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Archive for 2009

Loading Plans

By Tim Rasmussen , Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Last year we struggled with our propane powered drilling rig. It was very thirsty for fuel and due to some issue that we could never resolve the engine would not run steadily. There was a surge in rpm that created issues with the work of the cable drill.

Bucky Mowery, one of our steadfast volunteers, determined to solve this problem. He obtained a Cummins diesel engine and was working to get the correct flywheel for the engine but he ran into trouble. Unable to locate a flywheel or have one made, he emailed Gary that he doubted he would have the engine ready to be shipped to Spokane by the container deadline of Dec 16. It seemed that perhaps the thirsty propane engine would have to work again.

When Dominic Parmantier got the word that there was a problem with Bucky’s plans, he contacted Gary with a message. His company had 3 Deutz diesel engines that had been removed from service in California due to environmental regulations. They were low time engines that had been used in concrete pumps or stationary applications. He asked if Gary was interested in trying to use one of them instead of the Cummins unit. The answer was YES. Dominic arraigned to have one of the motors shipped to the Portland area, where it will be mated with the correct bell housing and then on to Spokane for shipment in the container to Guatemala. Another roadblock melted away for us.

Dennis Baker of Campbell/Baker Manufacturing has generously made hand pumps available at greatly reduced prices. We ordered 10 pumps and they are safe in the shop waiting with a gathering mountain of tools, machinery, supplies and equipment. These things must be weighed, carefully listed on our shipping documents, values assigned to them for customs purposes, and set aside until the day of loading. We will try to load the container within the two hour time frame provided by the shipping company. If the weather holds true to the way it has been in the past, Dec 16 will be very cold, perhaps snowing, but we will be warmed by the work and the knowledge that our efforts and those of our volunteers will bring the miracle of clean fresh water to people have no other hope of getting it, even though it is only a few yards under their feet.

Thank you to all the people who donate their time, energy and money to assist our efforts.

The General

By Tim Rasmussen , Monday, October 26th, 2009

“The General will see you at six o’clock,” the secretary said, as she replaced the phone. We had requested to see the General; Manuel Benedicto Lucas Garcia, brother of a past President of Guatemala. He had a played a part in the rescue of a child some 20 years ago who was later adopted by the Bartholomews and who had just finished college. They wanted to meet the man who had saved their daughter. (more…)

Update 10-2009

By Tim Rasmussen , Wednesday, October 7th, 2009


Bucky Mowery- Faithful Volunteer

By Tim Rasmussen , Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Bucky Mowery of Ohio is one of our faithful volunteers. He has made three trips to drill for the people in Guatemala. Usually he has made the trip with his friend, Speedy Gonzales. Speedy is from Guatemala, and it is a very special experience for him to return to help the people of his country. They are busy planning and preparing for the next trip.

Last year, the two of them worked hard for nearly three weeks to bring water to the village of Jabon Che’ which is in an extremely dry area. They were working with the propane powered drilling rig. Because propane is very expensive there, it cost nearly $120.00 per day for fuel for the rig. They drilled to nearly the limit of one of our rigs, 550 feet. There was a little water by then, but the static level is nearly 400 feet. That is too deep for our hand pumps and there is no power in the village. We have made contact with a group called Engineers without Borders who may be able to help us by coming up with a suitable pump to address this problem.

When he got back home, Bucky decided to try to find an engine for the rig which would be more economical to operate. He contacted a friend of his and learned of someone who might have a diesel engine which would work on the rig. He made the call and eventually was able to buy not only one engine, but two; and he only had to pay about what he was expecting for just one! He and Speedy are in the process of completely rebuilding one of the engines. Once finished, he will install it in one of his rigs and work with it to make sure all is well. Then he intends to remove it, ship it to Spokane and it will go in the container this fall. It will be installed in place of the thirsty propane engine on that rig. This kind of dedication is what makes the project possible.

We are saddened by the recent death of a great friend of the drilling project, Mr. Jim Bechtel. He fell while working on a ladder at his home. He and his wife drove the truck and trailer to Guatemala last fall. He was a champion of the poor people of Guatemala. Over the years he made dozens of trips in support of the orphanage and the people there. His energy and willingness to help will be missed.

A Friend Indeed

By Tim Rasmussen , Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

During this past drilling season, we had planned to take one of the rigs from Guatemala to the International Children’s Care orphanage in El Salvador. They have had a water supply problem there for about 5 years. There are wells on the campus, but all have had problems of one sort or another and for a long time the campus has depended on the last well. There are about 100 children there who have no other place to go. While they have been waiting for us to help them, we have encountered one problem after another such that we have never been able to take one of our rigs into El Salvador. Then Steve came.

