Water Filters

While in Congo, I introduced the church to Sawyer water filters, the type I learned about last year during my visit to Tanzania. One of my favorite memories is of meeting with several pastors, showing them how well the filters work. They were all very impressed. I had only four filters with me.

Damiri Paluku, one of the lead pastors in Congo, told me that typhoid fever is a very big problem in the villages. They have no medical care, no doctors or medicine, therefore many, many people die from typhus. These filters removed typhus from the water, and Damiri said that many lives will be saved by giving people clean water.

Through the generous donations of two families in the USA, we recently sent 70 filter kits to Congo. Each kit contains the filter as well as a ‘bucket kit’ that allows the filter to be installed on a bucket. We are also purchasing buckets.

When Damiri learned we’d send 70 filters he wrote, “Wow! Praise God! All our churches will be covered!!! That is like paying thousands of dollars for medical bills! May God bless you very much. This is saving many lives. Continue reading

Water Filters — Good Stuff

On my recent trip to Africa, I learned about a GREAT water filtration system. I think it would be very useful for our friends and partners in Africa and Europe.

The system is very simple and super effective. It is made by Sawyer International. They have several products, and the one we used is a portable filter that will remove dirt, bacteria and other contaminants. Here is a picture of the system the team gave to a Maasai village in Tanzania:

The water in the green bucket came from a pond they use to water their animals. The filter is attached to the grey hose. The water in the blue bucket is drinkable, REALLY good, very pure.

This system will filter water for a village for years. It is not chemical, so it doesn’t stop working or wear out. It needs to be ‘back-flushed’ (a really simple procedure) from time to time. It’s gravity fed, there are no moving parts or power source.

The filter will last 40 years and will filter hundreds of thousands of gallons. Everything fits in a small bag, and the locals need only supply the buckets. I learned how to train people in the use of the filter and have training supplies I can give to churches so they can train people.

At the Maasai village, I experienced a special joy watching the kids drink deeply of clear, fresh water — water that just a few minutes before was undrinkable. The filtered water is more pure than most bottled water in the USA. Reports are coming in of healthier villages now that they have safe water.

You can see a video and more info here. The cost for this system is about $40. I plan to take a few with me to Romania next month, and I’m sure we’ll find homes for many the next time I visit Africa. Let me know if you’d like to sponsor a village!

Uganda, Congo, Tanzania

First, I give thanks to God for His amazing work. He is really great. He can do more than we can ask or imagine, and my time in Africa is a fulfillment of that truth. The Lord promises abundant life to His followers, and He has given me a very full and meaningful life. All the credit goes to Him. He’s a good Dad.

Bible School Graduates, in Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo (I’m in there somewhere)

Two years ago, I posted on Facebook, “I really want to go to Africa.” At the time, I had no idea how or if I would go to Africa. A year later, I was invited to speak at a September seminar in the Democratic Republic of Congo (which I’ll Congo from here on). While in Africa, I also met with Sam Bahiirwa, a Ugandan pastor with whom I had been corresponding. Last week I returned from my second trip, this time visiting Congo, Uganda and Tanzania.

In Congo and Uganda, I was part of a team with Mike Anticoli and Vin Lucien. Mike lived in Congo for several years and planted The Church on the Rock in Butembo. Vin was Mike’s pastor and primary support in the work. The church now has 14 daughter churches in Congo and Uganda.

I met Mike in Russia in 2000; he was a great help to me early on in my time here, and he performed our wedding. Mike’s ministry focuses on three things: Unity among believers, cross-denominationalism, and leading people to a living faith (as opposed to dry religious duty).  Mike is a church planter.

Damiri Paluku, bishop of the churches and a church planter himself, was our guide and translator. He has become a good friend.

We arrived in Entebbe, Uganda and spent a night there before heading to Kasese, where we went on Safari and rested from our travels. The next day we drove into Congo. The road is one of the roughest I’ve experienced. There are practically no paved roads in that part of Congo. The road is also known to be dangerous, with one section going through the bush where militants and bandits attack travelers.

Congo

In Butembo, I taught at a leadership conference, helped in an ordination ceremony, and participated in their Bible School graduation ceremonies. The church had asked me to teach on a Biblical Perspective on Money, and my teaching was both well-received and challenging to the culture. The conference was live on the radio and hundreds of thousands of people heard our sessions. I also spoke on how the Kingdom of God is completely different from the kingdom of this world.  I’ve been asked to continue teaching on money when I return.

The church in Butembo is in a difficult time. Mike Anticoli asked the conferees to list their top three daily anxieties, and the answer was Murder, Rape and Kidnapping. Those are the main daily anxieties.

The pastor of the church, Jeremie, was attacked just a couple of weeks before the conference. Gunmen broke into his house after midnight, demanding money. They knew he is a pastor and assumed he had money. They said they would kill him (“this machete has cut off many heads”). They woke up his children and brought them into the living room. Jeremie was force to lie down with a rifle pointed at his head. His wife begged them not to kill him, and they said, “God will give you another husband”. This with the children watching. This kind of experience is not uncommon. Congo is a hard place.

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