Reality has finally set in. We are going to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Our Disciples 4 Water team, partnered with Global Ministries and Water 4, will be spending the next three weeks in the heart of Africa establishing a micro-business of comprised of local Congolese to drill water wells throughout the region.
Our team consists of: “that crazy blonde woman” Janet Helms, whose vision has brought us all together; Frank Gresh, the technology expert and trained Emergency Medical Technician, Steve Hanson, whose passion for outreach has been on a 20 year journey to bring him to this moment in time; Gwen Shaw, our travel agent, the western Oklahoma girl, the world traveler with a big heart; Lisa Carpenter-Grant, whose life has started over with this trip as she seeks her place in the world; and our logistics officer Mark Nash, process improvement expert, writer and the requisite stoic member of the team.
Our team has the backing of not only the First Christian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma, but also many of our friends and family, the Water 4 team in Oklahoma City, Central Christian Church of Enid, Oklahoma, Global Ministries, and the Disciples of Christ Church in the DRC. Through the efforts and support of all of these groups over the past 11 months, we have been blessed to raise the necessary funds to make this first journey in our ministry.
The goal: to establish and train a local drill team in Mbandaka, Equator Province, DRC. We are taking with us a drill kit and enough manual pumps to drill 20 water wells. Joining us in Washington, D.C. will be David Owen from Global Ministries. Meeting us in Kinshasa, the capitol of the DRC and travelling on to Mbandaka, will be our final two team members Carmen Brubacher and Jacques Mulunda, from Water 4.
Flying from Oklahoma City, we have a short layover in Washington D.C. prior to our flight to Brussels, Belgium. From Brussels we fly on to Kinshasa where we will layover for a day and a half before catching our final flight into Mbandaka. In Mbandaka we will stay in the Disciples of Christ Guest House, journeying out each to a drill site or classroom training. Some members of the team will spend time working with the local church on various projects.
While many of our supporters at home see us as the missionaries bringing hope and clean water to central Africa, our team has an expectation that the people of the DRC will be the ones ministering to us; showing us the true meaning of God and life. And so the journey begins….