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Project Update

Water For Life Guatamala: Volunteers Contribute, God Provides

Gary Bartholomew


Each year, Water for Life coordinates groups of volunteers to drill wells in rural Guatemala where people are desperately in need of clean water, and acute water-related health issues are pervasive. The volunteers combine well-drilling with evangelistic and outreach programs to provide rural Guatemalans with improved health and eternal hope. The 2014 Water for Life well-drilling and evangelism season began in late December 2013 with the arrival of 27 volunteers to various project sites in Guatemala.

inside-asi-summer-fall-2014_page_27_image_0001Thanks to the efforts of those self-sacrificing volunteers, a total of 17 wells were drilled, including one at an orphanage and another at an infant nutrition center. The deepest was 541 feet, the shallowest was 65 feet, and the average well depth was 150 feet. One of the wells was drilled at the North Guatemala Mission campground.

Several hours away from the campground, a team was able to complete a well drilling project begun previously by two local men who had been digging by hand. About the time the men reached a depth of 14 meters, both died. Our volunteers picked up where they left off. The completed well now provides clean, safe water for grateful local residents.

Several WFL drillers also recognized a critical need for a well at a nearby orphanage where 42 orphans are housed in a very small but clean building. The volunteers said, “We’ll work at night if necessary to provide water there.” The new well they drilled ensures that never again will water barrels run dry long before neighbors get around to delivering more water to the orphanage.

In February, WFL volunteers provided teeth extractions in surrounding villages. Many residents suffer intense pain as a result of broken or abscessed teeth and are happy for the opportunity to have them pulled. On the last day of dental work, the team saw a three-year-old boy who literally was “tonguetied.” The volunteer dentist was able to clip the tissue restricting the boy’s tongue, enabling him to speak clearly and stick out his tongue for the first time.

The 2014 evangelistic series resulted in the baptism of 13 precious souls. Others will follow after they complete more Bible studies.

At the end of the 2014 well-drilling season, Water for Life rejoices over the many wells its faithful volunteers left behind in Guatemala this year. Although their efforts leave behind an even greater need for Bible workers, evangelistic efforts, and church buildings, Water for Life rejoices because God will provide!