We had just traversed hours on some of the roughest roads you can imagine. And I had the ache in my back to prove it. But we had finally arrived at CRF’s newest well in Turkana, Kenya. Site visits have always been my favorite part of working with CRF’s water projects, so I jumped excitedly out of the truck to greet the community and see the well that had just been completed.
But I was greeted by something I didn’t expect — an angry person.
I had assumed everyone would be happy now that clean, plentiful water was available right in the middle of the village. In fact, I had been in this scenario dozens of times in the past and had always found myself in the middle of a giant celebration. There would be dancing and singing and jumping and pumping of clean water.
This time was different.
As I got out of the truck, I was met by a woman speaking loudly in a language I could not understand. She stood only inches in front of me and pointed forcefully into the distance as her eyes remained locked on mine. Apparently I had done something to offend her. I couldn’t remember ever making someone so irritated. My heart sank.
But then someone began translating what she was saying from the Turkana language into Swahili… and then from Swahili into English…
As she pointed into the distance, she said, “My children and I used to walk in that direction for at least three miles every morning. When we would finally find water, it would be in a shallow pit. There wouldn’t be enough for us. And it would be very dirty. My children would get so sick. I once had five children. Now I only have four children because we did not have clean water.”
Then she continued, “Today we have so much clean water here. We have truly been blessed by God. We have been praying for years for God to hear us and send His people to help us. God has heard our prayers. God sees us! God sees ME! Now my children can have plenty of water. They can be healthy. They can go to school instead of going to fetch water. We are laughing and jumping today for the joy of the Lord because He has given us water through you!”
It was clear as the translation continued that I had totally misunderstood her demeanor. What I had mistaken for anger was incredible passion and gratitude for the way God had blessed her and her family through all those who have given to CRF’s water projects.
I left that interaction in the Turkana desert breathing a sigh of relief that my first assumptions weren’t correct.
On the drive back from the village, I had another realization— I wished that I could thank all of you CRF donors with the same passion that this woman had. You have brought water to the desert! Your prayers and donations to our water projects have transformed the daily lives of thousands of people in dramatic ways! We truly can’t thank you enough!
— Andrew Brown, VP of Strategic Growth and Marketing