Steve Marstaller is a welder and mechanic from Fredrick Md. He and several members of his church have traveled to El Salvador for the past several years to work on projects on that campus. Over the years, Steve had seen the old rig sitting off in the weeds on the campus rusting away. The rig had been part of a well drilling project which involved 5 rigs and was run by the government. The project ended about 12 years ago and the campus was given the best of the remaining rigs. The rig was used to drill wells there and then left to rust. Parts had been cannibalized for other trucks and the engine had not been protected from the moisture. The engine was seized and useless.

In January of 2008, Steve had been impressed to look at the rig and try to find out what was needed to get it running. He looked it over and made a list of things that probably needed to be replaced. When he got home, he went to a friend and asked about the availability of parts for the Perkins 4 cyl diesel engine. He was encouraged to learn that there was no problem with any parts he might need. He went home and prayed and felt impressed to spend $3000 dollars and order the parts. In May of 2008, he and a friend went back to El Salvador and totally rebuilt the engine. It runs just fine and they were able to lift the derrick. We will not have to import a rig to fix the wells there!

Steve is gathering tools and drilling supplies and intends to ship a container this fall in support of the drilling effort there. Bucky Mowery of Ohio is committed to drill there in January and with the blessings of the Good Lord, we will have a rig up and running for him to use.

2009 Updates

By admin , Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

This past January, February, and March, Water for Life International, continued efforts to bring clean water to the villages of rural northeast Guatemala.

Organizational Progress:

Water for Life International has been granted 501(c) (3) status as a tax exempt organization by the IRS. We can now accept donations directly and give tax deduction letters to donors. We have established a bank account in Guatemala, and will retain the services of an attorney to register our corporation there as a foreign non-profit corporation. (more…)

Jungle Repairs

By Tim Rasmussen , Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Frank Clark and Gary were headed to the village of Santa Crux. It is about 2 and ½ miles off the highway down a track with holes deep enough that the truck has to creep along in low range in places. The road is treacherous during good weather and cannot be traveled at all in poor. They were headed there to set a hand pump for the village. The dedication for the well was planned for tomorrow so there was a need to get this pump in place. The mayor would be there and everyone needed to be able to see and drink the water from the well. They were driving our donated well service truck. It is a good vehicle and indispensible for the lifting and lowering of pumps and other things.

They were about 1/3 the way down the track when (more…)

Coincidence or Providence?

By Tim Rasmussen , Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Frank Clark was in the shop when Rod Bartholomew pulled in with the Deutz diesel engine in the back of the truck. Along with it, was a crate which contained the clutch assembly, bell housing and a flywheel. It was Frank’s task to make sure these parts went together to make a replacement for the propane fueled engine on one of our drilling rigs. The engine has been obtained and shipped to Seattle through the efforts of one of our volunteers, Dominick Parmentier. What was believed to be the proper clutch had been ordered. The engine was air cooled with very low hours. If Frank could get it ready, it would be ideal for our work in Guatemala.

Frank had never worked on one of these engines and he had just three days before the container was to be loaded. His job was to get make sure the clutch and PTO fit together and the accessories; battery box, alternator cables and ignition wires, fuel supply lines and filters sorted out and ready for hook up to the drilling rig. He made some calls around the Spokane area and found a shop that worked on Deutz diesels. It was Pacific Power Products. He called and they told him if he could have the engine at their shop at 7am the next day, they would look at it and see if they could help.

When he got there in the morning, he met Charlie Knight. He had just started to work on another engine of the exact same type that very morning, so Frank was able to look at it and talk Mr. Knight about the engine and the hookups. Mr. Knight had a lot of experience with these engines and noticed that there was a problem with the cooling system on our engine. It was missing a shroud in the rear of the engine and had the wrong size fan pulley. What was on it was correct for the stationary, but not correct for how it needed to be for us. He helped Frank get the correct shroud fabricated, and the correct size pulley ordered. It had to be air freighted from the Midwest and we hoped it would arrive before the container left.

As Frank talked to Mr. Knight, he learned that if the changes had not been made, the engine would have not cooled properly and would have been destroyed after a very short time in operation. Without this assistance, we would have had a new engine ruined and a season of drilling put in jeopardy. Another coincidence? No, another providence.

P.S. The correct size pulley arrived at 10:30 am, about 1 hour before the container left.