Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Provide Water in Kalembe

St. Teresa of Avila, a Carmelite nun who lived in Spain during the sixteenth century, had a great love for God and sincerely appreciated the fullness of the life she had been given. Perhaps one of the things that people most recognized and appreciated about her, though, was her ability to cut through the clutter of language. She was able to speak directly to the heart of what was important. She impressed upon those she knew that life with God is as critical as water is to our survival as human beings.


The tree that is beside running water is fresher and gives more fruit.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Dear John,

St. Teresa of Avila, a Carmelite nun who lived in Spain during the sixteenth century, had a great love for God and sincerely appreciated the fullness of the life she had been given. Perhaps one of the things that people most recognized and appreciated about her, though, was her ability to cut through the clutter of language. She was able to speak directly to the heart of what was important. She impressed upon those she knew that life with God is as critical as water is to our survival as human beings.

It is a powerful comparison. But for missionaries living in rural regions of Africa, it is a comparison that has a stronger meaning than most of us living in the United States could really appreciate. Please let me explain.

Recently I received a letter from Fr. Joseph Ukut, a missionary who lives and works in Malawi, in southeastern Africa. Fr. Joseph has recently been asked to help establish a new mission in a very remote region of in the town of Kalembe.

“The new mission is situated in a rural area of the district of Kasungu, formerly part of the vast mission in Chiphaso,” Fr. Joseph writes. “Due to the vastness of the mission territory, it has been difficult for the priests to effectively reach out the people who live in the most remote areas. In the past, it might take 6 months to a year before one of the missionaries would be able to get around to the different communities. Now, the new mission is being established about 47km from Chiphaso and its last outstation, Mpopa, is about 87km away. Still remote, but not as much as before.”

“One of the biggest challenges the people living here face,” he continues, “is gaining access to drinkable water. People rely on watering holes which are shared by the animals or creeks and streams which are shared by animals as well. Not only is it extremely risky to drink from these — because of the diseases which can be contracted from the water — but all of these sources disappear whenever the dry season comes or if there is a drought.”

“Since the mission here is new, nothing has been here before — so we need to construct buildings. We are in the process of building a house where our missionaries will live. The people in the village are helping with construction — providing labor and whatever materials they can. But we also need to drill a well for a reliable source of drinking water.”

“I have contacted a company which will come out to drill the well. We will also need to purchase submersible pumps; plumbing supplies such as pipes, valves, and faucets; tanks for water storage — the list goes on. The end result, though, will not only be water for the missionaries, but a reliable source of clean water for the community as well.”

“Water is life,” Fr. Joseph concludes. “Having water will not only be of great help to the missionaries and those living within the mission territory — but the presence of missionaries will improve the pastoral life of the people and their faith will also grow. Can you help us?”

My friend, whenever I write to you about the work of missionaries, it can be easy to forget that sometimes they arrive in places where nothing has existed before — that they must start from scratch. That’s what Fr. Joseph and the people of Kasungu are facing. Is there some way you can help?

I am praying that we can raise at least $42,000 to help provide Fr. Joseph’s mission with the new borehole well it needs as well as help with the other water concerns facing our other missions throughout Africa. You have been so kind and caring before — can our missionaries count on you once more? Please know that whatever amount you send — whether it is a lot or a modest amount — the most important thing is that you at least give something so that we can continue reaching out to those in need. God bless you for your continued generosity.