Provide a Well in Nigeria
Just the other day, I read the above verse from the Gospel of St. John. It comes from the story of when our Lord Jesus met a Samaritan woman who came to a well. While he was speaking to her, Jesus proclaimed that He is the “Living Water.” It is a marvelous story for all of us — especially as we enter the Easter Season. But to those who realize how extremely precious and valuable water is — this story takes on special meaning
The water I give them will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Dear Mr. Doe,
Just the other day, I read the above verse from the Gospel of St. John. It comes from the story of when our Lord Jesus met a Samaritan woman who came to a well. While he was speaking to her, Jesus proclaimed that He is the “Living Water.” It is a marvelous story for all of us — especially as we enter the Easter Season. But to those who realize how extremely precious and valuable water is — this story takes on special meaning.
Recently I received a letter from Fr. Anthony Kass — a missionary who is living and working in Nigeria in West Africa. Fr. Anthony is serving in the Vuroro Nissa community in one of the most rural communities in Nigeria. It is a very sparsely populated region and, as Fr. Anthony writes, “the people there survive by basic subsistence farming . . . ,” growing whatever they can in order to survive.
“The people here lack basic amenities,” his letter begins, “but the most critical amenity is water. Water is essential to the health of the people, but they have always lacked enough clean water for drinking, bathing, washing clothes — even watering their subsistence gardens.”
“There are sources of water around — shallow puddles that might be filled after the seasonal rains or stagnant creek beds . . . but the water there is filled with bacteria and parasites. Women and children travel long distances to fetch water during the dry season, but most of the time they fetch the water from doubtable sources. The result is water borne diseases which most of the time claim precious lives. Needless to say, drinking from these sources is dangerous.”
“Too many people are willing to risk it though — because they are dying of thirst.”
“The Catholic clergy in Kontagora have become aware of the suffering of the people of the
Vuroro Nissa — and their urgent need for water. Each of us is aware that something must be done. That is why the church has donated a piece of land on which a we can begin drilling a borehole well so that the people will have a source of clean water. But getting the land is just the beginning.”
“Now that we have a piece of land for drilling, we will also need to hire a company to bring in machinery which can drill deep enough to access the aquifer.. If we can drill a borehole deep enough, then we can tap in to the natural pure water table that is far below the surface. If we can do that what a difference it would make to all of us living in this area!”
“For the people in this region, life would be transformed! There would be clean water for cooking, for drinking, for washing.
Is there some way you can help us?”
My friend, as I read Fr. Anthony’s letter, I could not help but think about the woman in St. John’s Gospel. Just like the people of Vuroro Nissa in that very remote region of West Africa, she too knew how essential water is for life!
In his letter, Fr. Anthony provides a breakdown of the project and the equipment that will be needed for drilling the well. The list includes: a geophysical survey; the actual drilling of the borehole; installing a submersible pump; installing a solar connection; miscellaneous plumbing work; erecting water storage tanks — and an assortment of other items. I really do not know how much you can send, but my hope is that we can raise at least $42,500 for the people of Fr. Anthony’s mission and water projects in our other missions in both East and West Africa. Can you please reach out in some way?
I do hope you know how much I sincerely appreciate your kindness, generosity and caring for the poor — especially men, women and children who (as Fr. Anthony explained in his letter) men, women and children “who are dying of thirst.” Thank you for whatever you can send.