Maranatha’s recent effort to drill its first well in Brazil proved to be a lesson in faith and determination. The attempt took place in the village of Campestre, in the northeastern state of Bahia. Rain is rare in this area, and the only way to get water is to have it delivered. This is too expensive for most people, so the idea that Maranatha could provide a well was very exciting. “Not having water here is the difference between life and death for you, your livestock, and your crop,” says Elmer Barbosa, Maranatha’s Brazil project director. “So each foot drilled is a constant hope for a miracle from God.”
The drilling began and the crew reached 80 meters where water was estimated to be, but none was found. Drilling continued to 100 meters, the maximum depth they expected to find water, but there was nothing. The members began to get nervous. The crew continued drilling beyond, to no avail. At 122 meters, with no water yet, the drilling company Maranatha contracted with decided to donate 12 more meters of drilling–still nothing.
It was decided that drilling would end at 134 meters. The crew had gone well beyond where water should be, and there was nothing to show for it; to continue would be a failing cause. Yet the church members were crying and pleaded with the crew to continue, saying “Water might only be a meter away!”
“It was heartbreaking to see the members sad and crying, because you know that water could transform their life,” says Barbosa. “It could possibly be a few meters down, but maybe there is no water there at all, so you have to make a decision.”
Then, the local church pastor made a donation to keep drilling. The church members also pooled their meager funds, and the conference president even helped with a donation. They soon had enough funds to drill for 20 more meters. However, at 146 meters, the machine broke.
The conference president went home and reached out to his network for more funds. Two days later drilling resumed, and the crew finally hit water at 166 meters. The members of the Campestre Seventh-day Adventist Church are very thankful to now have water!
Maranatha’s drilling program began in 2008, as a compliment to construction efforts in Mozambique. Since then, Maranatha has provided water for more than 1,000 communities in Angola, Bangladesh, Cuba, Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and now Brazil. Soon, Maranatha will begin drilling in the African country of Côte d’Ivoire. To support our well-drilling efforts around the world give a gift here.