The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

March 23, 2013

It is well with my soul

Emmanuel Baptist Church discovers mission stretches beyond borders of its community

ENID, Okla. — Jesus offered the Samaritan woman at the well a drink of living water, saying, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Proclaiming the promise of that living water is one of the goals of Emmanuel Baptist Church’s mission in Niger, west Africa, but so is providing sources for good, clean H2O.

John Stam, Emmanuel’s missions’ pastor, has made a number of trips to Niger as part of the church’s ongoing mission there.

Life-changing visit

Emmanuel’s ties to Niger began more than a decade ago when Yacouba Seydou, and his wife, Renate, visited the church and asked for help in his efforts to improve life in his native country through their ministry, Hosanna Institute of the Sahel.

“Pastor Wade (Burleson) asked me into his office, and I met the two of them,” said Stam. “It was just one of those amazing visits. You don’t realize it’s going to be life-changing, but you know you’ve never run into something like this before.”

Emmanuel committed to helping Yacouba and Renate with their ministry. The first medical mission team from the church traveled to Niger in January 2004.

During that trip, Stam was confronted by Niger’s desperate need for clean water.

“We were waiting for a ferry, this archaic old ferry over the Niger river,” Stam said. “This young woman, probably 16 or 17, went out into the Niger river, squatted down, did her business in the water, then washed her face and then drank out of the river.”

When he returned to his office, he found on his desk an alumni magazine from his alma mater, Wheaton (Ill.) College, which contained an article about one of the school’s professors drilling water wells in Africa.

Stam spoke to the professor, Jim Clark, who referred him to an organization called Living Water International, based in Houston.

“We ended up buying a small, portable drilling rig they had helped design,” Stam said.

After sending several people to Houston to be trained to use the rig, Stam negotiated to purchase everything the church would need for two 100-foot wells. With the help of other churches, including Enid Mennonite Brethren, Emmanuel raised the money.

“We brought it here and practiced with it up on Bill Ward’s land,” said Stam. “Of course, none of us knew anything about drilling. We shipped it to Africa, and it was there waiting for us. We got two wells done on that first trip.”

That was in 2005. Since then a new drilling rig has been sent to Niger, and the church is in the process of completing “our 35th or 36th well,” said Stam.

“Some of those wells are really the primary water source for between 1,000 and 2,000 people,” Stam said.

The wells are communal affairs at which the water is drawn by simple hand pumps, which are easily repaired by in-country technicians.

Four drilling teams have been sent to Niger in the past year, and every year at least one medical team travels to the country.

“We’ll treat somewhere around a thousand people each year,” Stam said. “We’ve probably treated over 10,000 people in the past 10 years.”

Text Only
Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link