Vacation Bible School Unlocks a Treasure of Rain Water for Cherish Uganda

VBS Pirate Cast

This summer’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) set a goal to help raise money to provide rain water tanks for Cherish Uganda. (You can read more about their goal here.) We asked Pastor Donny Abbott for an update and here is what he had to say:

We had a great VBS! Over 600 children registered and 225 volunteers helped out. It was a great week following a rascally group of pirates as they learned more about the theme of Faith. Regarding Cherish Uganda, the need they presented to us was their need for 27 rainwater catchers to replace their old rusted ones (see picture below). This is what Pastor Brent Phillips at Cherish sent us regarding their need:

Our water comes from National Water, which is Uganda’s municipal water system. The main issue is reliability. Sometimes the water is on & sometimes it is not. It goes out for some time almost every day. We also obviously have to pay for that water. We get lots of rain here (62 inches per year). There are 127 days per year where we receive an inch or more per day. Our driest month is July & our wettest month is May. Seeing how 1 inch of rain on a 1,000 sq. foot roof captures about 520 gallons of water, it just makes sense that we harvest as much of it as possible. This is why the tanks are so important. It requires no power, no moving parts and the tanks and gutters are very accessible here.

VBS Water Tank

We researched wells, but we tested a well right outside of Cherish’s fence and found loads of fecal matter. Living Water was working with a ministry just down the road with us and drilled many holes and kept coming up dry or contaminated. They also suggested that our best source of water is rain water harvesting. Currently when the water goes out and the few working tanks we have go empty, we either pay for trucks to come and fill those tanks (which is quite costly) or we go and get water from the lake, which is also quite contaminated and very labor intensive. We have over 400 people on site every day, so we go through a lot of water. We also have the farm, chickens & pigs.

The cost for this project is $25,000. There is a church in San Jose, CA that is going to pay for $13,500. That left a balance of $11,500. Our mission’s department offered to match dollar for dollar whatever we raised during VBS. The week of VBS we raised $6,207.20; meaning with the matching funds from our Missions team, we raised over $12,400!

An email that Brent sent me before our last day of VBS:

“You are heading into your last day of VBS. I have such fond memories of all of those years that we did that together. We are praying for an amazing day, one where you feel the power of the Spirit move in ways you have never experienced before & where the fruit of you & your team’s labor is so large you have a hard time even understanding it. We love you guys and are thankful for our friendship & partnership!”

All in all it was an amazing week!!!

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