PIPELINE REACHING THE WORLD WITH WATER & THE WORD
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
LWI’S 2007 GALA IS AROUND THE CORNER!
YOU’RE NEVER TOO YOUNG OR OLD
AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS SEAY FOR MEXICO
SAVED IN EL SALVADOR
A WORD FROM THE PRESIDENT
The greater awareness we have of the problems and needs in the world, the more we realize that God has given us opportunities to make a difference. When you think about it, in God’s economy there are no real needs, just
opportunities. In fact, the apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:19 that “God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” It also gives us great conﬁdence to know that He works out everything in agreement with His will, according to Ephesians 1:11. God has given us, as His children and His ambassadors, the opportunity to be a part of His provision and solution to the needs of the world. When we act on the promises of God, we discover His willingness to work through us. Consider those promises:
• “For His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (II Peter 1:3). • “For in Him the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily, and you have been ﬁlled in Him…” (Colossians 2:9-10a). • “And God is able to make every grace overﬂow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work” (II Corinthians 9:8). It’s sometimes a temptation to want to do great things for God. However, He wants to demonstrate His greatness through ordinary people like you and me, when we simply make ourselves available to Him. Living Water International continues to see God’s greatness demonstrated in so many ways as He calls people to join Him in His redemptive activity to save lives and change destinies. What a delight to be able to give a cup of water in Jesus’ name and reach out to the neediest people in the world with water and the Word!
LWI AROUND THE WORLD
THE FACTS COMPLETED WATER PROJECTS:
WORK IN ZA BEGINS MBIA SUMM THIS ER!
OPERATING IN 24 COUNTRIES. SERVING 6 MILLION PEOPLE A CUP OF WATER IN JESUS’ NAME.
PIPELINE VOLUME 6
LIVING WATER INTERNATIONAL
Living Water International exists to demonstrate the love of God by providing desperately needed clean water and medical attention, along with the living water of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone satisﬁes the deepest thirst. PIPELINE is published quarterly by Living Water International to raise awareness about the global water crisis and to inspire Christians everywhere to respond with compassion to the needy of the world. We welcome your stories, comments and/or address changes. Send them to: The Editor, Pipeline, PO Box 35496, Houston, TX 77235-5496 or e-mail the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org.
tanzania: TOM’S HEART
Living Water International is a nonproﬁt Christian organization and tax exempt by the IRS under code section 501(c)(3). Gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law. Contributions are solicited with the understanding that the donee organization has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
FOR MEXICO Ministering to rural Mexico with living water
All photos by staff and volunteers of Living Water International unless otherwise noted. COPYRIGHT © 2007 BY LIVING WATER INTERNATIONAL INC.
WATER FOR THE SUKUMA
GOD IS CALLING US TO DO SOMETHING An interview with Chris Seay about the Church and clean water
In the dry season, surface water is scarce for the Sukuma people. Wells not only improve
their health year-round, but also provide a vital source of water in times of drought.
NEVER TOO YOUNG OR OLD Combined Federal Campaign # 1197
LWI’S INAUGURAL GALA IN WASHINGTON
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED | MEET THE NEW NICA CREW |
12 13 14 15
ania by Melanie Dewveall
TOM’S HEART The late September sun had been up for only an hour-and-a-half, but the air was already heat-drenched. Tom Fontenot left at daybreak for a remote community on the Serengeti Plain. As his truck drew near to the Tanzanian village, the Living Water International volunteer heard shouts. “Tomasi! Tomasi!” He smiled as children rushed to his truck to greet him, their parents not far behind. They had never seen him before, but they had heard about him. When this man comes, water follows. Many of Tanzania’s rural villages and towns don’t have a consistent supply of clean water. In fact, 38 percent of the population lacks access to an improved water source. They rely heavily on river water and any pool of water they can ﬁnd – water that can and does make them seriously sick. Tanzania has two seasons: wet and dry. In the dry season, between May and November, water is scarce. For the Sukuma people in the northern district of Shinyanga, this is a life and death matter. They are primarily subsistence farmers who live off the land. When water is scarce, food is scarce. The Sukuma tribe is the largest in Tanzania, with a population that represents approximately 10 to 12 percent of the nation. They are a shy, private people, and they have a special place in Tom’s heart. Although Tom had been involved with Living Water International projects since 1992, his ﬁrst experience in Tanzania was in 1997 with a Catholic mission agency. A priest had asked him to come build a church. While he was there, working among the Sukuma people, he immediately recognized their great need for clean water. In 1998, he returned, armed with an LS 100 drilling rig and support from LWI. He tried to drill 12 different times in 12 different places to no avail. The ground was full of large volcanic rocks, and the LS 100
