This is from an email I got from Aladji, the general manager of AADB in Bangou a few weeks ago:

la population de tchitchi doit fêter avec l’eau

For the last year, AADB has been fund-raising, planning, hoping and praying for a water well in Tchi-tchi, a neighborhood in Bangou. Our hope was that the people of Bangou, would have clean water to drink, by the end of 2011.

Early on we struggled to make it happen. We raised some money at the start of the year from friends and family who have always been supportive of our efforts since my time in Bangou with the Peace Corps. We were able to fund the Anthony Rodriguez scholarship – paying the school fees for the 20 students with the best grades in 2011, but funding for the well still eluded us.

On top of that, at the start of the year, Aladji had to go to work near the Gabon border – a few days away from Bangou, and would not be in Bangou for most of the year. Aladji works for free, because he loves Bangou and his people and sees it as part of his responsibility as someone that is seen as a leader in the village to help.

A few months ago, I brought this problem up with my small group at the District church in DC. I went to them asking for prayer, but they wanted to do more, and they asked how they could help, how they could give to make it happen. They were so encouraging, that I sent an email to ask for help to raise the last part of the funding for the well. Many of you came through, with money, prayer and support, to make it happen and we were able to raise the rest of the money.

Yesterday, Thursday, December 23rd, I spoke to Aladji as he was on his way back from Tchi-tchi where he said the people of Bangou will have clean water for Christmas!

From a personal perspective, I’ve been having a difficult time dealing with Christmas in Washington, DC. I have great friends and a great church in DC, but I also miss my friends and family in Texas. DC is full of smart, driven people who want to do great things and are very ambitious. It’s easy to get lost in the rat race and forget about the important things in life. I don’t lack anything I need – yet on Christmas, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have enough. I think that’s because I haven’t been giving enough. That phone call from Aladji to tell me that the people of Bangou will have clean water for Christmas made my Christmas, and it should make all of yours who have supported AADB and this project.

Congratulations and Merry Christmas to everyone. Bangou HAS clean water for Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As soon as I get pictures, I will share them on here.