I often tell my story of how I ended up where I am. The story I tell is always slightly different, but it almost always contains my passion for clean water. This version is written as a reply to an email I received from a fellow water enthusiasts. It therefore shows my heart behind my ministry and I think the story is so good that it is worth sharing:
This all started at the age of 16 when my family were in Hawaii for my parents crossroads DTS and my foundation school. At some point I remember hearing about someone who traveled to some Pacific Islands to drill water wells, and I immediately thought: that’s what I want to do!
That thought has been with me and shaped my whole life. I am now 30 years old and I only recently started my «water project» at age 28. Before that I was detouring and slightly derailed from God, but drilling wells in the Pacific has always been with me. I have obtained a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Technology within Well Drilling and I have been working in the North Sea for 3.5 years.
It was when I lost my job and everything I had worked towards in the course of my adult life that I woke up from the trance of the world and turned back towards God. I started out dedicating a year of my life to find solutions to the world’s water problems. I was confident that with my background and experience I could come up with some way to help many people.
It is funny to look back at how patient God is with me and how he helps me on my way in tiny steps. I started thinking that this was something I could do from the comforts of home, but then he eventually turned me into a full time missionary. I also started thinking that this was a problem I could solve with knowledge, but now I see it as a problem that only can be solved by restoring relationships with God, themselves, others and creation. Let me explain:
Traditional aid work has been to throw a bunch of money at a problem, solving it with material things. This has led to a whole bunch of problems and eventually crippled a whole lot of people, if not to mention entire nations. Seeing this in a smaller version, this could also be a story of me trying to save the world with technology. If I have some solution to their water problem and only give it to them, they will never find a way out of their own problems as I am now seen as the solution. Or even worse, the solution will be neglected due to them not seeing the problem. Only when they discover their role in this universe can they truly take ownership and solve their own problems.
I want to help facilitate this process for people, but ironically helping restoring relationships requires relationships, which is something I don’t have time to build in this type of ministry where we visit one village each day and maybe come back to in a couple of years.
Therefore, at best, I hope to inspire and help people point towards a better future by speaking truth into their lives and teaching them Biblical principles. By bringing in water filters as a solution to a problem, we achieve nothing. But if it can be done as a gift that they are taught to steward for the glory of God, I believe that it can help people move closer to the ultimate truth and also empower them to fight against their own circumstances.
I haven’t really started my water project yet, I have drilled two wells in the Solomons and that’s it, but I am now closer than ever to start something here in PNG/Bougainville. I am currently looking into buying water filters that can be distributed to villages that rely on surface water for drinking water. I also look into buying kits of spare parts to fix broken water tanks. It will be interesting to see how it goes but, as I mentioned before, I want to do this as a tool to bring people closer to the truth of who they are created to be in God.
Eventually I hope that I can help in a more extensive way in a more long term solution, but I don’t know what that will look like or where that will be. In this journey I have learned to depend and trust in God because I want to be part of his vision and plan, not my own. I am now here on the YWAM Liberty and I feel confident that this is the place to be at the moment, and I will do my part in this ship’s journey.
If you have come this far, I hope you enjoyed my first post in English. Let me know if you want more!