Speak to the Rock

Four men had toiled for a week to drive the “man-powered” auger to a depth of 150 feet. The ancient way of well drilling was all that could be afforded at the Charity Children’s Home. Economic sanctions are supposed to break military dictatorships, but those imposed on Myanmar just heaped hardship on the impoverished, orphans, and widows. Meanwhile, the Generals had air-conditioning, water coolers, swimming pools, and all the guns.

Tony and I arrived at about 4:30 in the sultry afternoon, just as the decision had been reached to close this borehole well and start another. They had hit impenetrable rock and found no water. Tired and very discouraged, the four men who had walked in the stalks, driving the auger into the earth with brute force, had thrown themselves to the ground exhausted by their futile effort.

Intrigued by actually seeing such an ancient drilling method, we walked over to the borehole. Chung Nung—the children’s home director and our new friend—explained the problem to James Lian Sai, the founder and our old friend.

“There is no water. This is the third attempt. One over there, one over there, and this one. Tomorrow they will start over there. We must find water.” He pointed to the failed holes and the new location. “We have to order another tanker to come, for the children must have water.”

“Have you spoken to the rock?” I asked with some embarrassment. It was not a good time to preach.

“You, rock, you have water. You give up that water for these children, in Jesus’ name.” I spoke in a normal, conversational voice with more hope than faith.

The workers snickered, and our hosts looked away with customary Asian hospitality not wanting to tell the foreigner just how big of an idiot he was.

We had dinner and devotions, and they returned us to our hotel.

It was 3 AM when the water reached the top of the borehole. By morning devotions, it had flooded the yard and workers were feverishly working to cap the well. We arrived at about 8 AM to find children playing in a great pool of crystal clear, cold water.

This well continues to serve the children at Charity Children’s Home, and we even bottled and sold the water for many years to support the home’s needs.

With every drink, bath, and bottle we thank the Lord for out of the rock came the water for life.

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