I first met John back in late 2010, he was one of those guys who you just love spending time with and he was so grateful for the help Outreach International had provided to him and his family. His family’s lives had been transformed from serious poverty to one of sufficiency. You can read about John’s story here.

I hadn’t planned on meeting up with John on this visit but our paths crossed again as I spoke to some women from the same community of Luano.  The women were working in the fields, one of them told me that her husband was in the next field along – and his name was John. Of course, I couldn’t resist going over to see him again!  Here’s a photo of John with his wife Manale.

I asked them how their life was right now, Manale said that it keeps improving each year. They told me how they are now in the process of building a new home, a bigger house made from baked mud bricks, not the unbaked type of his original house. This one will withstand the rains during the wet season. The non-baked bricks would eventually decay as the rains wore away at them.  He’s able to afford the new house because of the extra crops he is now producing.

Although John and Manale’s life is so much better they are still looking to improve it further. They told me how there is only so much land they can farm because it’s only possible to carry water over short distances. The crops are watered by hand via small shallow wells nearby, they have to carry large containers of water wherever their crops grow and it’s an arduous task.

The solution, John tells me, is to obtain treadle pumps. These pumps allow water to be channelled over much greater distances via flexible plastic hoses.

Manale says that they have a whole field of banana trees that they’re unable to water right now. A treadle pump would enable water to easily travel that far, providing an extra $800 of income each year for their family. The community are meeting to discuss how best to obtain these pumps and also to make sure that everyone is in agreement that they are the right solution for them.

Before Outreach International became involved in helping those in Luano, life was incredibly hard. Many people were living in desperate circumstances, from lack of food to poor housing. As John previously said “Outreach International has made all the difference. I have been able to pull myself and my family out of poverty. We enjoy three nutritious meals every day, and our children are less vulnerable to illness. They are much healthier now.”

John and Manale continue to work hard to improve their lives and that of their family. They also encourage others in the community to learn new skills which allow them to achieve similar accomplishments.

For us at Outreach International, people like John and Manale are shining examples of sustainable good, they have identified their most difficult issues and tackled those problems head on. There’s no looking back now for their family. I’m not sure when I’ll see them again but I’m extremely confident they will have more success stories to share with me.