After my retirement, I was talking to a group of friends about my love for mission trips. When I said that I was longing to go on more of them, one friend told me about a trip to Honduras that her church was organizing. She gave me the contact information for the team leader and I invited myself to go along. Fortunately for me, the team did not turn me down. That trip, and the ones that have followed, gave me a new appreciation for all the blessings I’ve had in my life. It is so easy to become stagnant in a society of ease and to take for granted what our lives have given us. It’s humbling to realize that the poor among us have more than the rich in other countries ever dream about. We are spoiled. Our lifestyles are miles beyond what is normal for much of the world.
When we are thirsty, we never have to think about what is safe to drink. We turn on the faucet, grab a bottle of water, or fill a glass from a dispenser. There are sodas, fruit juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, plain water, flavored water, iced coffees and teas, milk….the list goes on and on! Did you know that 1 in 3 people globally don’t have safe drinking water? Or that 6% of deaths in low income countries can be attributed to unhealthy water? Diarrheal diseases, such as cholera, are the second leading cause of death in children under five (www.cdc.gov/safewater).
The Pure Water Work and Witness team that I have been lucky enough to travel with is sponsored by the West Virginia North District Church of the Nazarene. Donations are used to purchase the Sawyer filtration systems but travel expenses are paid for by the participants. During the next couple of weeks, I’d like to share some of my experiences with you.
In addition to installing the water filtration systems, we have plenty of opportunities to interact with the families. That’s my favorite part of the experience! Luckily, I have friends who are willing to donate soccer balls and jump ropes for the children. The Bunner Ridge CEOS club has been generous in providing funds for an apron making activity we have for women in the communities where we are installing the filters. It’s such a good time!