April 2012, Rwanda
“Hallelujah, Amen! Hallelujah, Amen! Hallelujah, Amen!”
Dorothee ran out to greet us as our truck came to a stop along the road in front of her house. Between hugs and hallelujahs, we walked to her house, celebrating with her. Dorothee could hardly wait to tell us her story.
Dorothee is a 70-year-old widow living with 5 grandchildren in rural Rwanda. Her home is mud brick covered with stucco, but the roof leaks. An environmental research project is nearby. They have brought electricity to her home, a single light bulb hanging from a wire and one wall outlet. The light is too dim to make much difference, and Dorothee does not own anything that can plug into an outlet.
Dorothee is too weak to walk to the swamp to fetch water in a heavy jerry can. So, she and her grandchildren rely mostly on the rain to provide their water. To get through the dry spells, they rely on neighbors to bring water from the swamp. This water often caused illnesses for her family.
What had Dorothee so excited was her 20 Liters water filter. She wanted us to thank God with her for providing her family with clean water.
Her neighbors who bring her water will also bring water for their own use. While they wait for their own water to filter through, Dorothee speaks of God’s goodness and provision.
Since she has had her water filter, her health is improved and her grandchildren no longer suffer from stomach aches. With unusual honesty Dorothee says that occasionally someone in her family will get sick but she reminded us that sometimes we get sick too.
Not once while we were in her home, did Dorothee thank us personally for the water filter. Her witness was that God had provided a filter for her through us and for that all of us should say, “HALLELUJAH AMEN!”
From the Field Notes of Macky Johnson. Bob and Macky Johnson were instrumental in founding 20 Liters. Bob developed the technical solutions that 20 Liters uses today in Rwanda. Macky designed the technician training program as well as writing many of the in-country policies that guide the 20 Liters program. In conjunction with World Relief Rwanda staff, Macky helped to develop our health and hygiene curriculum. During their many trips to Rwanda Macky focused on building community relationships and spent much of her time visiting the homes of filter recipients; learning from their experiences ways to improve the 20 Liters programs.