couldn’t get through. Undeterred, Tom came up with a solution – dig the wells by hand. Each village hand digs their well before Tom and his team arrives. Usually, the well is deeper than 25 feet, with 10 feet of standing water at the bottom to ensure there is enough recharge to sustain the community. These four-foot wide hand-dug wells are lined with perforated concrete rings that resemble culverts. Each well requires about six rings to create a well lining. The 500-pound rings are constructed at each well site. It takes one day to make a concrete ring and another ten days for it to cure. The rings are hoisted into the well, one on top of the other, using a winch. A thick layer of rocks lines the bottom of the well, and a gravel pack ﬁlls the space between the rings and the dirt wall of the well. Both act as a natural water ﬁlter, removing impurities from the groundwater as it percolates through the gravel and seeps into the well through the perforations in the concrete rings. A submersible pump is lowered into the well and the top of the well is sealed with a concrete slab. Above ground, a hand pump is placed on the pedestal, attached to the submersible pump by pipe. In a matter of three days, the village has transformed a hole in the ground into a clean, protected source of clean water. “It’s so much better than what they were drinking before, it’s just unbelievable,” Tom said. With the help of Tom and his four-man national crew, Sukuma villages across Shinyanga have a well they can call their own. Tom charges each community a nominal fee to further instill a sense of ownership within the village. The well, therefore, isn’t something that someone else owned and gave to them. The well is theirs – a product of their own choice, their own time and their own hard work. In these communities, he has seen dramatic transformations. A clinic had reported to Tom that in one year, approximately 65 percent of their patients were coming to the clinic because of the water they drank. The nurses would give them medicine, but in a month or so, they were back with the same problem. Tom put two wells in the area; the clinic went from seeing 65 patients a day to only 20. Tom admits that the work is vast, so every August, he returns to Tanzania in the dry season for a three-month stay. In eight years, he has managed to complete 65 wells. Now, he has the capability to
Right: Tom’s national crew ﬁnishes a well by securing the hand pump. Far Right: The village men help Tom and his crew lower rings into a hand-dug well with a winch. Middle: Tom Fontenot at a ﬁnished LWI well. Top: A crowd gathers around to watch the “JESUS” ﬁlm out of the back of Tom’s truck. Top Right: A woman pumps fresh, clean water out of an LWI well.
dig 15 wells a year. This wouldn’t be possible without his Tanzanian crew. On his reliable four-man crew, Thomas is Tom’s anchor. He relies on him to scout well sites, tell villages what they need to do ahead of time, and prepare concrete rings. Thomas is no stranger to the affects of waterborne disease. Last year, his ﬁve-month-old baby girl died from malaria. Thomas is also the team’s evangelist. He has the gift of preaching. He can communicate with the Sukuma people in a way that Tom cannot. Because of Thomas, the village has no doubt why Tom is there – to share the love and truth of Christ through clean water. For six years, Tom showed the “JESUS” ﬁlm in Swahili, one of the country’s two ofﬁcial languages; English is the other. And for six years, Tom was perplexed by the lack of enthusiasm the crowds exhibited. He was discouraged by what he perceived to be disinterest in the gospel. In 2005, he brought a Tanzanian woman from the city to one of the villages. He lamented the people’s indifference. She explained that while these people could understand Swahili on a one-on-one level of communication, they were confused by a movie entirely in Swahili – it was too much for them to comprehend at once. In 2006, Tom began showing the ﬁlm in Sukuma, their native language, and was overwhelmed by the response. “Wow!” he said. “When the ﬁlm was over, they would come over and talk to me, which they never did with the Swahili. Sometimes after all this time, I can’t believe it took me that long to realize that.” Women would shake their heads as Jesus was cruciﬁed. Children would cry at the pain he felt, and even grown men shed tears, trying desperately to hide them by turning their heads or hiding behind their buddy. According to Tom, you rarely see the Sukuma cry. “It’s like two different worlds,” Tom said. “But the spiritual life, when you really get close enough to it, you can feel that it’s the same, you know. It’s the same God. It’s the same Spirit.” Tom will return to Tanzania again this August. Please remember to pray for Tom and for his family while he’s gone. If you would like to contribute to the work that LWI is doing in Tanzania, please send donations to Living Water International, PO Box 35496, Houston, TX 77235-5496 or donate online at www.water.cc.
