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  • Writer's pictureTim Robinson

Cost of being a missionary – Water

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Us brits can make almost any conversation out there about the weather.  Even here I am hearing about the floods back home, or the heat of east usa, but to be honest, nothing has dominated our recent conversations like water.  1 sacrifice we made coming here was regular clean safe to drink running water.  Let’s just say that our water situation is still 100 times better that most, but it is complex out here.  Lets start with the water filter.  We filter all our drinking water, teeth brushing water, and in fact we fill our kettle with filtered water.  Different people draw the line in different places when it comes to clean water, but that is our line.  The water that goes into our filter comes from our tap, which is gravity fed by a ridiculously small tank on top of our house.  This tiny tank is shared by both us and our upstairs neighbours.  This tank is filled when we pump water (yes that requires the not always on power) from a tank built in to our ground.  That tank is filled by a purple tank above ground if it has any water in it.  Both the purple tank and the ground tank, should be filled by city water supply.  However, we have had city water twice in the past 8 weeks, and when it is on, more of it runs down the street outside the house than into our tanks, so occasionally we have to buy water delivered by a tanker to fill our tanks up.  We often check the fullness of the tanks, when there is power, run out to pump to the top tank, hopefully remember to run out and turn it off again before it over flows. We often discuss with upstairs if / when we might need to buy water.  We now flush toilets with laundry water (that was originally collect rain water used to wash the clothes) or shower water – buckets lying round everywhere with various shades of water for various purposes.  I’m not sure when it got so complex, but it is our water system and it works-ish, we stay clean, we stay healthy we don’t spend a fortune on water trucks.  When we eat at a hole in the wall local restaurant place you will normally be bought a bag of water to consume with your meal. The mission community is divided about how safe they are to drink. The purity isn’t’ regulated, and so some people do drink them and some don’t but there is always a conversation about it when you are out! Not proper ‘running’ water is a cost we and so many others pay to follow Jesus and see his kingdom come.

UPDATE – since I first drafted this post, we have begun installing guttering to collect rain water.

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