A post from Fr. Howard Castleberry in Dar Es Salaam

In February of 2012, ABp. Valentine Mokiwa came from Tanzania to our church in Nacogdoches and told the story of his people- how water is such a precious commodity that women must walk miles to get it; will sell themselves for it; that it is sold on the street in filthy plastic 4 gallon containers at a price over one thousand times what we pay for water plumbed to our homes. The Archbishop left us with a dream- one that sought to improve the lives of people halfway around the world.

Fourteen months later, we have travelled from dream to reality. We are here with a drilling rid shipped from the United States and paid for by heroic donations from many of you, donations that will literally save lives in the years to come. The improved health conditions created by this program when completed will positively impact at least 100,000 people.

Our drilling rig was finally released from customs in late April of this year, and already four wells have been drilled and producing water. It looks quite feasible to achieve our goal of 60 wells in 5 years- If we can raise the funds necessary for materials and labor. We are making detailed field assessments, establishing protocol and formulating budgets. More compelling are the stories of people begging outside the Diocese of Dar Es Salaam for a well to be drilled in their district. Little do they know that the diocese itself- one that serves over 1 million Anglicans- has no running water of its own! For 12 years their diocesan center has had no city water (that’s right- no city water in a town of 5.5 million!) I am happy to report that the diocesan center of Dar Es Salaam now has water from a well we drilled today!

Courage and obedience to Him can make anything possible if it is His will! Please remember us in your thoughts and prayers, and I hope to find an Internet connection soon- Fr. Howard