I am reminded of how much the cause of missions is indebted to many who are never themselves permitted to see the mission field—many, it may be, who are unable to give largely of their substance, and who will not be a little surprised in the Great Day to see how much the work has been advanced by their love, their sympathy, and their prayers.
- Hudson Taylor
Greetings in Christ
Hudson Taylor began his missionary career to China in the 1850's. The sacrifice required to leave his native England and spend his life bringing the Gospel to these unreached people is beyond my comprehension. The story of his life is a challenge to any believer in Christ. While the sacrifice I make is minute compared to that of Taylor's, his insight, noted above, is just as true today as it was when he penned it. God's mission goes forward with the participation of all His people who choose to make it a priority.
Rain & The Cistern Project
April began dry here. We had gotten a nice 2½" of rain on March 1 but then nothing for the rest of the month, in fact nothing until April 10. Sorry to begin the newsletter talking about the weather, but it is a really big deal here, especially when part of our work here involves building cisterns and distributing food trees, which I will get to shortly. We ended April, well, not dry. The total rain for the month was 10". That is a very big deal for an area that depends on adequate rain to grow food and benefits from being able to store rainwater. It is a very promising start to the rainy season. For this, we thank our Father.
We began a 25-cistern project on March 31. As the big rains of April came (6½" of the 10" was during the week of April 20th), 8 of the cisterns were cured enough that the rain guttering was piped into them and the rain received was more than enough to fill them. It is just impossible to overstate the positive change this brings to a family who otherwise has to walk miles to carry water, at 8 pounds per gallon, home for daily use.
Bear with me while I throw some numbers at you. I want your attention so I will try not to bore you. On average every inch of rain here puts 350 gallons of water into one of the cisterns we have built. With the more than 420 cisterns the Lord has enabled us to build so far, each inch amounts to 147,000 gallons of water that otherwise would not have been potable. These 420 cisterns filled to capacity, as during the week of April 20th, hold a total of over 595,000 gallons of water. So what? Well that conservatively computes to 100,000 saved trips to carry water home (5 gallons—40 pounds at a time, up steep grades) from just one week's worth of rain. So what? No one can live without water. Imagine having to carry every bit of water to meet the needs of your household, uphill, 5 gallons at a time, hours every day, day after day. Can you imagine it? Can you imagine the relief of not having to do so?
One of the houses where the cistern was completed in April
Here are some of the folks who will benefit from this cistern, many thousands of trips to the water source saved.
Here is another number: the cisterns we build cost less than 50 cents per gallon of capacity, a capacity that is filled and used over and over again, for decades. Tangible love in Jesus name. Here is another number: by the age of five, children here are often carrying water home, at least a gallon or two at a time. By 8 or 9 they might be carrying 5 gallons, probably every day, maybe multiple times per day. Here is another number: a young child in a family who is able to get a cistern in their yard will be saved easily over 12,000 trips carrying water during their young life. This not only saves them from the grinding physical demand but allows more time for study, working in a garden, other home chores, time with friends and family… It seems like the right thing to do, we are glad to be able to do it. We do it one cistern at a time, in partnership with whoever the Lord leads to become involved in it with us.
Lespwa & Bibles
I had a great experience on April 26 when I attended the Bible Study led by our friend Ascilio, using The Hope materials. We facilitate this study, but I usually don't attend as we feel it is important that the study be unmistakably Haitian led. I attended this one as I had a challenge to put before the 14 who were there. The fact that they were there was a pretty big deal since, as I said above, this is the week we got 6½" of rain. That translates to a lot of mud to slog through to get to the study. Anyway, the challenge was this, I wanted to give them each a Bible that was not for them to keep but to pass on to someone who did not have one and who would use it. Further, I challenged them that they be responsible to share the knowledge they are getting from attending the study with that person. The goal: disciple making. They accepted the challenge.
Class: Ascilio is becoming quite the teacher. It is great to have an upright, hardworking man leading the study.
Taking notes: the interest in the study is exciting. This could go a long way toward impacting this area for Jesus.
It was just fantastic to see the growth and ease in Ascilio's teaching ability. It was exciting to see the back and forth between him and the group and the interaction of the group amongst themselves. This week's study focused on the faith of Abraham and Sarah (and Isaac, of course). Much was made of the amount of faith necessary to trust God to such an extent as these great saints as he compared it to how we need to daily trust Him in our lives. During the study they broke out in Trust and Obey. Nice. Solid Bible teaching, this is a big deal. Getting Bibles into the hands and homes of those who will use them is something we love to be involved in. The folks we get Bibles from have had to increase their price to us from $5 to $7.50. We trust God will continue to touch lives through this ministry.
Since I have written this mostly in the first person I will sign:
Saved to serve,
Dan Beardsley, for all of us here in Bombardopolis
P.S. I didn't get to the great news about the food trees, that will have to wait until next month--- there will be even more to report then and Steve will get to do it.
Just one life will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.
Charles Thomas Studd
Wait, there's more
Photos by Dan
Steve and Betsy gave out about 65 trees in April, just in time for the rain. Praise God.
Dan's known for making a big splash!
Flora & fauna get a wash - oh, no wait, that's Dan!
Please visit the website at haitihospital.org during this month for updates.
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