Water Brings Life.

Contributed by Brad Howard, CFK technical volunteer.

Dr. Kim with CFK’s director, Heidi Linton, as she shares a handmade quilt to help him through his own fight against tuberculosis

During the November trip we installed a solar-powered water system at two rural Ministry of Public Health facilities: a TB rest home in Hwangju and a Hepatitis Hospital near Sariwon. We stopped the van on the side of the highway and met some men, including the director Dr. Kim (that’s the Korean version of Dr. Smith, by the way). He looked very sick. At his age and position, he could perhaps be working safely at a desk job. The fact the he continues to work directly with patients and put his own health at risk in a poor rural setting says a lot about his dedication.

Brad helping to install the new water system

Our driver drove the van through the weeds down the side of a mountain. There was no road as we think of that term. We forded a river—losing part of the rear bumper in the process– and continued through fields to approach the rest home. At

one point we had to stop to allow an ox cart to pass. We arrived at a very simple, but well kept facility. Although it was harvest time, it was a false bounty. According to the United Nations, the overall harvest was again insufficient to meet the country’s needs. The food that patients and residents grow for themselves can therefore mean the difference between life and death when so little is available through the country’s public distribution system.

Oxcart in the road!

A few days later, we moved on to the hepatitis hospital near Sariwon. For that project a pre-existing natural spring, rather than a well, was the water source. That spring has a good reputation locally, and people walk and bicycle from miles around carrying large plastic jugs to take water home. We installed a large water tank on a hillside above the hospital and installed a solar-powered pump at the spring house. This provides gravity-fed water to 11 frost-free hydrants we installed, both indoors and out.

We were fortunate that the weather cooperated. Although it rained the first day we were at this site, there was no more rain the rest of the time. Even in early November, it gets very cold in the DPRK. Fortunately, the sun came out every afternoon.

Similar facilities have already reported dramatic increases in their crops because of the irrigation these systems provide. It is so gratifying to be a part of something that makes such an immediate, tangible and lasting improvement in the quality of people’s lives in the DPRK.

The water project team consisting of CFK and North Korean volunteers

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Christian Friends of Korea
P.O. Box 936
Black Mountain, NC 28711

Phone: 828-669-2355

Email: cfk@cfk.org

Words of Truth

But God demonstrates His own love in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

— Bible, Romans 5:8
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