–by Brittany Kroeze
People often ask how we choose where to drill a well; the truth is every well is different. The story of this particular well starts back in 2008 when a young church leader from the neighboring village of Badd asked the chief of Sissis (a young man named Emmanuel) for permission to start meeting with the children. With the chief’s blessing, Aida and other leaders starting meeting with the children once a week. They sang, played games and told Bible stories. All the while, the adults where watching, taking note of the change they were seeing in their children, and wondering what made Aida and her friends so different. After six months of observing, the adults started coming, asking questions, wanting to know more of what it was that was being taught to their children. And so, through the children, parents were now coming to know Christ and eager to have their own time of learning.
A few years later, the Church of Badd was able to distribute shoeboxes filled with gifts at Christmas and further show the love of God to these children who have so little.
But they wanted to do more for the adults. How could they show them that not only does Christ love and care about them, but so does His body, the church? There is something truly beautiful about seeing the church reach out and say, “We love you. We care about your needs and we want to do our part to help.” A very obvious need they saw was a lack of clean water. And so the idea of drilling a well for this village was brought to our attention.
Our local leaders began the process of preparing to drill a well. It takes some time, as we try to make sure, first and foremost, that we have the chief’s approval and that the entire community is in agreement on where the well should be drilled. We then have to assemble the team and service all the equipment. Once the prep work is done, the team determines a time when they can drill.
We were blessed to have a group of young men here to help when we were drilling the well. Together with the young men from the US and our drilling team, we successfully drilled a well to 60 feet. Praise be to God! In just two days, the well was drilled and the hand pump installed. This is a true victory and the result of much prayer! We give God all the glory for the work being done in this village.
As you have read, the work in Sissis did not just happen overnight. This has been a year’s worth of work and an investment by the local Church, West Africa field, and the global church. In the end, it is worth it all, and more. The village now has around 18 adult believers and many children seeking the Lord. The local leaders of Badd still visit Sissis and help with church services and Bible Studies. So, it is by the grace of God that this village now has not only clean water, but the Living water!
There is not yet an established church in the village, but we pray that through the contacts already made and the many developing relationships we will soon see a new church developed. It is also our hope and prayer to see more of our local leaders receive and accept the call to ministry that they might rise up and take more permanent roles in the church.
We are excited about our Joseph Project, the Church of the Nazarene’s very own five acre farm. The farm will not only serve in assisting our local leaders in developing new and better agricultural skills, but also serve as a ministry training center, a place for these leaders to receive the discipleship and training they need to effectively serve the church and also provide for their families. But that is another story for another time.
When you turn on your tap water, or are sitting in church, please remember the village of Sissis. Remember to pray for the people, that they will continue to seek out and drink of the Living water, that the church body will continue to grow, and leaders would, indeed, rise up and take on the task of establishing “Sissis Church of the Nazarene”.