While we were in the Eastern Cape with our 40-person team, we had the great opportunity of being part of drilling two water well with The Africa Oasis Project (and by being a part, I mean we watched and prayed!). We had been warned ahead of time that it was a possibility they would NOT hit water, but we were praying that would not be the case. On the first well, they began to hit water at 35 meters on the very first day, and we thanked God for it. It was so exciting.
With the second well, this was not the case. They kept drilling and drilling all day, with nothing but a storm of sandstone dust to show for it. As the day drew to a close and no water was to be found and the team was at the end of their piping to continue...but more became available! So there was tomorrow-Surely God would provide tomorrow. We prayed as we left the site that afternoon and were hopeful for good reports the following morning after drilling began again. Breakfast brought inquiries of good news we were all having faith to hear- but there was none. My heart sank. Could it possibly end without the miracle we were praying for?
We rounded the corner to come into the site that afternoon and I looked to the hill where they were drilling to see...dust. No water. Just dry rock spewed into the air as a white, lifeless powder. We parked the van and opened the doors, ready to jump into our children's outreach, when the sound of shouts reached my ears. "WATER!!! THAT'S WATER!!!"
I hurried around the tent to see sweet Glenda Evans, a missionary who'd been here in SA nearly all her life and who's husband heads up Africa Oasis, running towards the drilling rig shouting, and my own eyes beheld it-water bursting out from the pipe, quenching the dust and flowing down the hill. Tears filled my eyes just as quickly and my heart burned...God was in that moment-it was a miracle. I knew it and still know it now...it was without question a God-ordained miracle, brought about in His perfect timing and ONLY by His perfect hand. 185 meters down, with only 2 pipes left to drill, God had sent His water.
That night, as I was thanking God for what He'd done and thinking about all the ministry time I've been a part of over the past few weeks, a thought flooded my mind...it's not enough. It's not enough to drill in the rock if God isn't there. Its not enough to put up a tent and preach a good word or sing songs or dance with children or feed the hungry or sell all your things and quit your job and move to Africa and be a missionary if He doesn't show up. And while this isn't a NEW revelation for me, it was such a beautiful reminder. I can so easily get caught up in the logistics and details and practical aspects of ministry, but I must always keep my mind on His presence and His work and His strength. It reminds me of 1 Corinthians-we're only a clanging bell, a noisy cymbal if not for Him. All the effort we can put forth is dry dust...but when His Spirit is there...living water...where miracles are found.