Last Friday night, we were sitting around under the stars holding our small prayer group meeting at Manis and Judy’s house. Manis began sharing some reflections about God’s faithfulness. “I have been thinking back to the well project,” he said, “and I realize that, truly, God’s thoughts are far higher than ours. He always knows what He is doing.”
Many of you probably remember the project, but here is a brief refresher: When we were drilling for water, we had chosen three locations based on a hydrogeological water study. Despite knowing that projects like this are highly unpredictable—and despite the fact that even our best option wasn’t great, according to the study—we couldn’t help being hopeful. The first location was our best chance. When we didn’t hit water, everyone was disappointed. Did we still believe that God was in control? Yes. But, were we still disappointed? Of course.
Neither option 2 nor option 3 yielded water either. But, the drilling company agreed to drill a fourth location for us—something they usually don’t do. We drilled down on our garden land, and we hit water. It wasn’t the gushing, 100 gallon-per-minute geyser of fresh, sweet water we would have hoped for in our wildest dreams. It was high in TDS (which means it was rather brackish), and it appeared to be an underground pocket. When drought was severe and demand high, it could go dry. Then it would fill back up again. (To be honest, we still haven’t quite figured the pattern out.) Nevertheless, we decided to put a solar pump on the well. (Since then, it has made a big difference at the Lemuel garden. We have had harvests of plantains and other things that have served the people of our community.)
Fast forward three years after the well project:
Haiti as a country is collapsing. There is almost no gas available. No one can get to the cities for supplies—and the cities are running out of supplies anyway. Despite our best efforts, our water trucks are old and beat up by our roads and our context. We cannot maintenance them as we would like, because we cannot get the parts and supplies we need, even in the best of times. We certainly cannot get them now!
“If we had hit water and established a well at the first location,” Manis went on, “we would not even be able to get there to get the water due to the distance. We have no gas, and our trucks are having so many issues.”
Since the gas crisis hit, we haven’t even been able to go to Ti Karenaj, which is where we usually get water. Even if we had gas, their generator has broken down indefinitely.
The well at the Lemuel garden, however, is only down the road. Not only that, but it has the solar pump, so we don’t need gas to run a generator. It has literally been the one source of clean water sustaining us in the past several weeks.
I’m not trying to take difficult and disappointing realities and act like everything is sunshine. The way God works is often very hard for us to understand. But, I know this: God knows what He is doing. His thoughts are too big and high for our understanding. And He takes care of us.
We look back and we see that He is faithful.
And there’s bonus material:
Not long ago, the pump on the garden well shut off, which means the water level is too low even to pump. Manis was at the garden when it happened, “Oh Lord,” he prayed, “this is essentially our only source of clean water right now.” (There is water in the water holes, but we don’t put that in our cisterns.)
Then Manis and Judy’s water ran out. “Go fill the water truck at the garden well,” Manis told Rolmy (the driver).
“But, I don’t think there will be water to pump,” said Rolmy. “Remember, the pump shut off.”
“I know,” said Manis, “Let’s try anyway.”
And the truck was filled! Not only that, but my (Krischelle’s) cistern also went dry the next day, and we were able to get another load of water to fill it.