for mexico ministering to rural mexico with living water
Mexico isn’t always the immediate mental picture of the “Third World” moniker. Its capital city, after all, is the second largest urban center in the world. Outside of its metropolises and vacation hotspots, however, a very different picture materializes. Rural Mexico, scanty and impoverished, comes into focus. Living Water International has worked in the rural parts of Mexico since 2002. For years our primary focus has been along the northern border, but in the last two years, God has blessed us and expanded our network throughout Mexico to meet the needs of thousands. ON THE BORDER Ramshackle homes follow the curves of the Rio Grande. Whole communities along the Mexico/Texas border are founded on hopes of opportunity. This is Vic Spillman’s mission ﬁeld. Vic has completed water wells in places that would look to most of us like city dumps – in fact, some of them used to be just that. His greatest desire is to show these economic refugees along the border that they are loved. Providing them with clean water is just a tool for that, to meet their needs and demonstrate Christ’s love for them. Vic is a tremendously talented individual with a work ethic and drive to match, and can’t be constrained to one form of ministry. From his shop just across the border in Reynosa, Mexico, Vic launches a multitude of ministry projects, including drilling
Left: Tierra Liverte is one of the poorest parts of Reynosa, Mexico. Because the community is literally built on top of a garbage dump, the water from this well is not consumable. Right: At the dedication of the well in Colonia Benito Juarez, LWI’s Tim Mulville reads from the Bible. Bottom: LWI’s Vic Spillman primes the pump on the spring box in Teteles and Balvanera.
water wells for LWI. He helps with local orphanage needs, builds churches and pretty much helps people whenever and wherever he can. Since partnering with LWI, Vic has been able to complete 79 water projects in the Reynosa area. TAMPICO Further down the coast, Fernando Herrera Ruiz works out of the Ebano, near the port city of Tampico. Fernando is the Mexican answer to the junkyard wars television shows we have here in the States. With his well-tuned welding and metal fabrication skills, he can make anything out of scrap metal and other junk yard supplies. Fernando began drilling wells with LWI in 2006 with a rig he fabricated himself. Since then he’s completed more than 12 wells, and plans to expand his water well program for LWI in the rural areas around Tampico. The main prayer request of his heart is to springboard evangelism efforts for the local pastors. This would help immensely in the church planting work there. Please pray that God would provide a couple to come alongside Fernando to build the church and spread the gospel in the communities that Fernando assists. We also want to send instructors to train indigenous women in health and hygiene practices, so that they, in turn, can be teachers themselves to women in their surrounding area. A SPECIAL PROJECT DOWN SOUTH In the interior of Mexico, the community of Colonia Benito Juarez suffered persistent, repeated drought. They desperately needed clean water. In August 2006, LWI’s Tim Mulville, Vice President of Programs, and Vic Spillman partnered with Racetrack Ministries to provide this dry community with life-giving clean water. In this year’s drought, the 400 people in Colonia Benito Juarez don’t have to worry about water – it’s the ﬁrst time this community has ever had water in the dry season. There is a strong drug lord presence in the area. Some of these drug lords did not want the LWI drilling team to be there. They went so far as to threaten to ambush the drilling team members. The mayor of the village and his cousin offered to spend the nights next to the equipment while the drill team slept, giving them the rest they needed to drill during the daylight hours. The mayor himself lamented the unfortunate state of affairs in that they were forced to guard the drilling equipment belonging to the people that came to help them get clean water. The end result was a completed functioning well in an area that formerly only had a hand-dug well. There are future plans for more wells in Colonia Benito Juarez. THE NEW FRONTIER Living Water International’s newest frontier is in the vicinity of Puebla, Mexico. Much of the city proper of Puebla resembles an American city with its many amenities; it boasts the highest number of colleges of any city in Mexico. Traveling a short 15 or 20 miles outside the city reveals a very different story. We see great promise in this rural area outside Puebla, as it is replete with natural springs. Natural springs can be conﬁgured into spring boxes by placing a submersible pump and pipe into the spring, then sealing the top off to keep it uncontaminated, and ﬁnally securing a pump head above ground. A functioning spring box can be installed
