shared by Cara Murray
The people of Alelesi seem to be doing well. When we first visited this community about 200 people had returned to the villages from the IDP camps (internally displaced persons), and now that number is up to almost 600. It is a great sign that people are leaving the camps, rebuilding their homes and starting to plant crops again.
We heard from many people how the bibles and borehole (well) have really impacted the community. We heard stories from the community how many people have started going to church.
We also heard how the overall health of the community has improved drastically because of the borehole. They said that there are very few cases of diarrhea and skin rashes. They also said that they are able to accomplish a lot more during their days since they spend less time fetching water.
One woman shared that her health has drastically improved with the new borehole because she is living with AIDS and previously the long distance to fetch water would make her extremely tired and she would have stop several times on the long trip. She is so grateful that with the clean water and easy access she is in much better health. We also heard from many people that abuse in the homes has decreased since the time it takes to fetch water has decreased. The several hours that it would take before would cause fights in the homes between husbands and wives and there would also be fights at the boreholes due to the amount of people waiting to get water.
We gave the community the bicycle that was donated and they were very excited. They are going to elect a committee to oversee the maintenance and operations of the bike. Since the bike will be available for the entire community to rent at a very small cost, the committee will oversee the scheduling and collection of money. We told the community that the purpose of the bike was 1) for emergency situations when somebody got sick and needed to go to the clinic and 2) for people to rent, as they need to go to town for the markets to either sell their crops or buy supplies. They were very receptive to this and the committee will put together rules and regulations for the use of the bicycle.
The borehole committee has collected over 300,000 shillings ($130) from monthly collections from the community and is lending out the money to the community, as they need it. Many people have been able to take their sick children to the clinic with this money and some have started small businesses.
In both villages, Alelesi and Appeleun, I shared on Exodus 14 and 16, the story of how God freed the Israelites out of Egypt, led them across the Red Sea and how He provided for them time and time again. However, as we see through Exodus the Israelites continue to doubt God and at times wish they had never left Egypt. I talked about how many people give their life to Christ but when difficult times come they quickly doubt God and resort to complaining and other ways of dealing with the situation. Witchcraft and worship of ancestral spirits and culture are very common in Africa and I encouraged them to look at the Israelites and check their hearts. We don’t want a faith that is an inch deep but a faith that goes deep. We want to put all of our faith and trust in God alone.
We ought to not judge the Israelites but take the time to check our faith and assess if we turn to God during the tough times or if we complain and resort to other means. The people of both Alelesi and Appeleun spent upwards of 40 years living in camps because of the violence and attacks from the Karamonjog people. Despite the current difficult situations I encouraged them to look back on how God has provided for them and turn to Him in their current situations. Many people are returning back to the villages, starting gardens and living without fear, the very thing they wanted for years. God provided a borehole in each community that has allowed them to build homes and has improved their health drastically.
I also talked about how God provided for the Israelites out of love. He did not provide for them out of obligation or because the Israelites deserved it, he did it because he loved them. We also looked at Luke 12 about how God provides for the ravens and how much more God loves us than birds.
A message we continue to share when we go to these villages is that we come out of love and we feel the most important thing we can bring is the Word of God. We continue to encourage them to come together as a community and worship, pray and read the Word together.
“The world is lost because the world participated in the fall. That is what distinguishes the world from creation, which is good. ‘World’ is the biblical word for fallen creation- spoiled in its nature, its structures, and its systems by involvement with the fall of its caretaker- man. Thus there is no changing the world by humanitarian ideals or rational principles, because they originate in the world’s equally spoiled caretaker. Only God can change the world by a gracious recreation of the caretaker, followed by the restoration of the world (Romans 8:19-22)”.~ unknown