Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Give the Citizens of Nigeria Clean Water to Drink

Here in the United States and other western nations, we see people wasting water every day. Sometimes we just don’t realize how precious water is . . . and although there might be a lot of it, whatever amount we have is limited. Our missionaries in Africa, though, and the people they serve, know the value of water all too well. Nearly every day, they see firsthand the struggle of living with too little water. They see people dehydrated, without enough to drink. They see gardens and small farms turn to dust. They know what it is like to want for water.

“Water is scarce here,” Fr. Albert (a missionary living and working in Nigeria) writes. “The scarcity here is so serious that things have gotten to a critical stage.”


Dear Friend,

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about a movie he had seen. The film focused on the economic collapse that the United States and so many other nations experienced less than a decade ago. One of the film’s main characters was an investment broker — a man who had spent most of his life buying and selling stocks on New York’s Wall Street. The movie told the story of how the man had tried to warn his co-workers about the economic problems that were coming back in 2005 — but no one listened to him.

I’ll have to admit that the movie sounded quite interesting, but what intrigued me most was the end of the story. The investment broker — who had spent his entire career looking at the value of companies, or precious metals like gold and silver — these days spends his time investing in only one thing: water. Why? Because he knows that in the end, people will only value that which they cannot live without . . . and one of the basic necessities of life is water. No one can live without it!

What an amazing story and a valuable lesson for us to remember.

Here in the United States and other western nations, we see people wasting water every day. Sprinklers run hours on end so that lawns can be greener. People wash their cars — allowing garden hoses to run continuously. Sometimes we just don’t realize how precious water is . . . and although there might be a lot of it, whatever amount we have is limited.

Our missionaries in Africa, though, and the people they serve, know the value of water all too well. Nearly every day, they see firsthand the struggle of living with too little water. They see people dehydrated, without enough to drink. They see gardens and small farms turn to dust. They know what it is like to want for water.

Recently, I received a letter from Fr. Albert Obembe — a missionary who is living and working in the town of Iree, in the Osun region of Nigeria, in West Africa. “Water is scarce here,” Fr. Albert writes. “The scarcity here is so serious that things have gotten to a critical stage.”

“We had been working on constructing buildings for our parish,” he continues, “but we have come to the realization that we need to focus on water first. Without it, nothing else matters.”

“Our hope is to drill a borehole well for the parish and for those living in the community. They, too, struggle with not having enough water to drink. Borehole wells go deep into the ground and are the best way for tapping into a reliable source of safe drinking water. We need all of the help that we can get. The situation is urgent!

In his letter, Fr. Albert included a list of the items that will be needed for the drilling of the well and the construction of a water-delivery system. The list includes water storage tanks, pipes, plumbing connections and fixtures, cement, a pump, and other materials. The list goes on. “We have asked our people to give all that can to support the project,” he concludes, “but they have nothing to give other than their hard work. They are so poor. Can you help us?”

My friend, as you and I work together to help Fr. Albert and the people in his mission, I would encourage you to also look for ways to help ensure that our own water supply is cared for in a responsible manner. Perhaps you can make sure that there’s a full load of dishes in the dishwasher before running it, or watering your lawn for a few minutes in the early evening rather than in the heat of the day. The little steps we take together can make a significant difference in water conservation.

Additionally, while I am hoping that we can raise at least $42,500 to support Fr. Albert’s mission in Nigeria (and our other water projects in East and West Africa) please know that any amount you can send will help those who desperately need clean water. As I have said so many times before, it is your generosity that enables us to continue serving those in need. Because of you, we can reach out to those who are suffering. God bless you for all that you do!