From May 18th to June 3rd I accompanied 12 engineers on a missions trip to Ghana, West Africa. Lipscomb University has had a growing relationship with the organization, The Village of Hope, where we have seen many different needs and sought to offer support in different areas. On this trip of the summer of 2017, we saw the need for dealing with the village’s wastewater that comes from the hospital, academy, and college. All of the wastewater currently flushes to a central septic tank in the middle of the campus and is then discharged into the creek that runs along the outskirts if the campus. We know that this is a very big safety hazard and have had our hearts set on providing a way to clean this water so that it can be discharged into the creek or taken even further by disinfecting it to provide clean drinking water. To do this, we set our sights on implementing one of AquaPoint’s Bioclere water systems.
For this trip, we split our group into two teams: a solar power team and a sanitation team. The solar power team tackled the challenge of designing a system of solar panels that will be used to power our water filtration system. They worked for months to design a system that can provide the necessary power while reducing the cost. Then, our sanitation team worked on the direct specifications of the water filter and how we can be most efficient in installing the system. The sanitation team took chemical analyses of the wastewater in order to get a better understanding of the water we needed to treat. Both teams worked very diligently over a course of months to make sure we could best provide for the needs of the people we served.
We are very passionate about providing a way to produce clean water because it is something we can take so easily for granted while living in America. We do not have to worry about pathogens in our tap water and do not have the burden of sewage systems that do not work. We are blessed to have what we have, and believe that clean water should be accessible for everyone. With that being said, we not only felt called to go to Ghana to provide clean water, but also because Jesus calls us to “go and make disciples of all nations”. Without this call, I do not believe there would be as much power in what we did. We wished to be good stewards of the good news, and to teach others about the hope, love and redemption that Jesus has to offer, and that is why we went: we want to share with others our God given abilities for engineering and chemistry in order to better the lives of those around us all for the glory of Jesus Christ.
By Kyle Smith