Saturday, May 11, 2013
It has been quite a journey but thanks to the hard work, persistence and patience of Paul and Marty Law the great folks with Appointment Congo, water is flowing to the Methodist Mission of Diengenga at Lodja!!!
They have overcome many obstacles, resistance and hardship but water is now pumping up that big ole hill to the mission station.
God bless Paul and Marty, Pastor Kitambala and all the workers who made this happen.
And God Bless all of the wonderful supporters of drops of grace who provided prayers and financial gifts as without them this would not have been possible.
There is still work to be done but water is now flowing up the hill to the mission station for the first time since the early 1970's. This is truly a blessing and life changing for thousands of people in Lodja.
GOD IS GREAT!!!
The following is the email I received earlier today from Paul
Dear Phil, Kip and friends of Drops of Grace,
It is my distinct pleasure and honor to be able to inform you that as of this afternoon Lodja time, there is water on the Methodist Mission of Diengenga at Lodja!!! People are ecstatic and there was a big to do over blessing the water, the system, the tower and those who helped make it all possible.
Pastor Kitambala was faithful to remind the villagers and church leaders assembled that it was your gift, vision and encouragement that has made it all possible.
A faucet has been set up near the tower to supply people immediately and we have already begun digging up the old distribution pipe to see what can be used and what needs to be replaced. We will be trying to locate distribution points strategically around the mission to serve everyone as best we can.
There has been some tweaking that had to be done on the hydram, but it has found its pace and is now pumping water steadily up the hill. It is a wonderful day for the people at Diengenga.
Blessing to you all, Paul
And yes I asked for pictures and will post them as soon as I get them.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Isn't it great when a million miles away (the Congo feels a million miles away) work is being done by local labor to bring desperately needed fresh water to a village due in large part to the generosity of people in Round Rock, in Texas, and several other states.
The Lodja Mission of the United Methodist Church in Central Congo had a water system in use for 20 years from the mid-1950's until 1976. At that time, unusual rains and seepage from the hillside caused the dam to give way and the system was no longer functional.
Villagers (mostly women and children) are forced to get their water from the valley almost a half a mile away and haul it up a steep hill back to the village.
In 2009 drops of grace partnered with Appointment Congo to rebuild the dam and water system to a village and mission station near Lodja in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Kip and I visited Paul and Marty Law in 2009 at the mission station in Lodja and we were blessed to come back with a sense of what this project would ultimately be. We reported that at the inaugural Ripple Effect Banquet and raised enough money to fund the project.
That was three years ago and although it has taken longer than anyone anticipated, the dam is finally nearing completion!
This is a recent update from Paul:
"We finally got down to the drain level and by building a form around it and pumping the water that was coming in, we managed to pour a foundation to the monk that envelops the original drain. We pounded gravel down around the original drain to try to create a fairly solid base upon which to pour the foundation. We made it 2 meters x 2 meters and when we got it up over the original structure about 4 inches we placed the form for the inside of the chimney on top over the opening below. You can see in the pictures how much earth we had to move to do all this.
The second pour was easier and brought us up another 4 1/2 feet. I'm sorry that I didn't get any pictures of that process, but I did of the 3rd pour where we began to leave an opening on the upriver side that will allow the water to flow into the monk and drain out through the dam. This opening will also allow us to raise and lower the water level as we wish to. The top of the monk is about 15 inches above the regular overflow up by the feed boxes to the ram.
We are now ready to begin refilling the dam around the monk and downstream. Once the monk has set up enough we will divert the water into the monk and remove the temporary plastic pipe that has been carrying the stream through the dam. Once this out of the way, we can refill in earnest and complete the dam entirely.
We will then rebuild the overflow and take the water up to operational level. At that point we will be ready to install the ram and start laying pipe up to the tower on the station.
Keep us in your prayers and I'll keep you posted as the drama unfolds."
See how easy that is? The cool thing is that this is being done with local Congolese labor which supports the local economy. And....
Ultimately the pond will be a beautiful setting providing bring clean fresh water to thousands of people for generations to come.
It would not have happened but for Paul and Marty Law, Appointment Congo, and the generous support from the friends of drops of grace.
It's getting close to completion and hopefully water will be flowing in the next few months.
Want to hear and see more? The Ripple Effect Banquet will be held on September 14 we will be talking about it and showing more pictures.
You will also hear about the phenomenal year drops of grace has had in Joplin Mo, Bastrop, and two awesome teams to Malawi.
God Bless you all and we will see you at the Ripple.
Friday, March 18, 2011
It's been a while since I posted to the blog and that's all my fault. No excuses. Life goes on in the good ole U S of A and we tend to take for granted the blessing of being an American and forget or ignore what goes on outside of our bubble.
The unrest in the Northern Africa and the Middle East, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan remind us that it is a big world and there is plenty of need all around.
We all have our missions and drops of grace is no exception. Lately, drops of grace has been working on several homes in Round Rock severely damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Hermine.
