We’ve all seen the news stories about the pandemic’s spread in Latin America, and we read that hunger is as great a scourge now as many people aren’t able to get to their work due to public transportation shutdowns and other restrictions.
School personnel and the RCLPC team together on celebration day at Colegio Católico
Padre Aplas’ in Santiago Atitlán in January 2020
At the end of June, a water team member from Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church (RCLPC) mentioned she was looking for a way to help with hunger in our four Operating Partners’ (OP) communities in Guatemala. We as a team then looked further and learned that three of our four OPs were already using some of their water system profits plus fundraising to purchase, package, and deliver basic supplies to the people in their churches and communities most in need.
With faith that church members, as well as the team, would make donations during July and August to alleviate hunger in the OPs’ communities, we sent funds ahead to Guatemala through the In-Country Coordinators. Each OP extended their outreach further to more church families, other people the pastors were aware of, and nearby communities. In the process of serving their neighbors, they also delivered water, promoted their water project, and at one site, added their own Living Waters for the World face masks to the deliveries.
The food distribution leader in one town had been praying for a way to help his indigenous people. He saw the food support as the answer to his prayers and did all the hard work of organizing a food distribution.
It was very encouraging to see our OPs step up during a hard time and selflessly serve in this way – doing whatever they could to get supplies to people in their communities. The joy each partner expressed to us to be able to help their community was a blessing to us.
This has also been a joyous partnership among us as the Initiating Partner (IP) and our four OPs. The communication we’ve had back and forth has increased greatly – we received many pictures and videos of their relief efforts, from start to finish. Prayer has been abundant during this time as well, their prayers for us, and ours for them.
As of this writing, 351 families have been served, and we pray that number will grow as we plan to continue to help our OPs through the fall. We feel that we have seen God’s hands at work in the world through our partners and we are grateful to be able to play a small part in their story.
Lois Johnson is a member of the Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church water team. She is a 101
Clean Water U Graduate.