El Salvador Water
Our team went on a short-term mission to El Salvador in November. This country is located in Central America, and it is neighbors with Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua and most notably, safe water is one of this country’s most difficult problems. There are many remote villages scattered throughout the countryside that appear to have been literally forgotten by our world. Their homes are made of simple materials, some have dirt floors, and they subsist on what can be grown on a small plot of land. This does not contradict the fact that they are most content and live happy lives, albeit very hard lives. Water frequently is carried from streams that may be very far away (possibly not even safe water), and every drop that is consumed is used wisely.
Upon arrival in the country, we were greeted by Living Water International staff at the airport. They had arranged for us to visit a village that had a well installed 2 years ago by the Myerstown ELCO Rotary. The loving expressions of thank you were most impactful as many community leaders made passionate speeches to explain how the well changed their town’s life and made them more prosperous and healthy. Coming from the United States, many people have not even pumped a hand pump well in their life, yet these people were extremely grateful for this simple gift for their village of 175 residents. This helped the team to understand how important a source of fresh water is!
On Monday, we went to our community of Pamplona for a meeting with the townsfolk and a tour of their community. We spent time with the villagers as they showed us their homes and their current source of water. By that afternoon, it was time to start drilling. All equipment was unloaded and our team set to work. Members of the Fairland team split up…some labored with the drilling team and others went with the villagers to begin health and hygiene classes for the women and the children, along with Bible stories. The men, women, and children of the village engaged and interacted with our team all week and we developed an indescribable bond with them. It is hard to describe how you can develop such a unique friendship in such a short time, but believe it!
As the teams toiled on, shoulder to shoulder with the villagers, water was struck. The borehole was drilled to 36 meters (120’) and the casing was installed. This well is a very unique well because when the drilling tubes and bit were removed, the water was flowing out of the ground. This is an artesian well(only #2 of 836 wells drilled in El Salvador) and is literally fed by a spring that is deep within the ground, thus allowing the water to flow all the time. On one hand, it seems wasteful to have water flowing when not being used, but that is how springs feed creeks to make a river. Praise to God! Let it flow!
On Thursday afternoon, we had a dedication service for the well as we presented it to the community. Once again, many speeches were made by village residents and appreciation was lauded on our team for our gift to them. Once again, we were reminded that we cannot out give our Lord….There were many tears of gratitude, thankfulness, and joy that were shed by both the villagers and our team.
On Saturday, we returned to the States, leaving behind a whole new set of friends that changed our hearts forever.
Notice the boy drinking water and no one is pumping the handle