International Missionary Fellowship - Steve and Faith Leach

  • Imagine never having water available at your home. No spigot to turn for drinking, washing hands, bathing etc. Then imagine getting a reliable, though limited source that with proper care will last a lifetime. You can see that it would be a huge, life changing blessing.

  • Cisterns not only change the lives of the recipients but the lives of our crew members. Here are the four men who make up the cistern crew; they work very hard and do quality work.

  • Steel reinforcing bar (rebar) is included in the concrete pour giving the cistern the necessary strength to last a lifetime.

  • All the fabrication of the rebar is done by the cistern crew.

  • Close up

  • The fabricated rebar is organized into sets, each set represents one cistern.

  • The rebar is then taken to the construction site and placed inside a six inch deep form and wired in place on approximately one foot centers.

  • Another view

  • The form is filled with six inches of concrete, all of which is mixed by hand.

  • They level out the concrete to make a smooth base.

  • After the floor sets overnight the forms for the walls are placed and secured.

  • The walls are then poured, also 6 inches thick. All concrete is mixed by hand, it takes 20 batches to complete a cistern.

  • This photo shows a good view of the rain guttering, already in place. We make the brackets that hold the guttering in place. Leftover rebar is used along with flat steel in their fabrication.

  • After the forms are removed, the inside of the cistern is finished with a smooth coat of mortar.

  • After finishing the inside, forms are placed for the cover and the rebar is bent and tied together with wire.

  • Then other forms are placed on the top and concrete is poured, leaving a access hold for maintenance.

  • We had no idea when we built our first cistern in 2001 that God would bless and multiply this project so. We are privileged to continue in His work and do so by His grace.

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  • The walk back from the local spring is steep and long.

  • A gallon of water weighs over 8 lbs so a 5 gallon bucket is more than 40 lbs. They are walking up a steep rock path with loose gravel. They probably do this at least daily.

  • Many children make this outing with no shoes.

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  • Hauling water is a daily part of life for many children.

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  • A cup of cold water for the glory of God.

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Girl playing in the
overflow after a rain

384 Cisterns

As of Spring 2013, we have built 384 cisterns, making over a million and a half gallons of water available to families in the area annually (based on a conservative, 12-inch annual rainfall estimate).

In keeping with our philosophy that folks should do all they can to help themselves, the recipient families have a lot of sweat equity invested. Though these folks could never afford to have a cistern built in total, the sweat equity that is required of them makes getting one less of a handout and more of a partnership. This helps keep their self esteem intact and makes them more likely to give the cistern proper care and maintenance.

Our cisterns are reinforced concrete and will last for generations.

It is our aim to show God's love to folks here by meeting this basic need for water.

Families are chosen without regard to their faith of lack thereof.

After the family cistern is completed, one of the guys on the crew, Asillio, who is an evangelist, goes back to give them a Bible and share Christ as he feels led.