asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic

Laundry

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“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God”  

2 Corinthians 9:11-12

Over the past two years, we have suffered from lack of rain.  Many times, we will have no water in our homes at all.  We get our water from the river.  When the river gets low, the workers at the dam turn off the water to the community so that sand and rocks don’t get caught in the filtration system.  Once we get some rain, they will turn it back on until the water gets low again.  Many of the homes in our community will go weeks without water.

Our house was equipped with a huge underground cistern.  This was installed to keep us from running out of water.  However, due to the draught over the past couple of years, our cistern has almost emptied out many times.  As you can see from the picture, it is very low right now. Normally, it is filled to that top line.

IMG_6235We ALWAYS have to be very conscious that we are being conservative with the amount of water that we use.  When we are under draught conditions, like now, we have to be extremely conservative and decide what is the best use of the water we have.  Here is how we prioritize our water consumption: the water in the cistern is used only to wash dishes and bathe.  In order to wash clothes, water the garden, and anything else, we use the water from the river.  To gather the water from the river, we drive our truck down there and fill up these blue containers: IMG_6231

I remember when I lived in the states and dreaded doing laundry…all that washing, and drying, and folding….UGH!  It was one of those things that I just avoided and procrastinated doing until it grew and grew, and I renamed it “Mt. Washmore”.  I seriously hope that I am not the only one that feels that way.  It’s just not my favorite thing to do…to say the least.

Then I move here, and laundry takes on its own life form!  I have written about it before—>HERE

As you can see, even under normal circumstances using a semi-automatic washing machine is a test in patience and perseverance. Now…add in a draught!

In order to do laundry, we take buckets of water out of the blue container and put them into the wash basin until it is full.  Wash that load of laundry, then put those clothes in the spin basin.  While they are spinning, repeat the water bucket process to fill the wash basin with water for the rinse cycle.  Spin the clothes again after the rinse cycle is complete, and hang the clothes on the line.  Repeat this for every single load.

This is the washing machine.  On the left is the wash basin.  On the right is the rinse basin.

This is the washing machine. On the left is the wash basin. On the right is the rinse basin.

Here’s a visual of the process for you.

IMG_6233

Exhausting, right?  However, we still count our blessings on this crazy process because:

1) There are still homes in our community that do not have running water, electricity, or a washing machine. In order for them to have clean clothes, they have to lug their clothes down to the river to wash them every single time.  We are fortunate to have a cistern, electricity, and a washing machine.

2)  Many do not have trucks to drive down to the river to fill their blue containers.  Luckily, those of us that do have one help the others out.

Right now, Mo is in Haiti.  I needed to do laundry but my blue container was empty.  The exact day that I realized that, one of my neighbors came by to say that he was going to the river and did I need some water!  God hears our cries, folks!  He really does!!!

THIS is just one more reason that I am madly in love with this community.  They know each other’s needs and jump right in to help one another out.  That, my friends, is what true “community” is all about!

“John answered: ‘Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food WATER is to do likewise’ “

Luke 3:11

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