Providing running water for 60 families in Peru
60 families in Nauta, in Peru’s Amazon region, have access to clean, running water thanks to a BMS World Mission water project
“It was the Lord’s plan, and the devil really didn’t want it to work,” says BMS worker in Nauta, Laura-Lee Lovering. “It pushed me to the end of my sanity at times. But I’m so satisfied to see that it really has worked. We’ve been able to fulfil our word.”
Providing running water for the community of La Union, where the BMS-supported Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre (NIMTC) is based, has been a plan-in-the-making for almost seven years. In 2010, a lack of water was identified as the most significant problem in the neighbourhood. Now, 60 families (approximately 360 people) are celebrating turning their taps on twice a day to receive a flow of running water.
“It’s a real relief and I’m just really happy,” says Laura. “Because it’s such a clear need, and it makes such a difference.”
The tap that enables water, pumped from a well at the NIMTC site, to run down to the 60 houses of families in La Union was officially turned on on 14 December 2016. It was a long process – involving a few minor disasters – but the water is now generally running well. Each family played their part in the project, contributing to the cost of the pipe and tap that would run water directly to their home and digging the trenches to install the pipes.
“That’s part of the point,” says Laura. “It’s a community project, and they were always meant to take ownership of it and realise it’s a project for them, by them.”
Before the taps were installed, many families in La Union were getting their water from shallow wells behind their houses. Spells of diarrhoea and vomiting were common amongst the children of the community and testing the water of one of these wells showed high levels of contamination.
While NIMTC exists to train pastors from rural river communities in theology and community development – to equip them to pastor their churches well, share the gospel and practically help their neighbours – the BMS-supported team in Nauta don’t want to overlook the needs of their own community.
“We want to help people,” Laura says. “Yes the training centre exists to train pastors, but what about the people right in front of us? It makes sense that we should be here for the benefit of the local people as well.”
It was the desire of the community of La Union to have access to clean, running water in their homes, but they have grown used to empty promises and many of them thought this water project would never happen. They now know that the Christians at NIMTC hold true to their word. As well as meeting a vital physical need, this running water has become a powerful witness to the living water.
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This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission.