Involvement in working with wells began inauspiciously in 2007 when it was learned that a couple of wells were not pumping water. When asked about why the wells were not working it was learned that several new pipes were needed. Pipes were available for purchase in Lusaka. It was agreed to provide the funds and the wells were repaired.
Later it was learned that other wells were also not producing water. This was/is an ongoing problem. The Siavonga council is responsible for the upkeep of the district’s wells. They were/are limited by a lack of materials. It was originally believed that materials were not available. Then it waslearned materials were available but the council, at that time, was waiting for a gift of pipes etc. from the UN. Without the donation they would be required to purchase the materials and funds were not readily available.
At that time Charles was purchasing some bulk medications and vitamins from Healing Hands International. During a phone conversation about the medicines he was told that they were beginning to look and plan to work with water. After talking with the individual who would be heading it, Joseph Smith, a proposal was submitted for funds to purchase the materials for repairing wells in Zambia. The funding was approved and during Charles’ trip in 2009 the first wells in the Siavonga District were repaired. Through the generous support of Healing Hands International, other interested congregations, and donors 85 wells have been repaired since 2009. Thirteen new wells have been drilled. To date this program has provided safe drinking water to over 106,000 Zambians. This effort in this area has opened to door to establish several new congregations. Invitations have been received from to at least 9 different villages inviting us to “bring the church” to the village. Plans are to follow up on these requests as preparations can be made for beginning a new congregation.
Working with well repair and drilling has also accrued a significant amount of good will among the village leaders, the area chiefs and the district council. The Zambian government in Lusaka is also aware of the efforts of this mission.