Friday, December 21, 2012

The Perfect Gift

At this time last year, Ryan and I were preparing for our first African adventure together.  We had put together our flight schedules, packing lists, domestic travel arrangements, and accommodations.  However, we were not quite prepared for the encounters with poverty that we were about to come face-to-face with.  After traveling through Dubai, South Africa, and Swaziland, we finally arrived in Licilo, Mozambique.  We quickly realized that a school, which we had started construction on, was only one item on a long list of basic needs for this community.  They desperately needed access to clean water as well.

Previously, the village had been walking around a mile to fetch dirty, smelly, contaminated water which leads to water-borne illnesses and malnutrition.  To put it into perspective, lets "play pretend" for a minute.  Image that you're at the beach on a hot summer day.  The sand is scorching and you've been sweating all day due to the heat.  Needless to say, you're thirsty.  You hear there's a water fountain nearby, so you start walking. When you finally get there, the water you thought was going to be refreshing, ends up tasting horrible and even makes you sick.  Ridiculous, right? That's exactly what we thought.

Immediately upon returning, we started praying specifically for a well for a few reasons:
  • First: We feel like it is an unnecessary tragedy for people to get sick due a lack of access to clean water, which is a basic need that we take for granted.
  • Second: The school would be incomplete and inefficient without water.
  • Third: Ryan and I are 23 and 22 respectively.  I just graduated from college {Hallelujah!}.  We are certainly not in any financial position to pay for the construction of a well.
 Now, on December 21, 2012, we can confidently say that God is faithful!  We received a donation in October for the entire well project, our partner, Mancoba, bought supplies, construction was started last week, and today the village officially has clean water! YAY! Now, enjoy some pictures.

The well had to be dug by hand and is around 30 meters deep! Those are some brave men, y'all.

In this picture you can see the completed well with the water tank and the completed school in the background.

The women of the village started collecting water immediately.

You can't tell it by their faces, but they're excited - I promise!

Word spreads fast!

Check it out - you can see through the water!

As we enter this Christmas season, it is so easy to get distracted by packed schedules, parties, tacky sweaters, and the "perfect gift."  This is something that I am definitely guilty of.  Let me just encourage you guys... Jesus is better.  His story is SO much better than an iPad (again, guilty). It is better than a fried turkey or cute cards or a game of Dirty Santa.  That's humbling.  God sent His son to be born of ordinary, young, and seemingly unfit parents.  How cool is it that he wants to do great things like that through us? Again, humbling.

A few reminders - we are still accepting applications for the July trip to Mozambique and would love for you to join us!  You can email to request a trip application form or to request more information.  Make sure you "like" our Facebook page for the most recent pictures and updates. Also, our IRS paper work is SO CLOSE to being prepared for filing.  So, that means that in 2013, your donations will be tax deductible! Would you be willing to partner with us in the new year?  We would love to be able to provide more opportunities for this village. 

We want to say a HUGE thanks to all who have prayed along with us, listened to us, and partnered along with us.  Really, we are so thankful for you all.  We hope your holiday season is filled with the hope and joy of Christ!

Peace and Love,
Ryan and Anna Carmichael

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