Saturday, September 26, 2009

T- 10 days to the DRC

It's only 10 days until Kip and I begin the first drops of grace trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This comes on the heels of the very productive trip that Diane and Cheryl took to Malawi. This is certainly an exciting time in the early life of drops of grace.

We are very excited about our mission and look forward to telling the stories at the drops of grace banquet on November 20. Details will be posted very soon. This will truly be our coming out party and will demonstrate the how, with the love and support from our friends, family, and partners, and the tools and gifts with which we have been blessed, a few drops can create a ripple effect that will positively impact those who are less fortunate.

Now a quick update about Lodja. We have been visiting either via email or Skype on a regular basis with Paul Law. The story of the Law family is in and of itself incredible. From a missionary assignment in the 1950's for his father Burleigh and mother Virgina, to the tragic loss of his father in 1964, the Law family persevered, returned to the Congo and have been spreading God's love and working for the Congelese people for many years. I can't wait to meet these remarkable people in person.

It's still not entirely clear how drops of grace has come to be a partner with Appointment Congo. What I do know is that obstacles kept being thrown in the way when we were looking in other directions. But every time this relationship was on the table, the signs were there to follow. God has a plan and we finally paid attention.

This great project will rebuild a dam and hydram water system that washed out in the 1970's. Women and children spend hours hauling water up the hill and for about a kilometer twice every day. Not only will this project bring water to the Lodja mission station, it will employ over 30 people for about a year and be an economic benefit to this region.

As soon as Paul received the initial funding, work began clearing the land and dredging the stream bed. The pictures in this blog were taken since the work began the first week of September.

Kip and I will visit the Lodja water site and have the opportunity to assess the project so far, meet and visit with the people in the community, and while there, will be visiting a couple of other sites and assessing the possibility of similar projects along with other possibilities that follow our mission of community development with water, health and hygiene, and education.

We will communicate through this blog and any other way we can while there.

We will keep you posted, No pun intended.

God Bless


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We are helping to put people to work in the DRC!

Water is a necessity for life and the challenge of providing themselves with water is one that the Congolese face everyday. Tradition and experience have shown the Atetela people of Central Congo that healthy living requires them to build their villages on the plateau well above the valleys where the abundant streams flow with life giving water. This means that their water sources are far away from where they live and that the water they use must be carried up steep hills from the valleys below.

Do you know that women and childen spend approximately 4 hours a day hauling water for their daily use - EVERYDAY! They walk about a mile down to the valley fill their 5 gallon containers, which averages 40lbs each, and walk 1 mile back UP the hill to bring the water to their homes.  Can you fathom that? Can you imagine what your day would be like when at any given time during every day you are bringing much needed water to your home?  Think about how many times a day you turn on your faucet in your home, your sprinklers, your washing machine.  And then imagine having to get the water every time to do these every day tasks.  Astounding isn't it?
We found a solution but we need your help.  The Lodja Water Mission project at the Lodja mission of Diengenga will be a restoration of a technology that has been around for generations.  The original hydram water system has been salvaged and with a minimum of parts can be put back into use.  The dam will be built mostly by hand and will require a team of men to work for many months. The salaries of these men will be the primary expense in addition to some parts for the ram and repairs to the distribution system on the station. Just by employing the local people to build the dam we stimulate the whole regions economy. This project alone will be the biggest employer in the area.
It is exciting for the people of Lodja and they are so full of hope and joy for the possibilities that this water project will bring to them and their community for many years to come.
We invite you to follow along as we rebuild this exceptional technology.  We will introduce you to the men who are working to rebuild their community.  You will meet childen and women and read about their lives as this transformation to their community unfolds.  
Please visit often feel free to comment.  We look forward to your partnership on this journey.  
God Bless, 
The drops of grace team
Update on the water project in Lodja……
Dear all,
Just a short update on the progress of the water project in Lodja Africa. We have raised a little money for the down payment for the project and have sent it off. We have received word that Paul Law has received the money and the project is underway!!!!! The timing was perfect; Paul was going to lay some workers off from other projects the same week the money arrived so they can now keep there jobs, God is GOOD!!! Paul tells us that the dam site is cleared and that they are starting the dredging of the stream bed. They need to clear the site and dig out the stream bed to see how much of the original installation can be redeemed. The word is spreading that they may have water again and there is excitement in the air. Many are asking what they can do to help, even the Pastors school students will be working on the project a day or two each week. This is truly going to be a community project. Paul tells us that he met several women on the hill carrying water back up and they spoke with much emotion about the hope that they have that there will once again be water in the village after so many years.
We are in full gear trying to raise all the funds for this project; we can not let the hope of these people fade. We will be having a fundraiser dinner on Nov. 20th so stay tuned for more details on that later.
As the project gets up to speed we are sending our own Phil Dendy and Kip Reuter to the Lodja station on Oct. 6th. They will be going to get a first hand look at the project and report back to us on the 19th. While they are there they will be looking into another project in Wembo Nyama. That is all I have for now, God Bless and thank you all for your support.

Surrendering to “His” call
Dan Rybaski