Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Support the Construction of a Rainwater Harvesting System in Tanzania

There are a lot of references to water throughout the Bible. The above verses are from the Book of Revelation. As I read them, I could not help but think how it might be difficult for many of us — living in modern cities and towns throughout the United States and elsewhere — to understand the full intent of what the writer was trying to convey. After all, we live in times when technology and modern inventions provide water for us at the touch of a finger. Such was not the case in the ancient world.


He will lead them to springs of living water . . . and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Rev. 7:17

Dear Mr. Doe,

There are a lot of references to water throughout the Bible. The above verses are from the Book of Revelation. As I read them, I could not help but think how it might be difficult for many of us — living in modern cities and towns throughout the United States and elsewhere — to understand the full intent of what the writer was trying to convey. After all, we live in times when technology and modern inventions provide water for us at the touch of a finger. Such was not the case in the ancient world.

The people living in biblical times knew the value of water. They knew that without a well or a flowing river or stream, there could be no life. That’s why if a spring of water was discovered in the wilderness — entire villages would be built nearby . . . because everyone wanted to be near the source of life: water. Today, in much of Africa, it’s the same way.

Not long ago, I received a letter from Sr. Florida Kaigalula — a missionary Sister who is living and working in Bukoba,Tanzania — in Eastern Africa.

“Our Sisters operate a nursery and primary school which care for young children,” Sr. Florida writes. The Sisters’ mission is located in the northwestern region of the country. “While we have been able to build several school buildings for the purpose of classrooms, we have been without water and proper sanitation for a very long time. As a result, our Sisters must either fetch water on their own or the people who come here must bring their own water — because we do not have a source of clean water that is available to us.”

“This lack of water,” Sr. Florida continues, “has an incredible impact on the work of our Sisters and the children here in the mission. Imagine the amount of energy that is spent the better part of each day concerned with getting clean water. Additionally, we need to make sure that human waste is not impacting our living environment. Because of this, we have decided to begin constructing a waste water harvesting system as well as build pit latrines for the children, staff and local people to use — so that waste is properly taken care of.”

“The people of the community are more than willing to do whatever it takes to complete the sanitation facilities and center. As a matter of fact, they are already willing to donate sand and other materials for the construction of the pit latrines. We do need help, though, with the construction and materials needed for the rainwater harvesting system.”

“Our plan is to install gutters, downspouts, pipes, valves, faucets, and water storage tanks for the purpose of collecting the rain that falls during the two rainy seasons. Once we have such a system in place, we will be able to store enough clean water so as to have enough for drinking, bathing, and all other necessities.”

“Having a reliable supply of clean water is something that many here have never known. Imagine what a difference it will make for all of us! Is there any way you can help us complete this project?”

My friend, as I mentioned before, many of us who live in the United States or other western countries sometimes cannot fully appreciate what it must be like to live without the easy availability of clean water. Since we often have the best plumbing available, we do not grasp the full impact of what is meant by a “spring of living water!” And for this reason, I am going to ask two things of you.

First, I would invite you to consider the importance of clean water in your own community — and how critical it is that we conserve the water we have. Whether we realize it or not, it helps everyone when we repair dripping faucets, take shorter showers, and run the dishwasher less often. Conserving and not wasting natural resources like water is critical to being a good steward of the world God has given us!

Also, I am praying that you will help us raise at least $47,000 to be used to support the construction of a rainwater harvesting system at Sr. Florida’s mission in Tanzania and to support other clean water projects throughout East Africa. As I have written to you before, any amount you can send will be a blessing — especially to support those who are so urgently needing clean water for their very survival. They have been without water for so very long . . . perhaps through your kindness they can finally get the help they need. God bless you for whatever you can do!