Living Waters for the World Update and Request

Dear Pennington Presbyterian Members and Friends,

I am happy to report that all three of our Living Waters for the World operating partners in the Yucatan Peninsula are actively providing safe drinking water to the people in their congregations and their communities.  The work isn’t always easy, but our partners have great faith in God, and persevere through the good times and the hard ones. Hard times are characterized by unpredictable weather and electrical outages, broken-down delivery vehicles, changing health department regulations, system parts replacement, lack of suitable bottles, and so forth. Our partners operate on a non-profit budget, of course, striving to bring in enough money to cover electricity and other ongoing expenses, while paying the operators, and saving for bottles, and replacement parts for the reverse osmosis systems. A nominal amount is charged for five-gallon bottles of water and provided free of charge for those who are sick, elderly, or can’t afford to pay anything.  A five-gallon bottle is sold for the US equivalent of 62 cents.  That same bottle would cost $7.44 at Walmart in our country.

This July, several of us will make a return visit to Tahdziu, where we installed and educated in 2016 and our senior highs and their leaders held an amazing VBS for 130 children.  Part of the covenant agreement we develop with our partners states that we will make reunion visits in the two years following the actual system installation.  During these visits, we make sure to see our other partners, too. We’ve been visiting our first partners in Sacalum for eight years now, and our second partners in Kaua, for five years.  We are always welcomed with open arms and heartfelt thanks and greetings to the beloved church in Pennington (beloved is the way our partners say it!). We are continually inspired by the ways that Sacalum, Kaua, and Tahdziu minister to their towns.

Last summer, Chris LaCasse, Nancy Russell and I visited Cantamayec, a small and very poor village about 45 minutes away from Tahdziu. We helped complete a site assessment, which is a preliminary document determining whether a church and community are good candidates for a water system. We decided that Cantamayec had the commitment and understanding of Living Waters for the World necessary for operating a system over the long term.  The site assessment was archived on the Living Waters for the World website and made available to potential partners in the USA who might be interested in constructing a system in the Yucatan.

This winter, an exciting development occurred.  Unity Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill, South Carolina, contacted me saying they had funds designated for Living Waters for the World in their mission budget, but they didn’t have any leaders who had been trained through Living Waters for the World’s Clean Water U in many years.  In Pennington, we planned to visit the Yucatan this summer, but didn’t have the funds to undertake a new installation and education project.  After discussion with the Mission Committee and a presentation to Session, we decided to collaborate – Unity will pay for all the system equipment and expenses for two of their members to come with us, and Pennington will provide the trained leadership (Sandy LaCasse attended the education class at Clean Water U in 2017, I teach project management at Clean Water U each year, and Chris was trained in system installation in 2012), and pay for our own travel expenses to bring safe water and health education to Cantamayec this summer. Chris, Sandy, their son Stevie, Elizabeth Andres, and I will be heading to the Yucatan in July, accompanied by Dan Rogers and Ed Fritz from Unity Presbyterian.  The water building was constructed by a third church, Rolling Bay from Bainbridge Island Washington, last February, so we don’t have to worry about building materials.  This is a highly unusual partnership, and we thank God for guiding us in such an amazing endeavor.  It may well be the wave of the future for LWW!

We realize that many people are already set to follow in the footsteps of Paul this summer in Greece, and others have vacation plans, but if you’d like to join us in the Yucatan, please contact Hope Anderson at hopeanderson.ppns@gmail.com, at 609-320-3285, or after church!  I’d love to chat with you, and so would Chris and Sandy.

One way you can be a part of our overall effort is by contributing art supplies for Sandy and Elizabeth to use as they conduct classes in Cantamayec on health and hygiene, and present Bible stories that emphasize God’s gift of clean water for all people.  Water drops with items to be bought and donated will be displayed in Upper Titus at the beginning of June.

Thank you for your ongoing support!  The efforts of our church and those of our partners in the Yucatan have enabled thousands of people to thrive because of the safe water they drink each day.

Hope Anderson