For those wondering how the well drilling project is progressing and what the time table for it is, here's how it has gone until now and how we hope to see it go from here. This has been a very slow process, and I've definitely gotten impatient at points, but we're on the right track.
- In 2007 and 2008, Global Frontier Missions raised the funds for buying a well drilling rig. While we were raising funds, the rig we were originally looking at almost doubled in price. So in 2008 Dave decided to build the rig himself and save us about $15,000 USD. He had to wait to start construction until finishing Mission Training School and spending a few months concentrating on language learning.
- Late in 2008 and early in 2009 Dave bought most of the parts and materials for the well drilling rig and began construction on it.
- After being at home for three months in the spring of 2009 for his daughter's wedding, Dave spent countless hours in the summer and fall building the well drilling rig. Throughout that process and in the time since we have had people visiting us wanting to know if we can drill them a well.
- In December of 2009 Dave was able to fire up the rig for the first time and test it out. It worked well, but Dave realized we needed to order some more parts and make a few changes.
- In January and February of this year, Dave made the necessary adjustments to the machine.
- In February we started drilling our first well, this one at the GFM base. We used all our pipe going 43 meters deep, then decided we needed to go deeper. Dave also realized we needed to order a safety valve that would keep the drilling assistant (which has been me up to this point) from losing a finger. I thought that was a great idea.
- The part got here in March, and we immediately found out we would need another part to make that one work properly.
- The second part took a few more weeks to arrive, getting here in April.
- In late April, we were able to start working on the base well again. The machine is now working very well, but we found out we needed a different type of bit to complete the job. (Anyone see why it's been hard for us not to get impatient during this process? The learning curve has been steep, but very valuable.)
- Dave has to go to the U.S. for a couple of weeks right now, so he will bring down the new bit we need when he returns. We hope to finish the well at the base the last week of May. Then we hope to do a free well we owe someone and two wells that we get payed for during the month of June. It can take us a week or more to drill a well at this point, so if we're able to pull that off in June we'll feel really good about it.
- My family and Dave and Rhonda plan to be in the United states for a lot of July and August. So when we get rolling again in late August into September, we hope to start drilling regularly and work on bringing one or two employees on board.
And now you know where we've been and where we're headed with well drilling!