Joy is the best word I can use to summarize the past few days here in Malawi. With every visit to a new village, we are welcomed with open arms and thankful hearts for our partnership. It’s so powerful to see first hand how our churches back home in America have impacted the Sakata Region VIP works in. We visited the Libwalo well this week with our Friendship Trip team providing us with a clear understanding of how clean water can dramatically alter life. Prior to constructing this well, villagers had to walk miles just to collect water. Now, the local well allows children to spend time in school rather than gathering water for the household. The accessibility of this well also gives women the extra time to focus on other daily activities to help bring in an income to support their families.
Once we arrived at the Libwalo village and piled out of the Land Cruiser, a group of women joyfully greeted us by singing and dancing. They eagerly invited us to see their well that Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church from Texas provided funding for in 2015. The villagers happily shared their success stories by explaining how the community is experiencing less sickness overall by drinking clean water and traveling less to collect it. Everyone continued to show their appreciation through songs, dancing and clapping during our time there. Our Canyon Creek members on our Friendship Trip team; Megan Sanders, Wende Liebert, Kent McCully and Bart Hubbard, all had a chance to pump the well to celebrate the life-changing difference this project is making.
As we began to wrap up the visit, the villagers walked us over to our Land Cruiser singing and dancing once again. Liz encouraged me to go dance with the group before we left. As I slowly approached them, a woman grabbed my hands while everyone crowded around me celebrating their answered prayers for clean water. The village’s love for VIP was strongly translated as they graciously showed their appreciation to each one of us. Seeing the well in person opened my eyes to the impact clean water has not only on their health but everyday lifestyle as well. The generosity of Canyon Creek Church was a direct answer to prayer in this village.