Earth, our home is this beautiful suspended majestic blue marble in space. This color blue is earth’s water, our source of life. What appears to be a life-giving resource to all, remains a challenge for many. Only about 3.5 % of water is fresh water and only about three tenths of a percent is available for use. As a result, our world is filled with people clamoring for fresh water. One in 5 children, below the age of five, often die due to water borne disease.
      Marion Medical Mission (MMM), a Presbyterian organization from Marion, Illinois, was formed in 1985 and purposed to offer medical services in Africa. In 1990, MMM President Tom Logan and his wife Jocelyn challenged Malawi’s Presbyterian Synod to begin building a safe water source for rural villages. Lacking the resources, the church fathers asked the Logan’s and their organization to do just that. Tom and Jocelyn build 13 shallow wells that year. What began small has blossomed. Over 35,000 wells, installed over 29 years, provide an estimated 4 million people with a sustainable source of safe drinking water in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania. “Impossible? Really! It’s a God thing”, says Tom Logan.
       President Tom Logan tells us, “MMM wells are in high demand. New wells mean children no longer die from drinking dirty water. Shallow wells mean healthier people who can work and produce more food which means less starvation. The people benefit not just the year the well is built, but the next year and the next year and the year after that”.
       “Thirty-seven U.S. volunteers are involved with this year’s mission to Africa, beginning in mid-September. These volunteers pay their own way to travel to and to live in Malawi for three weeks while traveling to rural villages daily. I know, because this was my mission in 2007 and 2008. Their goal is to build wells before the rains stop them in November in 3,000 remote African villages covering over 57,000 square miles in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania. Impossible? No!
      The wells will mean 375,000 of the extremely rural poor (60% children) will have a sustainable source of safe drinking water. The U.S. volunteers will monitor each built well and share with the village people that their well is a gift from people in the USA who have heard about their need for safe drinking water. What will these people think about the United States? Sharing our resources is the best defense against war and terror”, states Tom Logan.  
      Mr. Roffat Phiri is a headman of a village in Zambia - his village waited many years for access to clean water, a position he described as "humiliating." The village had been fetching water from a river and from an unprotected well. He recalls how children would suffer from stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea; they often shared the same drinking spot with hyenas. He shared that his third-born son was bitten by a snake on his way back from collecting water, losing a finger on one hand.   
      Since building a well with MMM, Mr. Phiri says that the village now enjoys good health and children have more time to go to school.  "We know this well is a gift from God, and it's the best gift we've ever seen. Glory be to God!"   
      3,000 villages will receive just such a gift this fall. The funds necessary to pay for the materials such as concreate, pipes and gasoline for transporting remains unfunded. The villages provide the manpower to dig the wells and to make the bricks. MMM trains local Malawians to supervise the construction and maintain the well afterwards.
      Each year we ask and thank you for helping us to bring the celebrations, the joy, the purpose, the hope, the adventure, the excitement, the happiness that is this mission of providing a clean water source. You are needed as much as the 37 in- country US volunteers. We ask that you consider a donation in any amount to support shallow wells this fall. Checks may be made out to First Presbyterian Church, and sent to 403 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601. Please note “Shallow Wells on your memo line. We’ll send pictures of the wells for each $450 donation, the cost of each shallow well. There is no administration deducted, 100% of all donations go toward these wells.
Thank you,
Don Klug
2007-2008 MMM Volunteer