Bridges of Hope Ministries International...

Columba Nwosu Family

Columba Nwosu, his wife Christina and son, Judah, now live in Willmar, Minnesota

Founder, Columba Nwosu, is a missionary from Nigeria. He is the 4th of 8 children and was raised in a nominal Christian family. They went to church on Sundays, Christmas and Easter. But all worshiped their ancestors and other idols, following their predecessors.

As a child, Columba tried to do everything his parents told him to do; including worshiping all the strange gods their traditional teachings demanded. He was a "promising" child by the standards of his IBO tribe.

Growing up as a child in the Village was never easy. His mother, who is his life time hero, would wake them up around 4:30 a.m. to go about 5 miles to draw water from the stream and 5 miles back to the house. Columba started going to the stream when he was about 7 years old. "I'd go in the afternoons, by the time I turned nine, I was "big" enough to rise up with the rest of my family at whatever time they chose for us to go to the stream", he recalls. They went very early so they could get "clean" water before people started taking their baths in the stream. Everyone did the same. They would fetch the drinking water, set it aside and then join in for a bath. "My mother and big sister watched very closely to make sure that we soaped down properly and rinsed both ears. It was important to rinse both ears. I never knew why and probably asked but the answer was not helpful. They would respond something like, "that's how you do it" or "you're supposed to do it..." ".

When he got old enough to learn how to ride a bicycle, his parents rented a bicycle from a local bicycle repair shop. He learned to ride, and passed the "eye test" which were the watchful eyes of his mother and big sister.

For several years he worked hard so his parents could buy a bicycle for him. Once they did, he was in heaven! He would ride his bicycle to the stream after school and fetch water for the widows in the village and the older women. "Somehow I felt it was my God-assigned duty to see to it that none of the widows and the elderly folks went without drinking water. I did it dutifully, religiously and faithfully, too. And I did this until when I left home to go to school in the City of ABA."

When he came home on holidays, his routine continued. He did that for free and enjoyed every moment of it, and those elderly folks prayed for him to the gods they knew. He looked forward to those prayers each week as he did his rounds. "I could feel my little heart beating so hard and almost jumping out of chest with joy", he relates.

All the villages around still go to this same stream to fetch drinking water. The stream was dirty and filthy back then, and is getting worse as the farming is pushing farm rubbish and mud into the banks and making the stream more and more narrow. He describes the contrast between his life here and the life he left behind. "As I look back, at the luxury that I'm enjoying here in America, it is impossible for me to forget the misery of those that I left at home. I go into the shower at least twice a day in the summer, I brush my teeth from water gushing freely from the faucet and it is effortless. I have NEVER forgotten these thousands of women and children in my villages who would brush if they could at all, from rationed water in a cup and saved a little of the water to wash their faces. For them water is more precious than gold, though dirty and full of all kinds of infectious water borne diseases"

The streams that are the source of daily water supply for so many are not treated, and contain unimaginable water-borne diseases. Columba's 84 yr old father was struck with Malaria. He was ill for some weeks, but thanks to God for the many prayers on his behalf, he recovered and is doing well now. But it was a close call. It was caught in time and God spared his life. Malaria, Cholera, dysentery, worms, etc. are every day burdens on these villagers. Many families have lost their little children to malaria and cholera. Columba lost his little sister to one of these "unexplainable" diseases. Until today, no one was able to tell him what took the life of his little sister, Perpetua.

LIVES WILL BE SAVED WITH YOUR HELP!!! For every water well we successfully drill, we're essentially saving thousands of lives. Drinking water is more precious than the finest of gold in these villages. In sinking the water wells, we're giving the new born babies a chance for life! Many of these will die before they reach age 3 if left the way they live now. To put a drop of clean water on the tongue of a newborn will no longer be such a task -- boiling and filtering and boiling and filtering of water from a stream worse than sewage pond.

Here is a photo of villagers working together on a well site...

“Men, women and children work together to clear ground and prepare for the well. ”