We are sending a team to Malawi in July to kick off the work in partnership with Somebody Cares Malawi, and of course, the water system project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. drops of grace and our friends are making an impact in Texas, in the Congo, and in Malawi.
Although I have been delinquent on reporting it, great progress is being made on the dam at the Diengenge Mission Station. This week I talked to Paul who is in the states spreading the word about their ministry. In fact, on Sunday, March 27th, he and Marty will be at the First United Methodist Church in Marshall, Texas. I and a few other drops plan on making that trip to see them and here their message.
Paul reports that the construction is going well. In Paul's absence, Pastor Kitambala is overseeing the construction conducted entirely by local Congolese labor and supported by the generosity of the friends of drops of grace. The people of Lodja and the Diengenge Mission Station are invested with their labor and resources and that means they will sustain the water system for generations.
The ukulunga core is almost complete, they are diverting the stream around the every rising dam while it's under construction and will begin working on reinforcing the backside of the dam very soon.
What seems to be a million miles away and on the other side of the planet, women and children are still spending much of their day carrying water up that steep hill that Kip and I struggled with just carrying a camera. Let's not forget what they deal with every day and how your prayers and generosity will and already is improving their lives.
Paul and Marty will be back in Lodja by the middle of April and we can look forward to many more pictures.
Let's not forget what is out of our sight.
God Bless and please keep our friends in the Congo, Malawi, and those suffering from natural disasters around the world in your thoughts and prayers.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Great things happen!
The Lodja water system project at the Diengenga Mission Station in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is moving forward and significant progress is being made!
Nothing should surprise us since “it’s the Congo” but as the excavation has progressed, more remnants of the original dam are being uncovered.
Some very large logs were found under the core of the dam that were apparently left there in the original construction. They are well below the level of the washout of 1973, so seem to be from the original work back in the 1950's.
Paul Law, (Appointment Congo) and the workers are making progress with the hauling of clay dirt and digging out the core of the dam.
The sawmill team has returned from the forest with a load of Ukulungu planks for the core wall. They will begin driving the center planks very soon. As they do that, they we will need to contain the stream that will divert the water from above the dam to below it so that we can work on the dam without having to deal with the stream water all the time.
It won’t be too much longer before we can really see what the dam will look like!
Yep. “it’s the Congo”, but with the generous support of the drops of grace friends and the hard work of Paul and Marty Law and Appointment Congo, and the commitment and employment of the people in Lodja, fresh water flowing from the tower rather than being hauled by women and children in the mission station is becoming a reality and will transform lives for generations to come.
This is so cool! I can’t wait to see it in person!
Please keep them all in your prayers.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The Dam is going up!
After challenges we in the good ole' "US of A" can only imagine, including building a new road just to get there, the dam at the Diengenga Mission Station near Lodja in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is on it's way up!
Want to hear and see more about this water project? About Malawi and Somebody Cares? About drops of grace work in the USA?
Tease, Tease, Tease......
See you at the Ripple Effect on Friday, October 8. Tickets are still available from your favorite drop or online
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The supplies and material, not to mention Paul's truck have safely arrived in Lodja. Finally.
As I mentioned in my last blog, in the meantime, Paul has been keeping the workers busy with a road project and bridge construction in preparation for the Annual Conference.
Here are before and after pictures of the Loyehi bridge project. This is
a bridge Paul and his workers
rebuilt and is an excellent example of the quality of work we can
expect with the dam construction.
What else have they been doing? In order to get a higher quality of soil for the dam, it was necessary to build a gravel road on the other side of the dam. That road is now complete!
The soil with a heavier clay content is on the other side, Paul has a dump truck on the way to haul it and before too much longer, the dam will be going up. Rock-n-roll!
The project is a little behind the original schedule but still within budget. Paul will send some pictures and another update soon.
God is Great!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Here in the good ole US of A, our work has continued as well. The banquet was awesome, we have done numerous presentations to various groups, fundraising has done well, strategic planning for drops of grace is firming up the future of the organization. All good stuff.
But this is the Congo Blog.
Since we've been gone, Paul and the gang have been working hard on excavation for the dam. As of today, almost all of the digging has been done for the footing and they are ready for the supplies to arrive from Kinshasa. They have also been busily working on another project rebuilding bridges and roads (can't understand why ;).
In January, Paul traveled to Kinshasa and purchased all the supplies. He has purchased a truck that he will use for all the great projects on his list, including the dam and water system at Diengenga (Lodja).
After a time in Kinshasa, dealing with some damage to his truck, everything is finally on the barge. The truck, pipe, supplies and material, are now on the barge to Bena Dibele, the primary river port for Lodja.
It's the Congo remember? It took 18 months to between the order and arrival of that kerosene freezer. But the good news is that all that stuff is on the boat and on the way to Lodja. Upon expected arrival in late April or May, the dam starts going up instead of down.
We realize news is slow but now that supplies are on the way, the pace will pick up.