Discovering Light?

The reasons for choosing a new name for our organization and undergoing a full ‘rebranding’ haven’t changed since this post from late 2012. But you might be wondering, “Why Discovering Light?” Why no reference to water, or any of our initiatives? Why nothing about Africa or more specifically, Ethiopia? The answer to the last question is simple: Who knows where God may direct us next?…

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February 18, 2014 by Discovering Light

Small Business Successes

In early 2012, Discovering Light began a small business development effort in Kalo village, loaning 9 young men funds to purchase a post-harvest thresher. 3 business teams (3 men per machine) were arranged with guidance from the local kebele, or village leadership council. The thresher was equipped with a donkey cart allowing owners to move house to house threshing grain stored following the harvest. This service typically…

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February 17, 2014 by Discovering Light

Beauty and Baptism!

The ultimate source of abundant life is trusting Jesus for eternal life and following him daily. We’ve partnered with some wonderful Christian leaders in Ethiopia for the last three years. All of them have a passion for helping people pursue a relationship with God. We’ve worked with them for some time designing a strategy to support their efforts to share this message in Arsi Oromo…

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November 21, 2013 by Discovering Light

Savings Groups Report, November 2013

In just over 2 years, 325 Savings (Self-Help) Groups have formed in West Arsi, Ethiopia. The groups are from 3 districts or ‘Woredas’ and are comprised of 5307 members. In some areas of Ethiopia, women make up nearly all the SHG members. No so in this region. Out of the 5307 members, 1988 are men and 3319 are women. The men have clearly seen the…

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November 18, 2013 by Discovering Light

Why We are Here

We’re accelerating towards our organizational rebrand, set to launch around the first of the year, with a completely fresh set of tools to share who we are – new name, logo, website, mission statement, and much more. Here’s a mix of some old and new ways we are using to describe our reason for being. Africa Water and Life is dedicated to helping people groups…

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October 3, 2013 by Discovering Light

Not to Late to Celebrate

In the midst of our Save+Water Campaign and a visit to Ethiopia which focused on some of our other projects, we were thrilled to celebrate the graduation of our first four students in the Selam Awassa Technical and Vocational College. On July 27, Moyeta, Abdukadr, Abduraman, and Mustafa, four young men from the Kalo village area completed their studies in metal fabrication and assembly and…

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September 18, 2013 by Discovering Light


Kristina Williams (below, in the white hat) was unsure how she could take part in the SAVE+WATER Campaign from the time it was launched at her church, The Gathering Place. Providentially, it was during a sleepless night a few weeks back while battling an illness that her idea came. A High Tea! On Saturday, Kristina hosted her Tea and welcome a few dozen women to…

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August 27, 2013 by Discovering Light

Looking To the Mountains, Looking To the Future

A few weeks back I (Champ Rhodes) visited Ethiopia to connect with our on-the-ground partners and explore new opportunities for advancing our vision. One of the highlights was a day trip out to the Bale Zone to see what the area was like and discover how God was working in this region. While we are committed to the Saving Group (Self-Help Group) Program in West…

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August 16, 2013 by Discovering Light

“Blessed,” a Savings Group Story

In April, we were introduced to a Savings Group (or Self Help Group) in the Arsi Negele village of Adje. Several of the all-women group graciously shared their story with us. The name they gave their group was “Blessed”. Their demeanor varied from the obvious vocal leader and the quietly confident. Their strength and visible hopefulness did not vary. Faces lit up one by one…

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June 28, 2013 by Discovering Light

On June 18, Congressmen Robert Pittenger took the floor of the House to honor the Bill Harding Family for their missionary service of 60 years in Ethiopia. We are privileged to have learned from and work with Bill Harding’s son, David and his fantastic organization Water Is Life International. We thank God for his steadfast love through the generations of the Harding family. Take a…

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June 21, 2013 by Discovering Light