for as little as $500. In conjunction with Northwood Church in Fort Worth, Texas, LWI constructed a spring box near the communities of Teteles and Balvanera. Campesinos there had been in rigid feuds for a number of years regarding land and water rights. It was not long until the two former adversaries found themselves working together to complete a common goal – the spring box itself. This completed spring box broke down many barriers and saw village leaders in tears and reconciliation. Two villages were brought together by the simple act of providing clean, safe water. What is particularly encouraging in the Puebla frontier is the cooperation we have received from the local and state government. They have given us access and GPS coordinates to several new wells in the area. Also, we are blessed with the promise and commitment of three different entities from the U.S. to help facilitate the water resource work. We will be nurturing this cooperation as time goes on and continuing to build the foundation for long-term work in the area. Our vision is to see trained teams do short-term missions water work in Mexico. Admittedly, the weak link of our work in Mexico is the lack of health and hygiene training. Please pray that this and the most important element of our work: opportunities to share the love of the Lord through evangelism and helping the local church with its church planting efforts. Please also pray for the government of Mexico to release a pickup truck and compressor that is currently impounded at the Mexico/ Guatemala border. The release of this equipment would boost our efforts to reach many other areas in Mexico with water and the Word.
GOD IS CALLING US TO DO SOMETHING AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS SEAY
BY STAN PATYRAK
It was ﬁtting to meet friend, author and pastor, Chris Seay, at the Houstonian. After all, he loves this city. Seay is a Mac guy, wears a beard well and loves the Astros – all the time. In fact, many members of Seay’s church, Ecclesia, are a product of his invitations to Astros games. During the infant stages of Ecclesia, Seay would buy cheap tickets to see the Astros and would invite those he met at bars and coffee houses in Montrose to games. Today, Ecclesia is located in the heart of Houston’s Montrose district. The building itself sees more action during the week than on Sunday morning – it houses a coffee shop that serves the surrounding community and hosts a local farmer’s co-op once a week. Add to this an art gallery, music studio and frequent musical and poetry performances. LWI: Thanks for visiting with me, Chris. I think LWI ﬁrst heard of Ecclesia’s work to tell the story of the thirsty around Christmas time. Looking back, it is clear that Ecclesia and other partnering churches really made clean water part of their Christmas message – not quite the traditional Christmas season sermon series. What about the Christmas season was so signiﬁcant to you? Chris: As a community, we had a circle of friends asking the same questions. My belief, as well as a number of these dear friends that are pastors, is that the primary threat to the church is not atheism, liberalism, fundamentalism or postmodernism. There are many that see these “isms” as the big boogeyman, but ultimately the threat is consumerism. It is certainly the most driving force in our culture – the voice that tells us that the world is really about us. And, the saddest part of this cultural threat is that it is also the primary threat to true Christianity. And,
within Christianity, the place that it displays its ugly head the worst is at the time we celebrate the birth of Christ. Perhaps we should be more about ﬁnding a true Christmas and lose the one provided by culture. Wal-Mart should not be the temple in which we celebrate the birth of Christ. LWI: And so, how did clean water come up? Chris: It seems really sad and strange that this birth, which brought hope, peace and liberation to all people – salvation – is the time we spend extravagant amounts of money on things that really don’t matter. And so as we started thinking about this, we called a meeting here in Houston and started to ask how we could challenge our communities. For one, we needed to challenge them not to spend all their resources on themselves. We really had to be able to say that at Christmas, if we are going to truly celebrate the birth of Christ, it needs to be about Christ and not about us. As we looked at the trivial and insigniﬁcant, yet quite extravagant, expensive things that we spend money on at Christmas, we realized that the primary need across the globe is clean water. With a child dying every 15 seconds from a water-related illness, how could this not impact us? And, all of a sudden the fact that I am giving my kids more presents than they can possibly fathom on Christmas day, the day that we are called to celebrate the birth of Christ, and other children are dying from a lack of clean water… it does not add up. It just, ﬂat out, does not add up. LWI: How did you and the other churches share this message? Chris: One way was through a video entitled “Give Life.” LWI: We know that video quite well. In fact, it was shown at our annual gala in 2006 and has been posted on our website. Chris: I heard that! The real challenge on this video – and the challenge today – is really found in the words of Jesus. When he departed, Jesus shared that we would do greater things that even He did. The truth is, though, when I see the church, I don’t see much of it. Too often, I wonder, have we lost touch with this mission? Maybe we have been too distracted from the real mission of the church. Greater than even the miracle of turning water into wine would be if we could turn our consumerist exploitations and all of the gifts we typically give to celebrate Christmas into clean water for children. This would be beautiful. And so, as churches, we came to-
Frames from the video that Chris Seay and Work of the People used to inspire others to give life at Christmas.
