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Giving Thanks

I don’t say “thank you” enough to people who are engaged in the Living Waters for the World (LWW) mission. I was reminded of this during a recent Field Operations meeting with moderators of our LWW networks when I said, “you probably feel like moderating is a thankless task and that folks don’t recognize the effort that it takes to manage an LWW network.” To my chagrin, several heads nodded.

Living Waters for the World prides itself on the fact that much of its leadership is volunteer and this was an important reminder that in a volunteer organization, where it’s not possible to simply increase someone’s pay to recognize their contribution, saying thanks for a job well done goes a long way toward making people feel appreciated.

So to our Living Waters for the World Network Moderators (we affectionately call them NCTMs), “Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice to making LWW successful and for the countless hours spent managing and leading our LWW networks!” And that’s not a platitude because without network moderators, our networks can’t exist.

2016 Yucatan Partners Conference (from L to R): Hope Anderson, Yucatan Network Moderator; Joanie

Lukins (moderator 2005 – 2017); Bill Reed, NCT; Omega Caamal, Operating Partner

Our volunteer moderators leverage their love for the people in the country they serve, their experience as water team members and/or CWU instructors, and varied professional skills to keep LWW’s networks functioning smoothly. I am thankful that they answered the call to be a network moderator (often I feel there must have been some divine intervention) as I doubt that they envisioned that they would be asked to fill the role(s) of: meeting moderator, team leader, personnel manager, mentor, facilitator, conflict resolution specialist, and possibly even life-coach. We are truly blessed that, when asked, people continue to volunteer to take on the role of moderator for years at a time. While the target tenure for a moderator is three years, we have had moderators stay as short as one year and as long as 12 years!

2017 Peru site review (from L to R): Lidia, Operating Partner, Cristo Rey; Jeff Wagner, LWW; Yenni, Operating

Partner, Immaculda Ascension; Don Metzler, outgoing Peru Network Moderator; Teodosia, Operating Partner, Hunta; Carson Salyer, Peru Network Moderator.

Ask a moderator about their role in LWW and you’ll hear about daily WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger calls with in-country staff and the deep relationships they form (they often sound familial); the challenge of finding potential sites for projects or new IPs; the disappointment of having to say goodbye when an in-country person takes another path or when they run across a system that is struggling; the challenge of feeling like they need to keep everyone happy when there never seems to be enough money, time or resources to go round; and celebrating when an OP is successful or a partner conference goes really well and trying to figure out how to replicate that experience for all our partners. The strength of the moderator and the in-country folks we have working with LWW truly determine how well the network is able to help our partners succeed as they strive to provide the communities they serve with clean, safe water and health education.

2017 Haiti meeting: Bob McCoy, Haiti Network Moderator (center) meets with network staff in Port au Prince (from L to R): Bertone, Reginald and Ancy, the rest of the team, Lucson, Francois, Salien and Sonie are out of frame.

This year, a number of networks will see changes in leadership, which is healthy as moderating an LWW network is demanding work. You may run into one of our network moderators in another setting, at a rotary meeting, a church council meeting, on a water team, or at CWU (their leadership is contagious and often flows over into other areas of LWW and life), say “thank you!” They deserve it.

Las Bodegas, Honduras. Kasey Potzler (3rd from left), incoming Moderator for the Honduras Network at a water celebration as part of her team from Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, Bellingham, WA.

LWW Networks and Moderators/Co-Moderators Cuba: Ed Cunnington Dominican Republic: William Milam El Salvador: Mona Lee; Tom Ritter (incoming co-moderator) Ghana: Jim Levernier and Steve Valentine Guatemala: Dave Parks Haiti: Bob McCoy, Ashley Goad, and Bill Mendenhall Honduras: Doug Boggs (stepping down at end of 2017); Kasey Potzler (incoming moderator) Nicaragua: Bill Slaughter (stepping down at end of 2017), Carolyn Buzek, and Doug Sullivan- Gonzalez (incoming co-moderator) Peru: Don Metzler (stepping down late 2017), Carson Salyer (incoming moderator), and Rob Crowell (incoming vice-moderator) Southern Mexico: Lowell Youngquist Yucatan: Joanie Lukins (stepping down mid-2017) and Hope Anderson (incoming moderator) Thanks to our network moderators who have done exemplary jobs leading their networks. LWW would not be the same without you. Welcome to our incoming moderators and co-moderators – thank you for answering the call!


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