A Day of Rest
Judith’s youngest brother died a couple of days ago. Charles and Judith went to Chilanga today for the funeral. So I had an easy day. Mostly it was spent relaxing and proofing a copy Historical Christian Evidences by Ed Wharton. I obtained permission to produce a limited number for use here in Zambia. It is all done but I have not had a chance to proof it. So, today that is what I have been doing.
Tomorrow we will have services here in Siavonga. Monday we will repair a well at Chief Simamba’s palace and then visit the village of Chitumbi where we hope to plant a church later in the week. We will be doing the preliminary contact for that effort. We have been told that there are 30+ individuals who are interested in the church. We will find out and look for a time when they can gather.
The men of the Central church in Lusaka used Siavonga for a men’s retreat on Friday evening and Saturday. They remained for services on Sunday and left after lunch. They added some really strong bass to the song service. It was good to meet some of the brethren from that congregation.
The local attendance was down a bit. We are not sure why. Some were sick and several were traveling. All in all it was a good gathering and fellowship
That evening Charles gathered some of the young people together at his house. We needed to collate the 3 pages of the tract by Joe Barnett, ‘The Churches of Christ: Who are these people?’ It has been translated into Tonga. I think there were about 5000 copies. It took about 3 hours to do it but it was done. The young people (mostly girls) sang the whole time.
We will distribute some among the interested in Chitumbi when we go there tomorrow.
3 Wells in one day
Our original plan for today was to do one well. That has changed now to 3 wells. 2 are in the area of Chief Simamba’s palace. And the other is several kilometers away.
We arrived at the first well (Simamba A) at about the time we planned. The thing is to take the pump cylinder apart and look at the insides. It had already been taken apart and the gaskets etc. needed to be replaced. Those were replaced but when it was put back together it leaked at the bottom. Time was spent adjusting the tightness. Then we replaced the bottom portion…still leaking. Then we replaced the cylinder body…still leaking. After more than an hour we do not know why it is still leaking. Last effort…bring out a new cylinder…still leaking. Eventually we got it to a tolerable level and started putting the well back together.
Something you will often see in some areas near wells is that people are allowed to plant a small garden. Gardens require water on a regular basis and cannot be left to rains. This is especially true since there are no rains between the rainy seasons. Fresh vegetables are valuable on two levels. First it will provide fresh vegetables for the family. Second it is a source of income as people from town will gladly purchase vegetables from the country. The prices are better and they are much more likely to be fresh.
It took much longer than we wanted but the well was finally pumping water again.
As soon as it was nearly finished we moved over to the second well (called Simamba B) to begin working.
This well went smoothly until we ran into a stripped sleeve on the next to the last pipe. It had been on a very long time and took quite a while to get it to break loose so the well could be finished. As soon as we had finished women started coming to draw water. When the well is down it does work a hardship on families.
After a bit to eat (provided by the village) we moved to the last well for the day. This well is at Mwiinga. We have not worked on this one before. It was drilled a bit less than a year ago by the council. This one had not been opened so we needed to remove the pipes and rods before we could assess the problem.
When everything was out we plumbed the well to determine the water level. As it turned out the pump cylinder was barely in the water. After drawing for a time they have to wait for the water to come back up. This is usually a combination of two things. One is a water level that drops as you get further into the dry season. The other is a driller that drills until they hit water and stop and put in the pipes. That almost insures this problem in the dry.
So…we replace the faulty gaskets etc. in the cylinder and add 3 pipes. This should solve the problem. By the time the water is going people have already placed their containers in cue for water.
As we are preparing we are met by a group of several head men who are reporting a serious need with 3 wells in the area. These are not wells on our list but the need is sufficient that they have sought us out.
Charles and I talk a bit. We think we can do them. Can they remove all the pipes and rods before we come? They say they can. At this time we will return to the area on Wednesday and do the wells.
One last task: we need to meet with the head man of Chitumbi about coming to plant a church. It is some distance so off we go. 45 minutes later we are there and have been met. Charles leaves some printed material and we are thinking that if they are in agreement we may return on Thursday. He will confirm it tomorrow.
It has been a long day and I am ready to relax for the evening.
More to come…