I returned from our latest Nicaraguan mission trip three days ago. My mind and heart are still catching up with my body. This year, in addition to the medical mission team, the three of us my church sent to Clean Water U, the education program of Living Waters for the World, travelled as the water team to search for a community with whom we could partner to install a clean water system. During our ten-day trip, I spent two and a half days bouncing around the province of Matagalpa in Juan’s truck with his assistant and translator, Nestor, and Eric and David, the other two members of the water team. It was a blessing to see more of this beautiful country than on previous trips, and to meet new people and make new friends.
Eric and I were anxious about having to choose one community as well as the need to make a decision in the three days we had to check out potential and existing water sites and sign a covenant agreement. Both of us were touched by the gracious hospitality of Consuelo, the community leader who invited us into her home in the tiny community of Las Lajas, the first site we visited. Neither of us wanted to tell her no. David, the young engineer, was more pragmatic. After we said goodbye to Consuelo to travel to two other potential water sites, I prayed urgently for discernment and clarity, and texted La Jefa, our group leader, to ask the members of the medical team to do the same.
God answered our prayers in an unexpected way. When we arrived at one of the two remaining sites we visited after leaving Las Lajas, Juan went in search of their community leader. He returned a few minutes later to tell us they had decided they were not interested. At the final prospective site, we met with another community leader under a tree in her front yard high in the mountains. She was interested in our proposal, but said she would need to gather her community later to make a decision. We left her to visit the building she had in mind for a water system and to obtain a water sample for testing. When we arrived at the building, no one had a key. David could not evaluate the site for an installation. Eric and David turned the handle on the faucet at their water source, but no water came out. There was nothing to test.
Thus we chose Consuelo’s community of Las Lajas as our partner in this new venture. God had answered our prayers for discernment and clarity: locking the door and shutting off the water faucet! We could only laugh and celebrate this new partnership. As we said goodbye, Consuelo had told me that the water in the well at Las Lajas originated in a spring that flowed from a rock up in the hills. I responded, “water from the rock, just like Moses provided!” Now, with God’s help, we will work with the people of Las Lajas to make that water clean and safe. God is good.
Grace and Peace,