Most of the month of March, I was away from home, two weeks in Nicaragua, and then a week in Big Bend here in Texas. In both places beautiful mountains surrounded me. Of all the images that I have tucked away in my memory from my travels, however, the one that has haunted me most was watching a small girl, about the age of my grandkids, stooping at a creek near one of the medical clinics we held in Nicaragua to cup a drink of water in her hands. I wanted to shout, “No!” but I realized I had no right to say anything, when I had no clean water to offer her. The doctors at the clinics regularly saw children sick from water borne diseases.
The first week in Nicaragua, the mission team from our church helped the people of Las Lajas, Nicaragua install a Living Waters for the World water purification system. Now the children at three schools will have access to clean water, thanks be to God! It was a blessing to celebrate with the people of Las Lajas. But there are so many more places that need clean water, all around the world. Living Waters for the World says that a child dies every 20 seconds from lack of clean water.
While we were in Nicaragua, we looked for a new site to install another water purification system next year. We visited two places and talked with community leaders. My heart is with the community of Los Chimbos, where we would install a system in a school. The community is poor, even by Nicaraguan standards, but they have formed a committee of parents who want to provide clean water to their children. Their water comes from a spring that was once unpolluted. But several families built homes near the spring and now the water is making the children of Los Chimbos sick. I tried to imagine what it would be like to give my kids or grandkids water, knowing it would probably make them sick. The sign we posted on the new water system in Las Lajas says, “Jesus Christ is living water for our bodies and our souls.” The same Jesus who said when you give a cup of water to one of these little ones, you will be rewarded. The only reward I want is to know there are no more children dying from lack of clean water.
Grace and Peace,