OLYMPIA, WA (September 14, 2011) – The water tower in Bokonzo, Democratic Republic of Congo, frequently runs dry, but thousands of people in the area count on that water. Even when the tower is filled, broken supply lines have hampered delivery to residents.
Thanks to River Ridge Covenant Church, a new tower and supply lines will be built. The church recently raised $15,000 to cover the cost of the project.
The congregation initially intended to construct only the water tower, which would cost $12,000. Several weeks ago, Evangelical Covenant Church missionary Pete Ekstrand shared that the supply lines were desperately needed and would cost about $3,000.
The church readily agreed to raise the extra funds. “There’s no point in building the new water tower without also addressing the terrible breaks in the supply line,” notes pastor Brian Wiele.
“Our interest in clean water came as a result of our congregation reading together The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, says Wiele. “I traveled to Congo in March before speaking at the Covenant missionaries retreat and saw the need for the tower first-hand.”
The congregation’s recent event, “An Evening Africa,” helped put the fundraising over the top. Roughly $3,500 was raised, says Wiele. More than 120 people dined on an authentic Central African dinner and heard the Zambuko Marimba ensemble from nearby Seattle. Keith Gustafson, liaison for the Evangelical Covenant Church to the Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM), also made a presentation.
A quilt made for the occasion by the River Ridge Covenant quilting ministry was raffled. The congregation also has been selling new “Bokonzo Water Project” tumblers.
The national offices of the CEUM are located in Bokonzo.