Years of working in developing countries has shown that grants for aid can actually turn out to be destructive rather than helpful. One of the great problems is the development of dependency that requires recurring aid support year after year. In addition, all over the world there are projects that have been abandoned because of a lack of maintenance or skills to operate equipment. One of the factors that has contributed to that is that so many people live in extreme poverty and are struggling every day just to survive. People who live close to the survival line usually do not have the energy for envisioning and dreaming for new projects, nor do they have a paradigm to address issues like maintenance or depreciation. Sometimes, tragically, farmers even need to feed their seed corn to their families. That means that not only is the next harvest eliminated, but the potential for future harvest is compromised.
Ekklesia is combating this with a strategy to provide training to help people to have long term vision and develop a mindset of planning for the future. While we are dependent on the Lord and never completely self-sufficient, we can learn ways to design and operate projects in a way that is economically sustainable.
Woven into the training, has to be prayer ministry and spiritual warfare to tear down the influence of strongholds that exist in the way people live and think. It is wonderful when the Lord reveals His truth to people so that they become truly free. It is exactly what Jesus promised, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!”
For many years, Bishop's Well has been providing wells and purification systems to provide clean water to children and families in Africa. In 2012, a well was drilled at Jehovah Jira Children’s Home in Nairobi. The sale of water from this well will sustain the 150 children indefinitely!
Another well in Oloosirkon is providing the first clean water that the village has ever had! In addition, the diocese of Sydney, Australia has donated a water truck to help transport the clean water for sale, tremendously expanding the income and sustainability of the project. Even better, the income from selling water to businesses will all go back into a revolving loan fund to drill more wells.
The bore-hole in Oloosirkon is a special project. Not only is it the first pure water that has ever been produced in the village, it is also supplying enough water to have some to sell. The proceeds from the sale of the water are designed to go back into the drilling program to help other areas which do not have the capacity to raise the money to drill for themselves. Oloosirkon is another one of Ekklesia’s “sustainable projects,” that keeps expanding the circle of ministry and care for people the longer it operates. Rather than constantly being aid dependent, these projects operate and share blessing to others.
St. Nicholas Orphanage
One of the most exciting development projects we have done has been the water purification and bottling facility at St. Nicholas Children’s Home (Orphanage). The water facility is used as an educational tool with the teens who can also work in short shifts. At this point, they produce enough bottled water that it can be sold and the proceeds can provide all the support needed for the orphanage. In the pictures at the top of the page, you can see our friends Archbishop Ben Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria and Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya. The water bottles in the background are “Hekima Water” (Hekima means “wisdom” in Swahili) that the teens at St. Nicholas’ bottled to sell at the GAFCON 2 conference.
High Capacity pump
Jehovah Jireh Orphanage
On the eastern edge of Nairobi in an area called Kaiyoli, the Jehovah Jireh Children’s Home houses 50-75 children. Now a well with a projected yield has been drilled. When the high volume pump is installed, the orphanage will be able to sell water and will become financially self supporting!
Boreholes It is not a simple matter to drill bore holes in Africa! There are all kinds of engineering reports that are needed to determine where we should drill; different materials have to be used in the varying soils of Kenya making the drilling process complex. Usually, the bore holes are not in places with regular power from an electric company. We have to make arrangements for a diesel or solar powered pump. The more capacity that is needed, the more expensive the pump; and the more complex the installation. The photo below is of our drilling rig operating in a rural area that is desperate for water. With clean water only 600 feet below the surface, imagine the burden of having to draw water from a stream or pond (probably not clean water), and then walk several miles home carrying heavy water in a plastic can or bucket.
Lake Malawi is the second largest lake in Africa, and one of the deepest in the world. Even so, there was very little fishing going on. With a grant for nets and boats, a wonderful fishing venture was launched, through Ekklesia. You can see the enthusiasm from these new fishermen who are able for the first time to “launch out into the deep.” Sharing their faith as they fish and as they sell their catch, they are both fishermen and fishers of men.
Kasese is the provincial capital in Uganda. The small city sits at the base of the Rwenzori Mountains that separate Uganda from the Congo. Saturday, August 1, 1998 was anything but normal as the whole town was waiting to hear the first voice of a new arrival. With the words, “This is the inaugural broadcast of South Rwenzori Messiah Radio,” the project which had been more than two years in the making was on the air! Messiah Radio was Ekklesia’s first development project. The station is licensed commercially to the Diocese of South Rwenzori. It not only provides Christian programming to the region, but the advertising revenue supports 8 local diocesan health clinics.