So often we (as Westerners) take certain things for granted. Things that people in many countries don’t have. We take for granted that there will be water when we go to take a shower in the morning, internet will work, or that we have electricity. We have cars to get us from point a to point b (or at least most do). We have toilets that flush and are inside our house. And we have air conditioning during the summer and heat during the winter.
Here at Beautiful Gate I have access to most of those things. I have running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, and internet. I can buy an electric heater and a fan. I can borrow a car from Beautiful Gate to use after hours. I am blessed.
During my time here, we have had the electricity go out, but we have a back up generator, so that wasn’t a big deal, you just have to conserve electricity a bit then. I’ve had the internet go out for days. A slight inconvenience. My cell phone coverage has gone out, again a slight inconvenience, but just something you deal with. I’ve had times where I’ve missed something or needed to get a ride because no BG vehicle was available. And recently I got to experience the water being out. That was a new experience, but it made me realize a bit of what people go through on a daily basis here in Lesotho and all over the world.
Here on campus we have a backup water tank for these such instances. But the pump was not working properly when we went to turn it on. So, for one night we had not running water. Fortunately the last time when it looked like we wouldn’t have running water, I kept the bottles of water we had stored to use for back up water. So we had some water in my house. And fortunately the faucet next to the water tank was working, so the care staff came and filled their containers and took the water back to their houses.
Of course flushing the toilets was an issue. We used pond water and didn’t flush unless it was definitely needed. This was a Thursday. At that point we were making plans for it to be out until Monday.
Friday morning our wonderful maintenance guys got the pump working, so we had running water again, but we still had to conserve water, since this tank needed to last with 70 children and many staff on campus using it. Short showers, still not flushing the toilet unless needed, and getting pond water to flush the toilet was the plan. Also, we decided to go out to dinner so we wouldn’t have more dishes to do.
With all this preparation we were ready. Fortunately we didn’t have to see how ready, because the water came back on Friday afternoon. Praise God! It came back much earlier then expected and we are so thankful.
Yet I see people walking by each day with wheelbarrows and jugs for their water. People have to deal with this everyday. They do’t have a flush toilet. They have a drop toilet out the back of their house, an out house. And this is in the capital city.
Once you get out to the mountains people don’t have running water, just a communal tap or something along those lines. They don’t have electricity, just gas for fires or something. And they face the harsher elements. They get snow. They get much colder temperatures then here in Maseru. And they do everything without so many conveniences we have back home. They wash clothes and dishes by hand. And can you imagine how cold those drop toilets might be in the winter?
I am so thankful to have the conveniences I have here at Beautiful Gate. But I hope after this experience to not take them for granted but to be grateful for them each and every day. Thank you Lord for your many blessings!