In September, 32 water saints gathered with our Clean Water U (CWU) staff at Camp Hopewell in Oxford, Mississippi to learn how we as water partners might better serve God’s people. For many of our students, this was their first CWU training. For some, this was the second, third (or fifth) time they had come for training over the years. Whether new or seasoned, all came with open hearts, minds, and hands to discern how God was calling us to work side by side with our partners so that clean water may flow in a community for a generation.
We began these trainings back in March of 2004, making this September’s session our 60th CWU. I first was a health education student in October 2006 - twelve years ago!
My October 2006 Clean Water U class. I still remember some of the
"why" stories my classmates shared.
I have been to just about every session since then, first as Program Director and then as Director of Education. You might think after attending more than 50 sessions, Clean Water U might get a little "same old, same old." Yet somehow, every single time we gather together at CWU, God reveals something new to me and I am, in a word, quenched. If you asked our CWU staff or any of LWW’s amazingly dedicated volunteers why they continue to give of their time and share their expertise, I trust they would say the same. We come away refreshed, renewed, and re-energized to serve.
Part of our Clean Water U family - September 2018 CWU Staff
As a wide-eyed, first-time CWU student all those years ago, it didn’t take long for me to realize I had so much to learn - way beyond getting a command of the information in the manual. I am still learning. I am grateful for the many mentors God has provided:
- Reverend Wil Howie who first invited me to become a part of LWW and still to this day listens and shares words of wisdom with me
- Our CWU staff who reflect the light of Christ and have become not just mentors but beloved family
- Our (small but mighty!) LWW staff who continue to inspire and encourage us all to keep working to improve
- Our LWW Network leaders and staff God has blessed us with who are some of the most knowledgeable, passionate and giving people I’ve ever met - they continue to teach me each and every time we are together
- The now 2,300 students who have come through CWU, each and every one bringing a wealth of gifts to this ministry
- The many partners who have worked alongside us all these years who model patience and ingenuity for us every time we visit
And that’s just to name a few!
Sometimes, I show up at Clean Water U a little frazzled, focusing on all the behind the scenes details and preparations leading up to a session, a bit like a dried out sponge that could do with a good soaking. That’s exactly what I get when I come together with these water saints at Camp Hopewell. Much like the cup of purified water that we each hold up at the end of the week and drink together, it’s quenching.
Thanks be to the One who always and in all ways gives and is Living Water for our bodies and our souls.
Here are a few photos from our week together:
What a delight it was to have Jorge Lavaire and Edwin Rodriguez
with us from Honduras!
Do you know all the words to "Deep and Wide"?
If not, our health educators will teach you!
Getting to spend time with network leaders (here I am with Ed Cunnington, moderator of LWW's Cuba Network) is always a joy.
2019 CWU Dates are April 9-13 and Oct. 1-5 at Camp Hopewell in Oxford, MS.
For more information, click here.