Encountering God's Faithfulness in El Salvador
Photo: Hardie, left, with Johanna at Mediagua's clean water celebration.
I finally participated in my first water system installation! What a blessing! Now I wonder, what took me so long to fully commit? I want to think part of it must be that God had to get the rest of His team together, too. You see, three Mississippi churches came together to make up our water team. Even though most team members just met in the spring of 2015, we instantly bonded. We recognized the strengths that we each offered, and we trusted one another to be prepared to complete the tasks at hand. For this particular trip, there was one “seasoned” team member who had been to El Salvador multiple times and worked with several communities on water system installations. The rest of us were first-timers. We were a bit concerned about how all of this would work, so going with someone that had done it before was very comforting. We knew that we would be working with Living Waters for the World’s El Salvador In-country Coordinator and an interpreter, but still, having our seasoned team member travelling with us brought such peace.
Photo: Our interpreter, Janet Euceda, and youth sing Cristo Me AMA as we teach proper hand washing technique.
Even as I write those words, I am convicted, again. Hadn’t Jesus promised that He would equip His followers? My head really does know that. Why would I find it hard to trust Him? Maybe it is because I have played it safe most of my life and not always recognized His interactions. I thought I was in control. Whoa! Did I really say that out loud?
For a lifelong active Christian, it is hard to admit that it took going on a mission trip out of the country for me to fully acknowledge that God really does provides for me daily.
For a lifelong active Christian, it is hard to admit that it took going on a mission trip out of the country for me to fully acknowledge that God really does provides for me daily. It was obvious from the start that God has been active in this endeavor. Somehow, though, it was just more obvious when I was in El Salvador.
The Mediagua community water team was ready for us when we arrived. Everyone was so excited! It was a joy to watch the community educators practice teaching the health lessons; they really got into acting out the Bible stories! We used one of the school classrooms for the health education training, and when the children finished their lessons for the day, they would hang out to see what we were doing. The smiles on their faces said everything as they helped make the daisy chains for the water system celebration. Hearing them repeat the appropriate uses of pure water warmed my heart. Also, listening to the children sing as they washed their hands reassured us that the hand hygiene message was getting through.
Photo: Mediagua, El Salvador community members and the Mississippi water team raise their glasses of clean water at the dedication of their LWW system.
At the end of each day, we shared “high fives” and hugs. We may have come to their community as strangers, but we left as friends. This saying may have been shared before, but it is true for the people of Mediagua, too: There are not goodbyes. While we are apart, we are one in God’s eyes.