When Agua Viva arrives in our targeted communities to share “water”, we often discover other needs that are as great or greater than “pure drinking water”. We call this “Not Water”. For example, it is hard to provide clean drinking water in a community if they don’t even have a bathroom in the community. So, in Ecuador, Agua Viva found itself building bathrooms IN ADDITION TO providing a water purification system.
Another such instance of “NOT water” came two years ago. One of our operators in Las Cruces, Franklin, told one of our Agua Viva Volunteers, his heart felt dream of owning and operating a pig farm someday. If he could just save up enough money to buy a “a few little pigs”. Upon our return to the United States, our Volunteer and Board Member (Nancy Allen) decided to try to raise some money to help Franklin’s dream come true. What could Franklin do with $500.00??
During our trip, we were overwhelmed to see the “harvest” of this small investment. PIGS !! Big Pigs !! Big Pregnant Pigs. I must say, even I was impressed. It was marvelous to see how a little bit of money and a big blessing for a God honored effort can change the lives of so many people. These seven little piglets are now “big beautiful mommas” and four of them are getting ready to have 13 piglets each. God is amazing.
When we arrive at our Water Sites, it is a wonderful feeling to be welcomed by all of our friends and “families” whose lives have been touched by Agua Viva. I am always amazed at how many people we know and how excited they are to see us.
One of the most touching moments for me, was the wonderful Church Service we attended at Huerto de Getsamani. After nearly 2-1/2 hours of worship (REAL worship), Pastor Calderon asked the entire congregation to wave and say thank you to Agua Viva for bringing Pure and Living Water to his community. The Church was packed. We sang songs and worshiped God in a very special way. Many people came forward for prayer during prayer time and it was quite evident that “God was in this place”. It never really was about “water”, was it? It was about real relationships and friends… touching lives… and creating a little bit of heaven right here… on earth… right now.
After church we got to meet Didier, his wife (one of our Educators), and their new little baby. Didier explained to me how on Tuesday and Thursday, he leaves early in the morning and drives until dark delivering water in the Agua Viva pickup truck. He delivers about 90 five gallon bottles to people all over the mountainside. What a great guy. He is so happy to serve others and he embraces this wonderful opportunity to make more friends and share the gospel. He also serves as a bright star in the community setting a wonderful example in the community for servant hood.
After Church, Pastor Calderon invited us to his home. We were eager to see where he lived and to meet his wife (Gloria) and his youngest son. Pastor Calderon is a strong leader in his Church, in his home, and in his community. And, well, it shows! As a man of God, Pastor Calderon embraced the Agua Viva opportunity to spread the Pure and Living Water. Loved by all, he has inspired everyone around him (including us). In this way, Agua Viva has learned that one of the key ingredients to a successful installation is “a strong leader” such as this.