by David Bongiorno
Recently, I had the privilege of embarking on a truly unique adventure in Nigeria, a journey that defied expectations and left an indelible mark on my heart. I couldn’t wait to share some of my remarkable experiences with you.
Nigeria, often depicted in the news with its vast oil production and bustling city life in Lagos, revealed itself as a land of contrasts and surprises. While headlines speak of its challenges, my time there was a tapestry woven with the richness of culture, the resilience of its people, and the shared joy that transcends faith and backgrounds.
Yes, the chaos was palpable – from the bustling streets to the frequent traffic stops by the military and the ever-present challenges of navigating unpredictable roads. But amid the frenzy, a beautiful narrative unfolded. Everywhere I turned, I was met with the kindness of the Nigerian people. It was a celebration when they discovered our mission to bring clean water, a basic necessity many had never experienced.
Amid what may seem like chaos, the provision of water brought an overwhelming sense of peace and unity. Christians and Muslims joined hands to rejoice in this vital resource, a simple element that opened doors to survival and the Gospel itself. Water projects reached orphanages, women’s centers, street children facilities, centers for the physically challenged, and communities of converts from Islam. Each location shared stories of trauma – tales of murder, rape, fear, and physical abuse. However, through it all, the presence of Jesus in their lives shone brightly, often bringing tears to my eyes.
The trip underscored the profound impact of water beyond its life-sustaining properties. It is a gateway to sharing stories of faith, hope, and transformation. I realized more than ever our privilege and responsibility to amplify these narratives and extend the gift of clean water and the Living Water.
In Nigeria, over 60 million children still lack adequate access to clean water, and sanitation/hygiene challenges persist. Vulnerability is exceptionally high among those who profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Yet, water remains the key to unlocking doors in these areas, addressing physical needs and fostering peace and stability.
The journey ahead is long, but we are committed to the long run. In the past year alone, we’ve witnessed the transformation of over 107 communities through clean water initiatives, impacting tens of thousands of lives. Our drilling rig, a symbol of determination, now stands as a testament to the dedication of our partners, donors, and the incredible support from students of Speed the Light and BGMC.
I invite you to join us in this ongoing journey of impact and transformation. Your support is a vital force propelling us forward, enabling us to bring hope and healing to those who need it most.
Wishing you a season filled with warmth and blessings.