Drilling for clean water
Between summer camp and a family vacation, I was fortunate to volunteer for a one-week mission trip to Guatemala with Living Water International, along with several friends from my middle school, River Oaks Baptist. The goal of our trip was to drill a water well for a community in desperate need of clean drinking water, while also spreading God’s love and teaching the importance of proper hygiene.
Our group, consisting of 10 student volunteers and three adult leaders (Matt Morris, Melissa Morris and Jim Briggs), woke up each morning at 5 a.m. to get to work. After a quick breakfast, we traveled over an hour from our house to the worksite, which was located in the yard of a school. The community lacked basic resources we often take for granted. The Guatemalan children were truly sweet. The villagers welcomed us despite language and cultural barriers.
Drilling a well is tough work. It requires a high-power drilling rig with trained technicians, along with several helping crew members like ourselves to prep the site, move drilling sediment (soil and rock), and transport tools. After our first three days of drilling the well at a depth of 150 feet, we initially had no water. Although it was frustrating, it did not diminish our passion for starting over and making another attempt. With only three days remaining and against the odds, we pulled together as a team, worked longer days, and drilled a second well on a pace faster than the first one. Thankfully, this one was a success! We had the perfect water well at 70 feet deep.
The village had a celebration on our final afternoon to celebrate the well and to express gratitude for our efforts. The schoolchildren and village now had a permanent source of clean drinking water, replacing the contaminated, shallow and hand-dug original well.
I am so proud to have participated on this mission trip to Guatemala. I admire the children and the community for their spirit and closeness. This trip changed my perspective on life and has inspired me to do more for others who are less fortunate.
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