gether and decided this would be the challenge. Our hearts are so soft at Christmas, or at least they should be. We really believed that if we laid this before our communities that people would respond. When the Holy Spirit begins to speak, no matter where you are or how consumeristic you or your world is, no matter how selﬁsh we can be, the Holy Spirit digs through all of that to say – this is right. Deep within us we know this is right. LWI: And the response? Chris: Each of the pastors would say that we were astounded by the response. Well, maybe not totally astounded, because we were really praying and believing in miracles. We really believed. Our big challenge, of course, was the children. All of the commercials, consumer impulses and relationships with peers are about what and how much you get for Christmas. It is packaged to be all about them, and I am not sure we are blessing them by giving them so much. So, we made it a point to sit down and speak with the children each week during our service to discuss how much is too much. It became almost more important than offering a sermon or teaching to the adults. I remember one Sunday talking with the children about what happens if you eat too much birthday cake. We were trying to get across that if you have too much of something it could end up being bad. One of the little girls responded – and it could be heard all throughout the church – that you could get diabetes if you eat too much cake. LWI: Pretty profound theology from a child: Consumerism causes spiritual diabetes. Chris: The children really led the way. They created the art for bottled water that was offered to those making donations. The children worked unbelievably hard. After looking at Jesus’ birth to see how many gifts he received, the conclusion of the children was that it might not be right to receive more than Jesus. And, they responded. My 6-year-old had been saving all year. An ultimate for girls her age is a doll called the American Girl Doll. She had been saving her allowance, $4 a week, for the whole year and had ﬁnally earned the $100 that the doll costs. The week before Christmas, she decided, on her own, that this money would be better spent on clean water for children than on this doll she wanted. So, the next week at our service, she marches down the aisle with a crisp $100 bill amidst all these 20 and 30-year-olds that had only given ﬁve, 10, 15 bucks. They realized that maybe they should not be out-given by a 6-year-old. We continually are learning how to be led by our children. LWI: We see this quite a bit at LWI. Often at conferences children will grab their parents by the hand, drag them to our booth, and explain in almost horror what they have learned – that children just like them are drinking water that makes them sick. Every time we watch, their parents seem to
dismiss their sense of urgency, and, in some cases, drag them away. Chris: The children certainly see this as right versus wrong, not a grey area. For our children, it was not okay for us to have extravagance while other children did not have clean water – it was wrong. That conviction began to permeate through our community, and it continues to do so today. To date, we have raised almost $270,000 for clean water and have seen communities transformed by clean water in Nicaragua and Liberia, with more projects still unfolding. LWI: What do you see for this Christmas? Chris: Part of what we want to do is share this with other churches, working speciﬁcally with Living Water International to deal with the water crisis in the world. If Jesus came to liberate, then surely this is something we need to deal with during the celebration of that liberation. I am hopeful that Christmas time will become, especially within the church, a time for radical generosity, radical living, of picking up on what Jesus truly planned to do – bring redemption to the world. We are the hands and feet of Christ, a body of Christ created to participate in redemption. How can salvation be brought to a people whose children are dying of diarrhea because they do not have clean water? As the church, we have to be about the salvation of those people. We have to love people, seeing others as whole people in need of a holistic salvation. This is the story of Christ, the mission of God. The purpose of the church, then, is to call people into that mission. We learn how to be disciples of Jesus by engaging that mission. God is calling us to do something. For more information on how you or your church community can be involved in a communal, purposeful response to the thirsty during this Christmas season, please email Living Water International at stan@water. cc or Chris Seay at email@example.com.
