A unique opportunity work teams that visit Ica get to participate in is the sharing of clean, drinking water with an underserved area of the city. Each year, our group rents a truck, hires a driver and buys 10,000 liters of water to share with the people of Alta La Tinguiña, a shanty town neighborhood not too far from where our abandoned boys home is located – all for about $35.
For many people we encounter on the trip, this water is crucial, the difference between being healthy and ill. They can spend up to half of their income on water alone, and the truck does not come through these parts too frequently. The water they buy (or receive from us) is essential to their life and is used for cooking, drinking, bathing and cleaning.
In the States, we take water for granted. I know that every morning when I wake up, there will be water in the shower (hot water, not just water) and there will be clean water from the kitchen faucet. We water our lawns to make sure they don’t turn yellow in the excessive summer heat.
Last year during one of my visits to the medical clinic Scripture Union operates in Iquitos, one of the doctors told me that the majority of the patients they treat have parasites or illnesses that come from not using clean water to cook or drink. He said that if people would have access to clean water, they would not have as many health problems and it would help solve some of the problem.
We equate delivering this clean water as Jesus being the living water of our lives. Without Jesus, life is just more difficult, we might fall ill, or have complications, but with the living water running through us, all things are possible. When somebody thanks me as a gringa for filling their buckets with water, I let them know that it isn’t me giving them water, but God. Yes, I paid for the water, the truck rental, the driver, but I was given the ability to do so from God. And only from His blessing am I able to share with others what He has given me.
Sarah, sitting on the back of the water truck.
A bucket full of clean drinking water.
An old container that is now being used to store water. This was originally used to store phosphoric acid.