Once again, I find myself reflecting on the great gift of your friendship and the generosity you continue to show toward our missionaries and those we serve throughout Africa. Because of your caring, those who are poor and in need are knowing hope for a better life! Because of your kindness — as the quote I have shared with you points out — the light of God’s love overcomes the darkness of despair. In many ways, this is the essence of Christmas!
A few days ago, I received a letter from Fr. Fabian Mkama — a missionary working in Tanzania, East Africa. In his letter, Fr. Fabian explains how dry it gets in the Tabora Region of Tanzania. The “dry season,” he writes, lasts from May through November. Throughout these months, any significant rainfall is unusual. Needless to say, that creates a huge problem — especially for schools such as the Institute for the Deaf where Fr. Fabian works.
“Since the region experiences little rain but long periods of sunshine throughout the year,” Fr. Fabian says, “the rate of evaporation is very high, causing many water sources like shallow wells and ponds to disappear long before the start of the next rainy season. Since the ponds that are available are not protected, the water in them becomes contaminated by animal droppings. This increases the chances of humans being infected with diseases that are transmitted by the animals.”
“During the past two years, “he continues, “the water crisis in Tabora has become an even greater concern. Because water has been so scarce, people are taking the risk and drinking water from tainted ponds. As a result, many people have become infected with diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Schools have even closed!”
“The Institute was the first school for deaf children in Tanzania. Since 1963, families of children with hearing impairments and disabilities have counted on us to help their children. We cannot be one of the schools that close due to a lack of clean water!”
“Our hope is to install an underground rain water harvesting tank so that we can conserve some of the precipitation from the rainy season for use during the dry months. In order to make this happen, we need to purchase gutters, pipes, and a storage tank — as well as build a foundation to support it. Will you help us?”
My friend, I am hoping that you will help us work to provide clean water to those in need. A good way to start is to take steps to conserve the water in your own community — by doing things such as limiting shower times and even making sure that your dishwasher is full before running it. You can encourage friends and neighbors to support water conservation efforts as well.
I also hope you will send a donation to support water projects like the one at the Institute for the Deaf in Tanzania. While we are hoping to raise at least $42,500 for this and other water projects, any amount you can send will be a blessing. Because of you, those in need are seeing the light of hope! God bless you and have a Merry Christmas.
Your Missionary Friend,
Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development