Water…have you ever worried about having enough water or whether the water was safe for you and your family to drink? Until I went to Haiti I had never thought twice about water. Water is something that we have always had and we never had to work to have clean drinking water. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and the World Bank states that less than half of the people in Haiti have access to clean water. What many people don’t realize is that without clean drinking water, diseases such as cholera can easily spread throughout communities and be fatal without timely and proper treatment.
In December we went to visit a community in the countryside about 25 minutes from Clercine. We made the connection with this community because one of the leaders in this area had connected with our director asking if we could help them put a light post at the bottom of the mountain. They requested this because tap taps will not stop there when its dark since there is no light. They also wanted the light for obvious safety reasons after dark. We went there to meet with the some leaders and families in the community, and to examine whether we thought we could help them or not. It was a great meeting and we put it down as something we wanted to work towards this spring.
Well, a few weeks ago one of our guys received a call from one of the community leaders asking if we could please bring them some water as they were in need. We of course we said yes, and a day later our guys had a truck up there for the community. Unfortunately, one truck was not enough, but they were very thankful for what they had received. We decided last week to go back to the area with another water truck. The cost of one truck is about $40 to pay for a water truck with 4000 gallons of water. As we began driving up the mountain, I couldn’t help but think how difficult life is for this community to just have their basic needs met. But for today, I knew they would not have to worry about having clean drinking water, so that gave me a little piece of happiness in my heart.
We had all delivered water before except for Nate, but none of us were quit prepared for a water hose that had the pressure of a fire truck! Nate and Eric were filling buckets and Marcella and I were holding the hose from behind watching the guys go from one bucket to the next. They were trying to be so careful not to waste any water but there were several times that the whole crowd got sprayed with water! Everyone had few laughs and we continued until the whole truck was empty.
Like most things in Haiti, you need to be prepared for whatever God places in front of you and be able to change your plans as needs arise. God led us to this community and we are grateful that we are able to help with something as small as clean drinking water. Even though we thought that we would help provide them with a light, their need is water and we hope to be able to continue to provide them with it on a regular basis.
After we did that, we went down to the ocean and throw rocks in the water. We have sort of made it a tradition! We each pick some rocks and as we throw them in the ocean we say things that we wish we could change or things that feel negative to us. Some of our rocks were for injustice, access to basic needs, clean water and of course bills!
To end the day we all went out to eat and connected as a team. We went around the table and discussed our highs and lows of the day. One thing we were all grateful for, was to be together as a team and grateful that God has so perfectly knit together our team and has made us a family!