Thirsty? Dehydrated? Parched? Do we give much thought to pouring a glass of water whenever we desire? Turning on the tap at the kitchen faucet do we ever wonder if the torrent that flows is clean? Or, what is its source? For many of us the volume of and sheer number of options for buying water are mind-boggling. Typically, water is in such abundance that when, where, and how to use it is not a matter requiring our consideration. In fact, bottled water alone is almost an $8 billion dollar industry in the U.S.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for 2.1+ billion people in the world who do not have access to safe, clean, and dependable water supplies. Water scarcity affects four out of every ten people. Sadly, 340,000 children under five die every year globally from diarrheal diseases. Unclean water is a leading cause of child mortality. (WHO/UNICEF 2015).
All too often these issues also exist in Guatemala. Yet by God’s grace, through AguaGuate we are working hard to provide sustainable water solutions for rural and isolated communities giving them access to clean and safe water.
This growing and successful ministry touches people’s most basic physical need and is, of course, a tangible demonstration of Christ’s love.
However, it is not without its challenges….
Using sophisticated hydro-technology each well can be 200 feet deep. Taking between seven to ten days to drill, once completed it will last a lifetime. Under crew leader Alvaro’s guidance, each crew-member is cross-trained in all the positions of the drill crew. Teamwork is essential because there are often mechanical and logistical problems to be solved. Drill rigs, with their hydraulic systems and pipes, occasionally break thus requiring ingenuity and on the spot immediate repair. Delays are costly and frustrating. Nevertheless the team’s morale is high as they see wells established and functioning. Our goal is to complete two new wells each month but due to mechanical issues we are not at our target. We trust the Lord to see us through these issues so please pray that the mechanical issues will be quickly overcome and our desire to assist people’s basic need will be achieved.
Once a well is successfully drilled it is not an overstatement to say that it is both life and joy giving to a community. Clean drinking water is now in abundant supply, perhaps for the first time ever! Jeremy Israel writes of a recent successful drilling, “I thank the Lord for continuing to use AguaGuate to bless people and rural pastors with clean safe drinking water. We are working on our 4th well for the year. The current well we are drilling will be tapped directly into the municipal water line. We will not only be providing water for the nearly 10,000 people who visit the retreat center, but also to more than 400 people living near the drill site.”
Our Savior Jesus engaged people where they lived, both spiritually and physically. For instance, His conversation with the woman at the well in Samaria (John 4) began with the simple request for a drink of water. It wasn’t long, however, before He skillfully led conversation to the deeper need of living water. AguaGate exists for both. Please pray that the provision of clean well water will lead to the opportunity for the gospel to be shared. Plainly speaking the gospel in word, and confirming it in deed, follows the pattern of our Redeemer.
Thank you for your support of AguaGuate!