The Christian rock back Willet has been a treasured partner of FH for many years, helping find sponsors for hundreds of children in need and raising enough money to build 15 clean-water wells in the country of Mozambique. The four band members speak passionately about God's heart for the poor and our response as His followers.
Here, drummer Tyler Klusmann recounts what he saw on the band's recent visit to Mozambique….
Water: a basic essential in life. You and I have water everyday. We wash our clothes in it, we shower in it, we get a glass to drink. We have it in abundance. We can access water just by walking up to our sink and turning a knob.
But what if it wasn't that simple? What if, in order to get water, you had to walk three miles down to the river? What if you had to walk seven miles to the closest well? And what if, when you got there, the well was dry for the day? Or you couldn't go into the river because you were afraid of the alligators?
These issues became very real to the Hunger Strike Team who traveled to Mozambique in fall 2011.
When we arrived in Mozambique, we hit the ground running. Our first day in Gorongosa, we went to a widowed woman's house. We had the opportunity to pray with her and just listen to what she was going through. She couldn't believe that people halfway around the world cared about her enough to come take time and grieve with her. As you can imagine, our first day had an emotional impact on the community and on ourselves.
On this trip, I had the opportunity to meet my sponsored child, Raquel. We rode 4½ hours in the back of a Land Rover to get to her.
I got to sit and talk with her for a while, and she said she gets meals regularly, and she enjoys school. In her community, they're in the beginning stages of planning water wells. Right now, she has to walk two miles down to the river to get water every day, constantly fearing an alligator attack. Food for the Hungry just started working in her community.
When I heard this, I freaked out! I couldn't believe a little 9-year-old girl has to walk down to the river and fight off alligators in order to get water!
Last year, Willet funded 15 clean-water wells for Mozambique, and we were able to see the water wells in surrounding communities of Gorongosa! We traveled to different wells every day. How it works is FH buys the mold and concrete. The district staff teaches the community-level-staff how to do it, and then they instruct the community how to build the well.
It really is a community project. You have FH community-level staff, teamed up with district leaders, and the community to help with the construction of the wells. When we were there, we got to help build one of the wells. It was so awesome to see what seemed like an impossible task come together and actually work.
You have this 1000-pound concrete circle you need to dig into the ground. Then, once that is completely in the ground, you have to put three more circles on top of that one. You really do need the help of everyone in the community to make this task possible.
And, slowly but surely, you get a completed well! We got to go see a well completely done, too.
They said that even though it was dry season, the well that was prayed over and put in by FH has yet to run dry! The water they drew was as clear as the water we get from our sinks!
We praise God for the work being done in Gorongosa, Mozambique, and look forward to helping the new community of over 500 children, most of whom are orphans, in 2012.
-Tyler Klusmann, Willet drummer