NEVER TOO YOUNG OR OLD by Jodi Mohney
Top Left: Miguel, the oldest man in the village, asked Christ into his life at the invitation of the young LWI hygiene team. Top Right: Hannah Hagger drilling on a truck-mounted hydraulic rig Above: A little girl colors a handout from the Clean Hands, Clean Heart lesson in LWI’s hygiene curriculum. The team: (left to right) Back Row: Jim Mohney, Emily Walters, Mike and Georgeann Gullikson, Jedeira, Emelio, Shari Visscher Front Row: Ray Visscher, Kelsey Kempf, Leah Bartlett, Hannah Hagger, Brian Visscher, Emily Visscher, Rhea Kosten
In a “what’s in it for me” generation, the Living Water International Michigan branch ofﬁce had the opportunity to take a team of high school students from Calvary School on a mission trip to Honduras in March. This group from Holland, Mich., was different than your average group of teenagers; they truly wanted an opportunity to serve others. They knew that this was not going to be a normal high school spring break, but a chance to serve and see where God was leading them in the future. The team, made up of six girls and one boy, trained, prepared and prayed they would be used by God. Stepping out on faith, they raised funds for their trip by sending out support letters, sharing their passion to go on this trip with friends and family, and talking with students about LWI during chapel. “I had no idea where I would get the funds I needed to go. I just knew God wanted me to step out in faith and go on this trip,” said 12th-grader Hannah Hagger. “I was so amazed to see so many kids from school supporting us ﬁnancially. One of my friends said she was surprised with the opportunity to work overtime at her job, and felt God was telling her to give that extra income for this trip. That was so cool!” In a time when we think kids are only thinking about themselves, we see God is already at work, raising up a new generation of missionaries and supporters. While in Honduras, they drilled a well and taught hygiene to the local children in the village of Lerida. On the ﬁrst day, the oldest man in the village, Miguel, asked if he could be a part of the children’s program. Each day he watched, listened, colored and laughed. One day, after a gospel presentation was given, the team asked if anyone would like to know Jesus. Miguel responded, “Yes”! The team and Miguel met with his wife. They all prayed for him as he asked Jesus into his life. His wife wept quietly and later spoke of the years she had been praying for his salvation. It is never too late to accept Jesus, one of the kids told him. God is at work in your life — no matter what age you are.
Jodi Mohney is LWI’s Director of Health & Hygiene and a Program Director for LWI’s Michigan Branch Ofﬁce.
R O D A V L A S L E N I D E V A S
I could have never imagined what the Lord had in store for me when I decided to go on my ﬁrst Living Water International mission trip in November to El Salvador. I had just graduated college and ﬁnally had some time to “give back” and serve the world. After being turned down by a couple of organizations, I was extremely discouraged and just couldn’t ﬁgure out what I could offer to others. It was difﬁcult to understand why I was having such a hard time ﬁnding somewhere to volunteer. I now realize that it was because God had arranged a different plan for me. Soon, I was introduced to Al and Sharron Frohner, who told me about LWI and invited me to go with them on a mission trip. I was so excited, but also a bit nervous because I hadn’t been to church in quite a while nor did I have a relationship with God. The night before I left for El Salvador, I prayed my ﬁrst prayer in a long time. I thought that this must be happening for a reason, and I couldn’t have been more right. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I knew that I was in for something special. Each member of my team was so inspiring! Their faith was so strong and they surrounded me with love. The in-country team was equally as wonderful, especially John Dennis and Stuardo Torres, whose hearts overﬂowed with love for serving the Lord. Each morning my heart melted as we drove into the village of El Piñon. Everyone on the team was so eager to see what the day would bring. The little children in the village were always ready for a ball toss, jump rope, or just some hugs. The teens stood apprehensively to the side, just waiting for us to urge them to play. Many of the boys would admiringly watch the drilling team, who would fondly take breaks from drilling to spend time with them. Sharron and I mainly worked with the ladies and children, educating them about health, hygiene and God’s Word. The people of El Piñon were so remarkable! I found it amazing how much I was able to get to know them through my broken Spanish and a lot of sign language! I was so grateful to know that these children’s beautiful smiles would be sipping cool, clean water that would give them a much healthier life. To be able to dedicate this well in the name of Jesus was absolutely the most humbling experience I’ve ever had. Every night, my journal entry seemed to begin with, “This was deﬁnitely the best day of my life.” One day in particular, though, stands out for me, because this was the day that I opened my heart to the Lord and asked him to be my Savior. My life will truly never be the same after this mission trip. I went to El Salvador just trying to make a tiny difference in the world, but I guiltily felt like I got so much more than I would ever be able to give back. I later realized that if even one person in the village of El Piñon received Jesus as their Savior, just like me, then that could make the greatest difference in the world.
