On Sunday afternoon we had a lovely rain. It had been raining in the mountains most of the day, and everyone expected the ravines to bring water that afternoon. Manis went down to see if the water had yet reached us and found a steady stream. As he looked on, however, that stream suddenly became a raging torrent of water. He warned some kids to get back from the ravine and headed home. He didn't want to see the destruction he knew might come. With the waterholes already full, that much water rushing into them and alongside them could very well have broken through the sides.
The waterhole area on Sunday, May 7. The area flooded to an extent we've never seen before.
Compare this to the photo below from two weeks ago and you can see the difference.
We were so excited 2 weeks ago to get what we thought was a lot of water!
It was a lot, but nothing like what we saw two days ago.
We dig the waterholes down into the ground, but the dirt that is removed is piled up and pressed down around the perimeter. This exponentially increases the volume of water they can hold, but there is always a risk that those "walls" of earth may not hold. If they were to break, not only would the rush of water be destructive, we would also lose the ability to stock water for the dry times ahead. Praise God with us, so far all of the waterholes have held.
In this video, you can see a large crack in the "wall." It looked like the rushing water
was going to break the wall and take the new fence with it. By God's grace, the wall held.
Several gardens that were in the lower areas along the ravine were washed out. None of them, however, belonged to those in our community. Only our personal garden was flooded.
That little dry path in the middle of this picture used to separate the garden (right) from the waterhole (left). As you can see, the water is at the same level in both.
Pumps have been running constantly to get the water out of the flooded areas and into the gardens. As I write this all the new gardens on the Lemuel campus are being watered.
Lemuel staff watering one of the many new garden plots on the main campus.
The pump pictured above is, even as I type this, pushing the water across the airstrip to the campus. The guys then use pipes to maneuver the water to where it needs to go.
Thank you for praying with us for rain and water. While this was certainly more water than we've ever seen since the waterholes were started, it was beneficial to us in two ways.
First, while the water may have been a little much in some places, it is still wonderful to have it and we are putting it to good use.
Second, this has shown us more clearly what we need to prepare for. When constructing things like waterholes, it is important to have the worst possible scenario in mind - to plan for the most intense possibilities. This gave us a picture of that. We have seen that the walls we have built can hold through a lot of pressure, but that it may be wise to put in extra measures to further strengthen them.