Last August, some of our High School Youth Traveled to Lantern Hill in Baja Mexico for a service trip. It was a truly amazing experience. We all grew in many ways. I had my own little “freak out” moment where I had to rely on the youth for support and encouragement. It was a great trip with great people, great staff, and millions of memories to feed our faith and drive to work for justice
One of the most amazing things that happened was that we came home with a mission, a goal, something to keep the connection alive. We visited a community dubbed Concrete Village. They had no water. Not even dirty water. The owner of the land, the farmer all the men and boys worked for had turned it off in order to have more water for his farm. The 2nd day we went back, there was still no water. By the third day, we were done. We went to the store and bought water.
When we process the situation and our resulting actions with the staff, we learned that even when the water is turned on, it was filthy. It ran through trash, dirt and all sorts of other things picking up germs and disease before even getting to the village. We talked about ways to solve the problem. I am typically not a fan of the “buy your way out of a situation” solution, but in this case, we’re talking water, a basic need. Having safe water was more important than looking at the right way to fix the problem. We resolved to raise funds when we got home for a water tower that would have to be filled with clean water each week. On behalf of our church, we committed a very long-term relationship with the people of Concrete Village. When we got home and told the church what we had done, the responded with overwhelming support. Before we knew it, we had raised $2000. Enough to put up the tower and fill it for 42 weeks. Then we hit a snag. The farmer who owns the land refused to let us construct a tower. The Lantern Hill staff went to him, begged, bargained, and pleaded. When that didn’t work, they went to the government with the situation. Still no luck. We were at a stand-still for months. Sitting on money with nothing to do with it. I had even started to look to other projects to get rid of our money. Then, prayer & perseverance taught us all a lesson. In Mid May, I got an e-mail from Lantern Hill saying they had found a solution. Last week, I had the privilege of making out a check voucher to cover the costs for one water filter system for each family living at Concrete Village. The water they drink will be clean, safe and disease free.
Not one part of this project happened when I thought it would, or when we planned for it to happen or even happened in a way that planned. We learned a lesson about God’s timing. We learned that God is faithful.