s by Katie Shield
“It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others,” (Ephesians 2:10, TLB).
Top: After a long day of playing, Katie sits in the back of a truck with a little girl from El Pinon named Kriscia. Bottom: Every day the children of El Pinon, full of limitless energy, would go to see Katie to listen to hygiene and bible lessons and of course, to play, play, play!
Katie Shields is a 24-year-old interior designer from Tampa, Florida, with a contagious love of life. In March, Katie returned to El Salvador with LWI to talk to more women about how to keep their families healthy physically and spiritually. She plans on making mission trips a lifelong habit. www.water.cc
LWI’s Inaugural Gala Washington D.C. gala is LWI’s ﬁrst outside Houston
A MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR NEXT YEAR’S WASHINGTON GALA! APRIL 8, 2008 HILTON WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT
Top: Former U.S. Ambassador Tony Hall gave the keynote address at LWI’s gala, highlighting the link between poverty and accessible clean water. Middle: Award-winnign Rwandan musician Jean Paul Samputu performed at the event. Bottom: (left to right) Jason Slattery, chairman of the gala steering committee; Jerry Wiles, president of LWI; Julien Patterson, gala chair; and Gary Evans, executive director of LWI.
by Melanie Dewveall
A diverse and energetic crowd of 300 attended Living Water International’s inaugural Washington, D.C., gala held at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport on March 29, 2007. The event, which raised an estimated $40,000, was the ﬁrst LWI gala to be held outside of Houston. Those who attended were from all walks of life, uniting for one night with a common purpose – to hear the story of the 1.1 billion people who live without a sustainable source of clean water. Keynote speaker Tony Hall said more than half the hospital beds in the world were occupied by someone suffering from a water-related illness. Hall, a former U.S. Representative (D-OH) and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, spoke passionately about eradicating poverty in this world, and the inextricable link between poverty and accessible clean water. Others on the program included former members of Congress Jim Slattery and Steve Largent, as well as Becky Norton Dunlop of the Heritage Foundation and Captain Barry Frishman, an LWI volunteer who shared his experience from an LWI mission trip to Guatemala. Kora Award-winning Rwandan musician Jean Paul Samputu and his company gave an animated performance of tribal dance and song. Gala Chair Julien Patterson, President and CEO of OMNIPLEX World Services Corporation, said, “The shortage or unavailability of clean drinking water is something that no human being should have to experience. It’s gratifying to be a part of an effort that is impacting millions of people’s lives around the world.” The gala was part of an ongoing effort to establish a volunteer network in the greater Washington, D.C., area to mobilize prayer, people and resources to meet the desperate need for clean water in this world. At the helm of this volunteer network are Patterson, an established, respected businessman and entrepreneur, and the equally passionate Jason Slattery. Patterson was immediately captured by LWI’s mission and vision when LWI President Jerry Wiles introduced him to the ministry in 2003. Revealing his heart for helping others and his desire to make a signiﬁcant difference, he asked Jerry right away “What are the next steps and how can I help?” Since then, Patterson has become a catalyst for spreading LWI’s mission and united an eclectic group of volunteers. His character has given LWI’s mission instant respect, trust and credibility in the Washington community. Slattery, 28 years old, was drawn into the ministry at a Share the Vision event that Patterson hosted. In LWI, he had found a ministry that was at the heart of Jesus’ teaching – to be among the poor, to make disciples, to meet people in the heart of their need. For him, it’s all about showing the love of Christ through service. “When I think of the event, the ﬁrst thing that strikes me is the amount of volunteer support we had,” said Slattery, chairman of the gala steering and host committees. “We really had friends there representing several different groups in the D.C. metro area, from the political and business sector to nonproﬁt and ministry. For our ﬁrst gala in the Washington, D.C. area, the result was really tremendous.” Though he describes the Washington group as “loosely cohesive,” Slattery said that when you need them, every volunteer is there. The group is already planning for next year’s Washington gala on April 8, 2008. Their hope is to inspire the Washington community to serve Jesus by serving those who are in extreme physical and spiritual poverty. Look in future editions of PIPELINE for more details on the 2008 gala in Washington and how you can be a part of it.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED GoodSearch.com
ONE - The Campaign To Make Poverty History
What if you could raise money for LWI just by searching the Internet? Now you can at GoodSearch.com! GoodSearch.com is powered by Yahoo! and operates like any other search engine, except that GoodSearch shares its advertising revenue with charities and schools. There’s even a toolbar to download so you can search from the top of your browser window. Go to www.goodsearch.com and designate Living Water International as your charity of choice. The more people use the site, the more money LWI will earn, so please spread the word!
