Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Yesterday, a few guys from Koutiala, three of the Bible professors from Bethel, went to this village to see a solar electric system donated by a Dutch company. The materials alone were 1.5 million dollars. There were 600 solar panels that cost 600 dollars a piece. They had 260,000 dollars in batteries alone! One of the reasons we wanted to see this system is Anco, a Dutch missionary with our mission, has set up a solar system out at Bethel Bible College here in Koutiala so they can have electric without running an expensive diesel generator. The cost of running the generator is half of the annual budget. If we can get the cost of electric down, they can have more students which means they can train more Malian pastors for the villages. We already have a system in place that feeds the radio station there 24/7 with no external power sources and the rest of the campus runs half the time on solar and half on generator. We were wanting some ideas on building the rest of the system so we thought that this place was a great place to get those ideas. The solar power is obviously free but there are maintenence costs, but these will be a lot less expensive than running a generator and without relying on buying diesel. We would like to be 100% solar within a year but the funds are not coming in like Anco had planned. Anco has contacted some business in Holland and have received a small shipment of panels. Praise God! He will provide. Please keep Bethel in your prayers. They are future pastors of the country. We need their leadership to reach this country for Christ. Have a great day. As a little side note for those of you from Springfield Ohio. The control housing for the solar system was made by the Rittal Corp. in Springfield! Small world Huh?