Good News in May 2020
Although ELI libraries remain closed due to the Coronavirus, our African directors report excitement at every library regarding a possible re-opening date. Adults are eager for their literacy classes to resume and children are waiting for opportunities to peruse the shelves for a good book to read. While the library buildings have been closed, there’s plenty of good news to share regarding God’s faithfulness in other projects that have moved forward on ELI library sites!
SUSU VILLAGE, ZAMBIA
Loud cheers and clapping could be heard as the villagers of Susu watched the enormous borehole drilling truck lumber down the pot holed and rugged road that links Susu Village with the outside world. ELI was humbled and thrilled to be awarded a $10,000 grant from PayPal Gives San Jose California that has been used to drill a new well at the site of the future Susu Community Library. This new well will provide water needed during library construction, for the expanding goat herd, drip irrigation for a future garden project, and to provide fresh drinking water for the library patrons. Within days of the successful drilling, the community worked together to mount the tank stand, hoist the water storage tank, and install solar panels to power the pump! Villagers then began the back breaking work of clearing a nearby section of land and installing the drip irrigation system needed for a large vegetable garden.
As ELI identifies a potential library site, we also work with the community leaders to establish profitable income generating projects that will provide needed resources for that community, and to be a future funding source for the ongoing support of library operations.
Susu is a community of hard working subsistence farmers, however they lacked a large area of arable land, farm implements, fertilizer, and seed. With the generous financial gift from current and former residents of Britton, SD, (given in January 2019) ELI was able to purchase 100 hectares of land bordering a river. The transformation of this land in the last eighteen months is nothing short of miraculous! Soon other ELI supporters inspired by Britton’s gift responded in kind, and huge gardens of watermelons, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, and an orange tree grove were planted!
Lana Lynn’s birthday campaign for “Goats for Susu” launched a herd of sixteen, and these happy goats have already produced eight kids with more scheduled to arrive soon! Construction of a goat milking barn and processing area is underway. This milk will provide abundant nutritional value for the village children at Susu school.
The farmers have long term goals and carefully reinvest their profits to grow the gardens and save for future operating costs of the library. And with the new motorcycle purchased to further expand the mobile library program, thousands of children and adults without access to books or other educational resources will be included in this vital ministry to bring educational opportunities to rural villages.
Last fall, Lana Lynn ( ELI President) and Alicia Glauser ( Board Director) traveled to Britton, SD to share the pictures and stories of the previous summer trip to Susu and other ELI sites. Alicia (left) and Lana ( right) are pictured with Doug Card, publisher of the Britton Journal. The audiences were excited to know and to see how their gift launched this amazing effort. Once again, because of their generosity, ELI has received almost the entire amount of funding needed to build the first structure on the new Susu library site. This building will house an office and reading room with space to hold an inventory of two thousand books and other educational materials. The permit process is underway, and we are hopeful that construction will begin in the next month. It's important to finish before the rainy season begins and the supply roads from the market town become impassable. Only $5000.00 is needed to fully fund the library construction. Would you prayerfully consider a financial gift of any size, and be one of our partners in the Susu Community Library project?
ELI is so grateful for individuals, groups, churches, towns, and ELI is grateful for all the individuals, groups, churches, towns, and organizations that have shared in our vision. The transformation of Susu bears witness to lives being changed through libraries, literacy, and educational opportunities combined with community development! We remain thankful to God and look for more opportunities to share Good News!