Chowan University’s Jill Awuni Partners with Local Church to Bring Water to African Village in Need
J. E. Barker - University Relations - July 26, 2013
MURFREESBORO, NC – About 3 years ago, the members of Sandy Run Baptist Church's Junior Philanthia Sunday School joined Chowan faculty member Jill Awuni’s family effort overseas to drill a well for one of her mother's villages she is in charge of in a remote region of Ghana, Africa.
“After I shared with them what I and mom had done to assist women in these villages, Janet Boschen and her ladies group at the church in Roxobel contacted me to find out how they could be a part of such a great cause,” explained Awuni, Chowan’s Instructor of Religion, Business and Critical Thinking. “With the villages my mom creates, we help abused women and their children find sustenance through farming projects to help them back on their feet.”
This trying task began around 30 years ago when Awuni’s mother was ostracized from her family for her stance in her newfound Christian faith based on Acts 15:29. She took a stand for Christ against all of the Akandikorigo tribal gods, refusing to accept Christ as just another god among many, holding Him as the one and only savior.
After being ostracized by her royal family, she lived at the mercy of strangers as she shared her beliefs from village to village. After a few years of struggle, God blessed and uplifted her with a much wealthier home, business and stature in the community. In the face of strong opposition from elders, spouses and even local witch doctors, she began working with women and their families in similar situations, as she found many others were discouraged for their beliefs. The women she helped began to grow empowered in their Christian faith and more self-sufficient as their farming and food sales at markets made them less reliant on Ghana’s heavily male-dominated lifestyle. Today, Awuni’s mother has gained the respect from the men and women of Ghana, old and young, and she pays it forward through projects like these nurturing farm villages, which all began decades ago with just a shed and some seeds.
After conflicts with drillers’ work schedules and complications with soil composition and water quality on this project, her mother found a way to send water from a far-off town into their village of Wingogo, near Bolgatanga in the upper east region of Ghana.
“Due to the cost of digging and piping water from a long distance, I did not think it was something they should worry about. To my amazement, after my presentation on my trip to the Holy Land on June 19th at Sandy Run, the Junior Philanthia group asked me to stay and then they informed me they want to help bring clean water to my mom's village.”
“Talk about dedicated Christians sharing love with total strangers - that is Sandy Run!” Awuni happily exclaimed. “I am blessed to have such lovely friends who don't take no for an answer. They gave their word three years ago, and even though several things have changed, they will not give up.”
Awuni heads to Africa this week to oversee the project come to fruition. As she extends her thanks to all those who supported the Sandy Run Baptist Church fundraiser, we congratulate her on such a successful community outreach and overseas mission initiative. Her dedication to helping others is an inspiration to us all.