I’ve been back from Africa now for just over a week, and I love sharing about the trip over and over with friends and family, including our DO family. Last Saturday we had a large gathering of DO volunteers in Columbus, where I was able to share what God is doing in Africa through us. It was a very encouraging time, and ended with prayer. We prayed not only for the villagers getting the LifePumps, but also for Amelia who is writing the Pumps & Systems article, for our driver in Malawi who is having family challenges, for the shipment getting cleared in Ethiopia, and so on.
People are always amazed at the stories—especially stories about how marriages are staying intact because of the LifePump.
This trip has made me examine my own life. I’ve realized how different our family would be if my wife, Mary Hannah, had to leave for 12 hours to go get water every day. I can also imagine my own kids, 2 and 5, in ragged clothes with a very different future ahead, just because they were born in an African village. Perhaps they would be like those kids I saw in Africa, 12 or 13 years old, who already have their own kids. We were told that in many cases parents encourage marriage at such an early age so that they have fewer mouths to feed. What parent in the U.S. has ever had to think of that?
One of the most impactful parts of this last trip—my 4th to Africa now—is how I’ve seen the transformation of villages over time. Over the course of 1.5 years, I’ve watched one particular village in Malawi transformed because of the LifePump, and it continues. It gives me goosebumps every time I talk about how many lives are radically improved in the name of Christ. It also makes me realize the tremendous responsibility that we have in Design Outreach—to ensure that the LifePump is available now, and in the future.
It is a great privilege to represent the DO team and the many sacrifices that have made this all possible. But this is about more than that. When I see the people—especially kids in the villages—it’s personal. It’s no longer about a pump that we’re designing to “last longer and go deeper.” It’s people’s lives that we’re talking about; people like Vickness, who tells us that there is now a school built for the little kids in Malawi. It’s about stories like those we heard in Zambia; because of the LifePump, large gardens are being grown at schools—which means many more kids will stay in school because food is a primary reason they attend. This sort of thing affects generations to come, and can give them a fighting chance to break the poverty cycle. What a wonderful privilege and deep responsibility God has given DO to carry out!
I wish I could take everyone to Africa to see, smell, and feel what I’ve gotten to experience. To date, there are over 2,000 people who are being directly impacted by the LifePump, and we are just getting started! To continue strong, it takes all of us—prayer warriors, volunteers, and donors. Thank you and God Bless!