In order to be in Gondor we need to do some kind of work. In order to have a visa in this Country we need to have a reason other than, 'we want to tell everyone about Jesus.' I do not make it a secret that I love Jesus and tell others about Him but they still wont give me a visa to do it. For that reason we do humanitarian work. Of course, we love doing humanitarian work. Jesus has called us to love people and in loving them we find that they need two things: a relationship with Him and a standard of living that will enable them to survive. We live in a very poor Country that needs multitudes of things. I hope we choose the things we do by listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit.
In order to hear His voice we pay attention to several things. One, we help people with some of their deepest felt needs. People may need sanitation but if they don't know this then there is no sense in providing it. We go to a community and asked them what they need rather than provide for them what is convenient for us to do. In following this line we have been asked repeatedly for fresh drinking water. Many people- possibly several hundred villages- need clean drinking water and are suffering greatly with water borne illnesses as a result of not having access to any. Two, we need a project that gives us sustained access. Many teams have come in and dropped off a load of much needed aid, prayed a quick prayer, and then moved on. This is somewhat helpful... sometimes, but a viable church is not likely to result from this. Too often people do aid work which makes them feel better and successful and humanitarian and even spiritual but if we measure success by lives impacted then these kinds of fly by night projects don't add up to much. We need relationship. So, digging multiple wells in villages has been very good for us. We have spent all summer in a remote village in the south, going down, spending the night, serving and being served. It has provided good ground for great conversation and the opportunity to share much love.
We have banged down the pipe for three wells so far. They are all in the lower end of the village. We need a way to get to the upper end but we need to beat the 25 feet of solid rock in order to get to the good water there. Its tough but that is ok, the longer it takes the more time we have to share.
This summer also gave me a great opportunity to get to know Beren a little better. He is the son of a co-laborer on the field who works with a different organization and the young man is courting my daughter Luthien. The two of them have just started their second year in University- he at Loyola and she at Liberty- and they came out to Gondor for the summer. He volunteered to work on our project and I put him to the test by getting his hands dirty digging deep useless holes in the ground while sharing Jesus in a remote village. He worked hard and was a good traveling companion. It tested his character and mine to work hard in 115 degree heat for six days only to abandon the hole as dry. Several holes were dug and abandoned before water was struck and he remained cheerful, prayerful, and a positive witness through out. He will need such tenacity if he wants to court my Luthien and as much patient endurance as is available through our blessed Holy Spirit if they one day marry.
We did find water, Beren with a lot of work and patience. And with equal work and more patience we may one day see the time when I walk her down an isle to meet you.