It is seven a.m. Monday morning, March 10, 2014. I tune into the noises around me. There are 15 young and enthusiastic college men and women from Bozeman Montana sitting on the floor of our, usually quiet, living room, eating breakfast and laughing and chatting together excitedly about their experiences of sleeping on the hard wooden floor of our old house and all the other strange sights and sounds that surround them here in BYT. There is the wailing of a small baby in the clinic as I give him a nebulizer breathing treatment to help relieve his asthma. Below in the village I hear the terrorized screams of a pig being slaughtered for a wedding feast that will take place over the next three days. And there is heavy drum beating music that they think will set the mood for the feast. People have come from a far village to take part in this feast and I can hear their loud talking. Above all these noises is spread a serene deep blue velvet sky with the peaceful, lingering, outline of a full moon. I marvel to myself at how, no matter what the ambitions of man are, no matter how many people, what the deadlines are, or how pressed and hurried things get, there sits a God above, controlling all things in His calm eternity. I take His hand and resolve to follow His lead and trust in His providence for all my needs.
“Above the distractions of the earth He sits enthroned; all things are open to His divine survey; and from His great and calm eternity He orders that which His providence sees best.”
From Sunday through Friday March 10 through 14, five ADRA workers and the 15 Americans worked, digging a pipeline from the water source 2 kilometers up the mountain, to the water tanks, then branching off to our house, the school, and in the other direction it goes throughout the entire village. The villagers helped. Even 10 of the bigger boys from the school marched out in a row, hoes over their shoulders and helped dig. The work went fast because there was so many of them, working in a team. They all lined up, each one digging their 3 foot space in front of them and then they all moved down to the next section.
DeGua Mo, the cook from Sunshine Orchard volunteered to come and do the cooking for this large group. What a blessing! ChaGooGoo, a Thai teacher and B’NayHtu, a tenth grade student, came to help. It was school break and a perfect time for them to come! Do you see God’s providence at work here!
Much of my time was spent treating the sick because at that time there were several babies suffering with asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. Most of the patients, however, came from the wedding feast – just as I expected! The groom was from TeeWaGlow village some distance away. It seems I got to meet everyone in that entire village over those three days, because they all complained of stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, a direct result of pig and alcohol!
By Friday morning the work was completed. Three concrete pads were set for the three levels of tanks. One large blue tank at the top directs the water to the filter on the next level and from there the 6 large blue tanks are filled that send the water to all of us. I am so happy and so thankful to God for all the people who made this system reality. It was so much fun to get to know all the distinct personalities of each American worker, so different, yet working together so well.
ADRA called us together Saturday night to thank everyone for their hard work. They said that we were very lucky, to have such a nice system. It was far larger and better than the others they had done. The filter makes the water good to drink right out of the tap! WaSueTah was jealous. To me I knew it was not just luck, Oh no. The Lord answered our prayers, no doubt about it. First, the project had been dropped almost a year ago because there was no funding. But with continued prayer there came a large donation one month later that covered the whole cost! I also heard that this is the last project ADRA will do. God had fit us in right on time. His providence at work again!
God has cared for every detail of this week. At the beginning our water ran out. We were all bathing in the river, but we had 10 people living in our house and no water for cooking or for the toilets. That night we went to bed and prayed about it. In the morning our tank was half full!! This lasted just long enough for the big new water to arrive!! “God in His calm eternity ordered that which His providence saw best!”
Pastor Allan Newbold is an SDA college campus counselor, who organized this group from Bozeman university. He knows how to contact the person in Washington who donated the large amount that made this project possible. I was able to send a personal letter of thanks to him through Pastor Newbold.
Dear donor, If you read this post, please know how many people you have made happy and helped!! We praise the Lord for you because you responded to the call of the Holy Spirit who impressed your heart in answer to our prayers. Thank-you and great is your reward in heaven!
By the time we took this last photo of the entire group on the last day, we felt sad. It is so surprising that after just one week being with total strangers, you already love them and want the best for their lives, and your heart is sad and empty at their departure.
As the last good-byes are said and the four ADRA trucks roll out, I already miss the college students that I had come to know. I take a long look at the deep blue sky and whisper, Thank you dear Lord, I am following Your lead, and trusting in Your providence. My hand is still in Yours. You are always beside me!”