by Gayla Parker
Cool. Clear. Refreshing. For most Americans the thought of getting deathly ill from the water we just played in or the water we just guzzled down never crosses our mind. But the US is the exception, not the norm.
As a missionary living in Asia, I learned rather quickly that water that looks clean is probably not clean. Many people overseas must make a daily choice between severe dehydration and the risk of dysentery, typhoid, and e-coli from contaminated water.
Where we lived, it seemed like every day a child was hospitalized or someone died or someone contracted a new skin disease from his or her home water source. The simple tasks of bathing and brushing teeth were often the cause.
That’s where Pure Water, Pure Lovesm (PWPL) comes in. A simple water filter or a new water well can make the difference between wellness and illness and sometimes even between life and death. Since 1997 WMU® has been meeting one of the most basic human needs of missionaries through PWPL. The goal of this ministry is to provide missionaries and the people they serve with clean drinking water, free from disease-causing microorganisms, at no cost to them.
The water filter in our home was amazing! Every time our children swallowed water in the shower, brushed their teeth, mixed a glass of Kool-aid, mixed a container of powdered milk, or simply drank a glass of water, I never had to worry about what disease they might contract because we had a PWPL water filter in our home.
A donation to PWPL provides water filters for missionary families serving around the world. And not only that, PWPL now assists in providing water wells to communities in the US and abroad.
Pure Water for Haiti
For example, in 2006, PWPL partnered with Mission Waco to provide safe, clean water for the people of thevillage of Ferrier in the northeastern part of Haiti.
While there, Mission Waco also helped repair three older and defunct wells. All are located in an impoverished village of 13,000 where the average family income is less than a dollar a day.
The director of Mission Waco, Jimmy Dorrell, says it best, “Clean water is one of the most precious commodities for this nation that often resorts to bacteria-infested river water to drink.”
In 2010, just a couple of months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Pure Water, Pure Love once again provided a grant to provide a clean water source to so many in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
Mission Waco has been involved in ministries in Haiti for more than 20 years.
What You Can Do
Check out more stories at wmu.com/PWPL. Then consider giving up bottled water for a week and send the dollars saved to PWPL. And the next time you guzzle down a cold bottle of water remember to pray for those who live without clean water every day and for the missionaries who live among them.
Jesus said, “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink . . . whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35, 40 NIV). It is a small price to pay for a very great reward!
Gayla Parker is the author of Active Compassion: A Calling to Care.
Jimmy Dorrell is the author of Trolls and Truth: 14 Realities About Today’s Church That We Don’t Want to See. He and his wife, Janet, wrote Plunge2Poverty: An Intensive Poverty Simulation Experience.
National WMU staff contributed to this article.
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