Living Water International is partnering with the ONE campaign to make poverty history. ONE believes that allocating an additional ONE percent of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the world’s poorest counties. Visit www.one.org to ﬁnd out how you can lend your voice to ﬁght against extreme poverty.
Searching the Web pays off
Take the H2O Challenge! Be Bold! Share the Vision! Spread the word about the water crisis We often have others ask, “How can I volunteer or help spread the word about Living Water International?” A simple answer is to be a part of sharing the vision. Wouldn’t you like to be part of a dynamic group in your area that is mobilizing prayer, people and resources to advance the kingdom of God? By joining an existing volunteer chapter in our Share the Vision Network or by helping form a new one, you will save lives and change destinies all over the world. For more information, contact LWI at 281.207.7818 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moving from consumption to contribution. The H2O Project is a fundraising project offered to youth groups, bible studies and churches that helps create awareness about the global water crisis and encourages groups to be part of the solution! Groups from all over the country are taking the challenge to make water their only beverage for two weeks and save the money normally spent on juice, soda, energy drinks or coffee to donate to a well drilling organization such as Living Water International. The money is not taken out of your savings or tithing; this is money that you were already going to spend. If you are interested in this project, please visit the website for free materials at http://livingwater.theh2oproject.org.
Meet the New Nica Crew After two years of service in Nicaragua, LWI’s Phil and Chris Wilson have moved back to the U.S. It was always their desire to train Nicaraguans to take their place. Now, Nicaraguan nationals Jorge and Ronald will step into their shoes to continue LWI’s work. Ronald isn’t a stranger to LWI’s work in Nicaragua — he has worked for us as a translator for quite some time. He is never seen without a smile on his face. The 25-year-old plays in a Christian band and has a genuine heart to preach to his people. In his new role, he will help scout new well sites and host mission teams with Jorge. He will also continue translating for the health and hygiene teams. Jorge has a quiet depth about him. He and his wife, Karla, had been praying for mission opportunities together when he interviewed with LWI. Lew, LWI’s Vice President of Programs in Central America, knew right away that he had found the right man for the job. Jorge will oversee LWI’s Nicaragua operations and will work speciﬁcally with the mission trip drilling crews. The two ofﬁcially took over in-country operations in April and hosted their ﬁrst mission team in May. Please pray for Ronald, Jorge, Karla and their two boys, Jorgito (Jorge Jr.) and Bryan — our new national leaders in Nicaragua. www.water.cc
LIVING WATER INTERNATIONAL’S
Friday, October 19, 2007
Please join us for Living Water International’s 2007 Gala at InterContinental Hotel Grand Ballroom Houston, Texas 6 p.m. - Reception 7 p.m. - Dinner
Your sponsorship will assure that one more village will receive water and the Word. For more information, or to sponsor a table today, visit www.water.cc or call toll free 877.594.4426.
give water give life LIVING WATER INTERNATIONAL
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE
SUGAR LAND, TX PERMIT NO. 298
PO Box 35496 Houston, TX 77235-5496 877.594.4426 email@example.com