Saturday, December 13, 2014

Week #54 - Water!

Sunday, April 20, 2014
This has been a very full and busy Easter Sunday. It started with a trip out the back road to the Grafton Branch for Sacrament meeting; from there we drove over to the Polio Camp to visit the church members. A group has been organized for them at the camp to ease the difficulty many have physically trying to get to church in Grafton. About 35 were in attendance on just their second Sunday. It is quite humbling, to say the least, to be among these sweet members, who live in a government designated community for Polio victims so as not to mix/mingle with others.  

We visited the Polio Camp today and the group of members who now meet there. Quiet humbling.

Young girls at the Polio Camp Sunday meeting.

Came home and whipped some food together in preparation to eat dinner with the Ostlers and then view some of April's General Conference. At one point 3 out of the 4 of us were slumbering through Elder L. Tom Perry's talk and of course, Rachelle just had to take a snap of us. We played some cards and had a wonderful Easter Sunday.

Engrossed in General Conference - 3 of us asleep.

Monday, April 21, 2014
The missionary and humanitarian apartments are out of water at Hill Station. I happened to walk into Issa this morning on my walk with Rachelle; he owns the apartments and I told him of the water situation; always some sort of excuse though he never tries to avoid me; he lost one of his phones and because of the holiday today, he will not be able to deliver. We also found out from the missionaries that the pump for getting the water up to the Milla tanks is not working. 

The Seaders (who live in the Hill Station apartment) had called the Ostlers to see if they could do their laundry here today – Rachelle and I get home from our walk and I check the water tanks as per my usual routine every day, and we have approximately 1,500 litres left out of our 12,000 liters supply. Somehow my back up tank of 3,000 liters is completely empty! No laundry at our home today and no delivery until tomorrow because of the holiday and our delivery man's truck is broken down – sheesh! This could be comforting to the Seaders though knowing they are not the only ones without water. The Hill Station apartment has a working well, but it is not on the property, so a very long hose is extended from the well to the apartment and a pump is used to get it up into the water tank that sits on a tower. The pump is broken, so we go buy one and can't get it to work Thank goodness for water stored in 2 liter bottles that will see us through until tomorrow.

Friday, April 25, 2014
So much for water being delivered on Tuesday, or Wednesday or even yesterday! What a week this has been with water shortage. I have been very empathetic suffering right along with them. Additionally, I have had calls from Grafton, Wellington Vida, Kossoh Town, and the Hill Station Elders apartments telling me they need water; my water provider, Adonis Manley has had his truck in the shop all week so he can't deliver; Francis the plumber, who delivers to the mission office and who owes us a credit of 12,000 liters of water was supposed to deliver to the mission home yesterday, but to-date was not returning phone calls. I got a hold of him this morning and he assured me he would deliver by mid-morning, but by 3:00 there is still no water. 

Sierra Leone citizens when asked about water source when we inquire into new apartments - “of course there is, water is life.” But when it doesn't effect the owner personally, it is not important to them and we end up having to provide water to apartments. I sat at my desk at the Mission Office, staring out the window hoping and praying for ideas as to how to resolve this issue and get water to these apartments and ours and quite frankly I had no more ideas; with that I got up and went into my storage closet, closed the door, and proceeded to plead with the Lord to intervene in my behalf and on behalf of the mission. I acknowledged the situation certainly wasn't as bad as the children of Israel in the wilderness, but nonetheless, I didn't know what to do and we needed water and I had expended all my contacts for delivery. 

One simple prayer of pleading later, I walk out of the closet to Scott on the phone. Scott is talking to Elder Evans and Hill Station is getting water as we speak, and I had a message on my phone from Brother Manley that he was sub-contracting another water truck in order to get water to the mission home this evening. Coincidence? I choose to believe it is a tender mercy.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
The drive to Makeni today was a happy one knowing water was not a problem for the Seaders and the mission home as well as the other missionary apartments. It is supposed to rain quite a few days next week – Yay for the rainy season that is on its way!

Our objective for Makeni today was to look at more sites for a chapel and to attend the 2:00 pm baptism and the 4:00 YW's program. The baptism didn't start until well after 3:00 pm because the well was low and the missionaries couldn't draw water out of it sufficient to fill the baptismal font. 

Elder Hill baptized 3 beautiful women and with the water so low, it was sweet to watch him carefully, but with strength, lay them back into the very shallow water. 
Elder Hill in the very shallow baptismal font.

Elder Hill with the first sister to be baptized!

Serious discussion going on down there.

Such kindness helping her out of the font.

Two down and the last sister to go.

With everything thrown off time wise because of the baptismal service starting late, the YW's program didn't start until well after 5:00 pm; once it commenced it was delightful to see the YW talk about the history of the organization, and share the YW values by explaining the color that corresponded with the value; they all had tops on that matched the color they were talking about, and a few managed to find balloons the same color and pinned them on themselves. 

The YW and the value colors

They put a lot of gusto into their singing!

By the time everything was over, we made it to our minus one star motel by 7:30 pm.

Elder and Sister Barney arrived tonight. Another much needed senior couple to serve in Sierra Leone. It is a blessing to have them with us. They came with the statistic from the MTC, that 4 out of 5 senior couples turn down mission calls to Africa.

As usual, it was very hot in Makeni today.

Love to all and Happy May Day this week!

Robin and Scott

Extra Snap: 

April 23, 2014 - The workers told me to back up because the water truck was on its way - not far enough!

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