole and then reach my dangling legs out to find the little cutouts that I use for a ladder to descend into the hot, humid, oxygen deprived depths.
When I got to the bottom, sure enough it was dry but at least the reason was apparent. While we were gone the sides at the very bottom had caved in when the water got up over the casing blocks that I had installed. Then when the water table went back down… no water.
I went to work packing the dirt and sand that had fallen into the bottom back into the cavity where it had come from. Thankfully right above the area that had caved in is a layer of soft rock that provides protection from potentially life threatening cave in. (I work hard to make this point clear to my wife.) After two part days of digging and replacing old casing blocks that had disintegrated and installing a lot more new casing blocks it’s back in business. Praise the Lord that even though it has been an abnormally dry year we still have about a foot and a half of water at the bottom. It is dirty but I hope in a week or so it will be clean enough to at least wash clothes. With that and what’s left in our tank that will Lord willing get a little more from the city water line, we hope to make it through to the end of December when the rains should start. Then we should have plenty.
This physical obstacle has a strong parallel in the spiritual realm. Even in the city where “churches” abound, many are spiritually dry. Pray for people have the courage to dig down, find the lies that cover and dirty the water. Pray for missionary teams that are working in areas where there are no “wells.” Pray that the people of Mozambique will find and drink the life-giving water of truth.