Let me tell you about a young friend, named Nelson. Nelson is eight years old. Nelson lives with his sisters, mom and dad and extended family in the tiny community of La Pintada. Located in the lush hills of the far western corner of Honduras, LaPintada is a community of about 15 households.
Every day, Nelson, and a dozen or so school age children, hike the three miles down the mountainside to attend school where they might reach the sixth grade. Many days, however, Nelson is battling diarrhea or some water born illness that prevents him from learning and growing into a healthy, strong young man. Nelson and his family and the other households in his community have been waiting 23 years for clean, running water.
About a decade ago, Jacobo Nunez, a man with a big heart, and a passion for his fellow Hondurans, had a dream to bring clean, running water to the hundreds of tiny communities spread throughout the countryside of Honduras. His dream resulted in the formation of APP, Agua Para El Pueblo (water for the village). With the help of funds raised largely from the United States, including the endless efforts of our own Rob MacNamara, APP is able to provide gravity fed, safe drinking water to Hondurans.
Locals suspend their subsistence farming and low wage paying jobs to serve with APP digging two foot deep trenches down a mountainside. Water falls into a holding tank outfitted with a filtration system of sand and rocks and runs through pvc pipe laid by APP to each villager’s small shack of a house. Women happily forgo their daily trek with buckets in hand up to the mountain stream for clean water running from a tap just outside the family shed. Running water is a celebration!
This past month, Rob MacNamara, Tim MacNamara, Peter Burns, Chris Blazes and I happily followed the instruction of APP leader Jacobo, joining to help bring safe water to Nelson, his family and the small community of LaPintada.
The need for safe drinking water is constant. Of the Earth’s bountiful water resources, only 1% is drinkable. So, our mission continues. Next year we’re planning to return late February and early March to once again serve with APP to bring safe drinking water to Hondurans. In addition, we’ll build friendships with villagers, informally teaching English, and lending medical assistance in local clinics.
We’re grateful for your support of this ongoing, long term Honduras Water Mission. Thank you for your prayers, your financial support, and the many school supplies you provided for children in grades one through five in the tiny, one room school house located in Jubucon, near the border of Guatemala. Your ongoing support is a sign that Jesus’ call for us to serve is not just a mission for some, but for all. We’re all called to love our neighbor as ourself, in thought, word and deed. Thank you for serving with mission hearts and hands enriching the life of Nelson and the people of Honduras. Next year, plan to be missioners with us once again.