A Groundbreaking Day
~ for graves and water
In the morning, ground was broken to bury Richard's body. The wails of grief enveloped the crowd. Hearts broke under the weight of loss and the raw memories of a treasured husband, father, friend, and servant.
In the afternoon, ground was broken for boreholes. The drone of the massive generator made conversations impossible even at a distance. Finally, a moment of hope for safe water in the very community in which Richard had served with all his heart.
How can digging in the earth hold such despair and hope? How can such heavy sadness stand shoulder to shoulder with such great excitement? How can the cries of mourners and the squeals of delighted children harmonize in the anthem of one day? This is the broken development and building, the halting progress, of Luhomero.
How can such heavy sadness stand shoulder to shoulder with such great excitement?
Richard would have been popping buttons with pride watching the big rigs come in. He’d have been grinning his toothless, ear to ear smile as he looked on, in anticipation of villagers being free of thirst and disease. He knew how deeply important water is to our villagers - his community. His job was to care for the children of the community under the age of five. And sickness due to contaminated water was always an issue. He'd have been so pleased to participate in these boreholes going in. And although he wouldn’t personally be benefitting from these boreholes, he was a man who recognized that even in his own personal impoverished state, there were others in his community who had even less than he did. And he’d have wanted it exactly this way - to care for those with even less than himself.
And although he wouldn’t personally be benefitting from these boreholes, he was a man who recognized that even in his own personal impoverished state, there were others in his community who had even less than he did.
Richard worked diligently to help Love a Village and Rural Development Partners find the most needy areas in our community, the most needy people, for our all of our projects, including our first machine-drilled boreholes.
Until last year, Love a Village has been installing hand drilled boreholes. But last year, our manual drillers deemed our area impenetrable for manual methods. The low lying mountains that dominate our community are far too rocky to drill through manually.
Amazingly, we've been able to overcome that barrier. Through partnership between Malawians and Canadians. To bring water. Clean water. Life giving water. I (Julie) want to invite you to join us. Richard would want me to ask. Of this I’m sure. Richard was one of our many friends who have said to me, “Julie, please don’t forget us. We need you, and the help of your friends in Canada. Please tell them for us.” I assured him that I'd keep asking and that I’d never forget him. Never.
Do you have clean water on your Christmas wish list? If you don’t, and would like to ask your friends, family or co-worker to give you clean water as your gift, please let them know they can buy water in any amount here. They’ll receive a lovely card to give you in honour of their donation.
Our machine drilled boreholes are expensive. Very expensive. We are installing 2 in 2018. And in 2019, we’d like to take advantage of the rigs being in Luhomero, and do 5 or more at one time, if funds allow. If we can maximize the number we do at one time, we minimize the cost of each borehole. Will you help us? Will you ask for water for Christmas?
If we can maximize the number we do at one time, we minimize the cost of each borehole.
I won't ever forget Richard. Although he and I can't continue this journey together, each step of progress in Luhomero from now on, I will remember him. I’ll remember him with joy and love - the very things he shared with me. I will miss Richard standing by my side watching as hope springs up in the villages he loved so well. Somehow my heart will have to hold both grief and hope. That's what development and building in broken places requires.
(Many of you have been asking how we can help Richard's family.
I am hoping to have information about this in your inboxes in a week's time.)
Watch, and feel the excitement with us!
A short clip of our friend Richard. Listen to him laugh!
I won't forget you my friend.
Your voice won't fade.
I'm your voice now.
Love you Richard.
Until we meet again,