The people of Nueva Candalaria live on $6 per day and have received no aid prior to the arrival of Living Water. The constant hard work of the pastor and the obvious effects of poverty on the children made it easy for me to view the people purely as victims.
Continued interaction with the villagers showed me glimpses of pride, obsession with sex, and selfishness. Working next to them throughout the project helped me to see the people as they are, not helpless victims of a world pressing them down, but as real, flawed people in need a Savior.
It hurt me to see the conditions in Guatemala throughout the week. For the first time, I witnessed real poverty. Guatemala is a country filled with roaming packs of stray dogs, deeply potholed roads that host total disregard for safety or rules, zoning laws that allow shrimp factories next to homes and hotels, crime so severe that homes, grocery stores, parking lots, and gas stations require guards armed with shotguns, and water heavily polluted by pesticides, animals, and human waste.
After a week of drilling, avoiding getting vehicles stuck in mud during a tropical storm, dodging dysentery and malaria, watching volcanoes erupt in the distance, sleeping in a hotel next to a shrimp factory, and getting to talk to the villagers about their lives and Savior, Nueva Candelaria has a new, clean water well.
The village of 5000 (specifically 350 families close to the well) will no longer need to contend with leeches or fertilizer contamination in their water. They now have access to a 155 ft. deep well which produces 800-1000 gallons per minute of free, pure drinking water. We tested it ourselves.
I am very thankful to have been able to witness and serve in the beautiful country of Guatemala, as well as, celebrate clean water and the Gospel with my team and 300 villagers in La Iglesia de Dios.
The church in Nueva Candalaria showed me contentedness in Christ despite earthly pain. I learned that far more than clean drinking water, people need the living water that only Jesus provides. In the most basic and important need, Guatemalans are no different than Texans. We are all sinners without hope apart from Christ who died for us.
By Cole McCullar, Software Engineering major at UT Dallas serving in Guatemala through Go Now Missions
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