“Kenneth’s Faith Equals That of Moses,” Liahona, July 2018
As humanitarian missionaries we are constantly looking for ways to apply resources in an attempt to solve basic problems in our area. And just like the proselytizing missionaries, who are guided by the Spirit to those who are searching for the truth, we too spend time on our knees in prayer as we seek the Lord’s guidance for our own work.
Recently, we felt directed to the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK), a rehabilitation clinic, where we discussed their needs for clean water. We had heard that they were experiencing difficulties and had been forced to obtain their water supply in 20-liter bottles (as most of the communities do here). They were sourcing from a neighboring hospital where a sufficient supply was not always available.
We developed and received approval from LDS Area Authorities to pursue the project. We arranged for a hydrologist to survey the APDK property, but his report came back with a prediction of only a fair outcome. After reading the report, both of us talked about it and, because we believed the possibility of success was marginal, agreed to stop the project from any further development.
After making this decision, we met with Leah Mwachari, the APDK administrator—along with our LDS site monitor, Brother Kenneth Malahilu—to inform her that we would not proceed. But as soon as Elder Jensen announced our decision to her, Brother Malahilu spoke up boldly and reminded us all that in the Old Testament, “Moses struck a rock and the Lord brought forth water. The Lord loved the children of Israel as much as He loves His children here in Kenya, and He will do the same for us here.” Kenneth then bore his testimony to the three of us about the need to have faith, and when he finished, no one stirred for quite a while. The Spirit was intense. We then looked at each other and, smiling, both of us said, “I guess we will be drilling for water.”
A few months passed before the hospital came up with their financial contribution, simply because Leah had a challenging time convincing her boss to sign over any funds. They were apprehensive because of some past failures with boreholes on their land.
Nevertheless, the financial issues were eventually sorted out and the project was soon underway. And Kenneth’s testimony to us earlier would prove prophetic in a couple of ways. Good, clean water was struck at 45 meters, instead of at the depth of 60 meters, which the surveyor had indicated in his report. Secondly, the contract with the driller was arranged for a 10-inch borehole, which the hydrologist estimated was sufficiently sized to fill the expected 10,000-liter tank in about 8 hours. But on his own, this driller put in a 16-inch borehole which substantially increased the output flow.
As the project reached its completion, we held a closing ceremony with the people at APDK to formally turn over the project to them. At that time, we were told that this borehole was the seventh drilling at APDK—none prior had succeeded in giving them water. We thought about Kenneth—and his profound faith—and realized just how the Lord can bring forth water from a rock and bless His children. We felt the sweetness of the Spirit, and Elder Jensen—who sensed a strong prompting—asked if he might bless the borehole. Leah quietly nodded her permission and Elder Jensen offered up sacred words.
The borehole has now been operating for over six months and is still filling the 10,000-liter tank, plus a 60,000-liter tank, in an 8-hour day—three times what the hydrologist expected. And today the people at APDK are still enjoying clean water to drink and with which to clean, garden, and use in the fabrication of their casts, splints, and treatments.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod …
“Behold, I will stand before thee … and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink” (Exodus 17:5–6)