Water at the Farm!
Updated: Jul 20, 2022
So if you didn’t know, a few years ago (in 2019) the Zambian government gave Aaron 80 hectares of land (close to 200 acres)! It was to be utilized as a farm for the ministry. It’s nearly two hours away, and it’s actually close to three different countries. He’s been using it a lot—they’ve planted tons of potatoes and onions, dug ponds for fish-farming, and he has a group of believers he’s discipled that have volunteered to make bricks. It’s actually a really cool process—they take dirt out of the massive Zambian anthills, cram it into a little manual machine, and beat it down until it’s really compact. All of us tried it, and it’s really hard😂They’ve used those bricks to build a mission-base already (which took them two years!), and they’re well on their way to making a piggery and some houses for local residents. In total, they need to make 12,000 bricks! Basically, Aaron has a really big vision, which he’s actually started to achieve in many ways. But there’s a problem.
In Zambia, they basically have two seasons: the rainy season, and the dry season. In the rainy season, houses flood, crops are swept away, and the streets run like rivers. In the dry season, the land is parched, dusty, and unfruitful. So it’s basically impossible to do what he wants to do with the farm, because of the instability of the Zambian weather. But there’s a solution. If we could dig a borehole (a well) on the farm, we could create an irrigation system that would let water be spread evenly throughout the land at all times. When we arrived here three weeks ago, Aaron had this in his mind, but it was still a distant dream.
But Aaron has a friend named Bruce, who owns a farm right next to his. Bruce wanted to dig a borehole on his land too, and so they decided to do it at the same time and get a discounted price for it. And so what seemed like a distant future suddenly became a very present reality. We spent a day driving through Kitwe, talking to different digging companies. Soon, it was on the schedule: on Saturday, we decided we would go to the farm to watch and film the digging of the borehole, as well as to capture some professional footage and an interview with Aaron about the farm!
This is some of Aaron's farm. The two ponds are for fish-farming, and the building is the mission base.
But we had another issue. You might remember that four years ago, we bought Aaron a truck to use for the ministry. It’s been a while, though, and when we arrived we realized he had a massive issue with the engine. Every time he would try to drive, it would smoke and wouldn’t start. Just a couple days before Saturday, Aaron told us that his family would be coming with us…and that meant there would be 10 of us! Despite how skinny some of us might be, there’s no way we could all fit in Aaron’s car😂 We decided that we needed to fix the truck, and do it right away!
So we got the mechanics to come over to his house, and they worked on it for a couple days. I know absolutely nothing about cars, but I do know that they had to completely dismantle the engine and put it back together! After a few days of work, it was repaired, so Aaron and Daddy decided to take it on a test drive to Ndola. Apparently it’s a “manual-start” car, so since the engine was dead they had to push it until it started. But soon they were on the road!
It was all going really well until suddenly they heard a popping noise, and the car broke down on the highway! So they pulled over, and Aaron comfortingly reminded Daddy that there were probably wild animals in the woods, and that they could be there all night😂 Fortunately, the mechanic had gone with them, and he told them that the alternator belt had broken. So they had to flag down a taxi, send the mechanic back to Luanshya to pick up some tools he needed, then bring him back to fix the car. In a few hours, it was done, the car was fixed, and they were exhausted. But it hasn’t broken down since!
On Saturday, we loaded up into the car and the truck. We brought the mechanic just in case😂 Soon we were on the road to the farm! We arrived just before the digging company did, and soon we were set up to record. Then the drilling began!
It was a really cool process…for the first hour, at least😂The truck had a tall machine on its back, and they would basically use that machine to drill down into the ground with solid pipes. Once the pipe was all the way in, they would bring over another pipe, connect it to the machine and the previous pipe, and continue drilling. They drilled down 50 meters, and soon water started gushing out!
In our video (which was very well-made, in my opinion!), we made it seem like the whole process was really fast-paced and exciting. It wasn’t😂We were there all day, mostly just sitting around doing nothing! But it was still pretty cool to watch. I actually found a really neat vantage point in a tree! And there was a big group of local kids that watched the entire time😂After a few hours, they finished drilling and started removing the pipe and replacing them with plastic tubes welded together, which would be the actual structure of the borehole. By 5 or 6 they had finished! Their job was just to dig the hole, so after they were done they sealed the pipes shut.
But though the well is dug, we still need to install solar panels, a pump, and an irrigation system for it to be useable. This project has the potential to make the ministry self-sustainable. All together, it will cost about 65,000 kwacha, or close to $3,000. But “nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)