Greetings from Mindoro!
It's been a while since I've been home to write to you. The news here is
that the well is dead. Of all the problems that I have faced here since
starting to work for the Tawbuid, next to convincing my people to evangelize
their fellow Tawbuid, the next most impossible problem I've faced is water.
Since I arrived here I have been struggling to procure a source of reliable,
clean water. It started with PVC hose and a decrepit water system built by
the Catholic church years ago. The case was hopeless, and so I tried to
capture a spring and install a new system. The owner of the spring and the
village captain would not permit the project.
Next I tried hiring a well driller. The driller only got 20 feet, hit our
quartz and marble rocks and gave up (and cheated my out of several thousand
pesos) Next I tried digging a well. After several attempts, and one near
fatality, I stopped the digging. Next I tried pounding a well (a common
technique here). It was a kind of desperate last attempt, doomed before it
Then last year, glory of glories, a well drill capable of drilling through
hard rocks was donated. We hired a local operator to guide us through our
first well and teach us, and then got started. We drilled for over a month.
During that month we ran into more problems than I knew could be invented by
any intelligent mind. Finally we hit water. The operator installed the
casing and pump, and we started using the well. To spare you a lot of
technical well drilling details, the system broke in less than a week.
This happened just as I was getting ready to attend Part 2 Training last
March, and then return to the States for furlough. When I got back, one of
my first projects was to fix the well. We found that the operator that we
had hired had installed a number of components wrongly (or at least not the
way we do wells in the States). We pulled his equipment out, and started
opening the borehole again.
Again we ran into more problems that I thought possible for a human to
experience. Again, we drilled for a month. When we were within one day of
finishing the project, the end of our bit broke off inside the casing in
such a way that we cannot possibly use the hole or casing anymore.
I talked to my supervisor and asked his advice. He asked me to try one more
time. He also asked me to enlist your help. I admit that I am no expert
well driller. But even when we did have an expert here, it was painfully
clear that the devil did NOT want this project to succeed. In fact, he has
made every attempt to get clean reliable water a miserable failure. I can't
fathom why this is such a big deal to him. It clearly is, though, so we
must not back down or give in.
Next week (the last week of November) we plan to begin drilling again. We
will start a brand new borehole. In the last couple of weeks of down time I
have procured some equipment that hopefully will help prevent much of the
trouble that we previously had. But I know that without God's protection
the devil can still find a way to stop this project from succeeding. I
don't know if we can afford, in either time or money, to do this again.
I want to ask for your help. Please, will you pray that this next attempt
at drilling a well will succeed, according to God's will. Please pray for
Satan to be bound, and for nothing to interfere. Please pray for our
safety, and for the equipment to not break. And most of all, please pray
for God to be glorified in this work.