Postcards from Africa

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Dear DO partner,

The last few days in Malawi and Zambia have been great – in Malawi we’ve witnessed the installation of 2 new LifePumps (in Mtenje and Chikwandawala villages), provided further Training of Trainers, started setting up our Malawi LifePump warehouse, and met with the Bwaila Rotary Club. In Zambia met with the local government and the NGO Living Water International.

In Mtenje, the community of nearly 2000 people were fetching water from an open well and a nearby river. The local government identified this as a high-risk area and asked that we install a LifePump as soon as possible. Previously there was another handpump but it kept breaking down due to overuse/vandalism, and so a LifePump was requested due to its reputation of being very long lasting. We arrived with the warmest greetings and celebration. This always makes me more nervous as we don’t want to disappoint people if anything goes wrong. There were a few hundred people gathered to hear from our team and a local pastor who shared about God’s love. We used the opportunity of installing the LifePump to train several trainees as part of our on-going Training the Trainer program. Everything went smoothly except it started to rain and we saw lightening in the background. We played by little league baseball rules since we’re handling 9 feet long pipes up in the air. With much prayer we continued after some time and were able to finish the installation. It got dark quickly as the final parts were assembled and the celebration was amazing. So much singing and dancing. We can see with the LifePumpLink that this LifePump was used 12.5 hours the day after installation. We interviewed several people including two girls about 8 years old who were recently hospitalized with dysentery. Another couple girls had diarrhea disease – common problems with the community. The water they were using was very contaminated and now they have hope and a future.

In Chikwandawala, the community received a new LifePump and they were also very excited. There were opening ceremonies including a local pastor and traditional dancing. The community took us to where they fetched water at a nearby river. Very sadly the day before there was a funeral for a girl that was attacked by a crocodile while getting water. We are so thankful that the new LifePump will help prevent this from happening in the future. What we’re doing is very important and saving lives.

Yesterday our team attended church with Dickson and then traveled across the border to Chipata, Zambia where we’re exploring the opening of a satellite office in Zambia. We have LifePumps spread across Zambia and there is growing interest for more. We are in process of completing the international NGO paperwork for the Zambia office. Today we met with the Chipata city council and were welcomed warmly. Chipata is just across the border from Malawi and strategically located near the Malawi Field Office (and warehouse) as well as centrally located in Zambia where LifePumps are installed. The Town Clerk (a man named Wisdom) and others were very positive about LifePump after I gave a presentation to about 20 members of the council. Wisdom compared the LifePump to buying Land Cruisers in Zambia (which are very popular) due to being long lasting and reliable. He was advocating that Chipata should invest in high quality pumps that are long lasting and cheaper in the long run. Also at the meeting was a named Victor, a program director from Living Water International, who is opening a new office in Chipata. We agreed to partner with Living Water in Zambia by donating a LifePump that will act as a demonstration for the area. Leading the meeting was a man named Moonga, who we first met last year at our national level Training the Trainer session in Lusaka. He is a fantastic advocate for LifePump as he’s seen firsthand the benefits.

Tomorrow we’re heading back to Malawi to continue checking on LifePumps and setting up the office and warehouse. We’re stopping by two LifePumps on the way that have experimental handles and one where the LifePumpLink needs a battery change. So far 100% of our LifePumps in Malawi and Zambia are being used without fail, praise the Lord!

I’ve attached some pictures from our trip – to help give a glance into life in Malawi and Zambia. It’s been incredible seeing the growth in just the last year in these countries – despite COVID-19. The best defense against COVID-19 here is handwashing, and this requires a sustainable supply of safe water. With LifePumps thousands of people are being protected. I look forward to sharing so much more when we return. With your partnership we’re making such an amazing difference in so many lives. People are hearing the Gospel and trust is being built. What you’re doing in your prayers, time, and financial support is helping to make all of this possible. I appreciate your partnership in the Gospel and it’s a privilege to report back about what God is doing through us.

Thank you and God bless,

Greg

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