A Family Initiating Partner
If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that we at Living Waters for the World (LWW) need to remain flexible. Meetings on Zoom instead of in person became the norm. Virtual covenants, virtual installations, and virtual sustainability visits were not on our radar prior to the pandemic.
So … why not a family becoming an Initiating Partner (IP)?
KTI Starfish Group
The KTI Starfish Group was officially formed in January of 2022 with the signing of the LWW–IP Covenant. It was created as a family IP. Originally it was Julie and myself, along with our twin daughters.
KTI stands for Kansas, Texas, and Illinois. Julie and I live in Kansas, while our daughter Lisa and family live in Texas, and daughter Lori and family live in Illinois. As we told people what we were planning, three other families joined the group. It just so happens that one was from Kansas; one was from Texas, and one was from Illinois. What were we planning to do you ask? We were planning to be a funding partner for a water purification system installation in Kumasi, Ghana at the Touch A Life Care Center.
To completely understand the KTI Starfish name, let me tell you the Starfish Story:
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it back into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, "What are you doing?" The boy replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die."
"Son," the man said, "don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference!" After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then smiling at the man, he said ... "it made a difference for that one."
As a family, we also wanted to make a difference, one community at a time. And obviously we had friends who agreed.
That’s how the name KTI Starfish Group was conceived.
Touch A Life
Our daughter Lisa is a school teacher and heard Pam Cope, Co-Founder of Touch A Life (TAL), speak at her school. This planted the seed to help TAL in some way. Of course, one of her first thoughts was to provide them with safe drinking water.
The Education (102) class at the TAL Center learning the importance of clean water and how to use it
From the TAL website: “Touch A Life provides long-term rehabilitative care for children rescued out of slavery and exploitative situations in Ghana, West Africa. As a long-term agency, we receive custody of the children and teenagers we support - these young children and adults are entrusted entirely to our care.”
Touch A Life currently has 41 kids living, eating, and being educated (K-6) at the Care Center. They support 28 others living at boarding school while attending high school and yet another 29 active college students. This year they will have 12 of their college students graduating! We feel this really is amazing, considering their life’s story.
Children at the Touch A Life Center
Presbyterian Church of Ghana
The installation would not have been possible without the support and leadership of the LWW Ghana Network and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG).
Project Managers: Teiko Sabah, Rev. Daniel Edmund Kofi Asante, and Rev. Kofi Amfo-Akonnor
Health Educators: Regina Henewaa and Rose Offie
Technician: Michael Asiamah
Network Moderators: Jim Levernier and Steve Valentine
This team was responsible for the planning and execution of the project. The KTI Starfish Group funded the project. Julie and I went to observe and to “help” as needed. This was the 16th LWW system installed in Ghana.
Blessing and dedication of the system
The water quality dictated that a Reverse Osmosis system be installed. All system components were readily available in Ghana. TAL provided the source of water (bore hole) and a secure building to house the system. They also provided lodging for Dave, Julie, and Michael, along with our meals.
Operators explaining how the clean water system works
Maybe you would consider getting a group together and becoming an Initiating Partner. In this “new” virtual world, you too can fund a system and your travel would be optional. Won’t you consider giving the gift of clean water to a village within one of the eleven LWW Networks?
Dave Parks is a past moderator for the Honduras and Guatemala Networks and a CWU Water System Installation (103) Instructor. Julie is a CWU Health Education (102) Instructor and a member of the LWW Board of Directors.