We are halfway through our 7 year partnership with Rio Azul, a small town in Guatemala. The goal has always been, and still is to come along side a community to help them get out of the cycle of poverty they are in. And because of the bacteria in the people of Rio Azul’s water that was causing physical and mental stunting, we have focused our energy on removing the bacteria: by bringing in clean water, and now building drainage that will remove safely the dirty, bacteria ridden water that is created. We are passionate about this project.
But we learned an important lesson this Thursday. We learned that we’re working with a third world country – things don’t tend to happen on our first world timeline.
In Canada, when we have a project that has to be done for Friday, it’s done for Friday. Or bad things happen, and people get mad. But things don’t always work that way in countries like Guatemala. Things happen – when they happen, much less emphasis is given to being on time. And people are generally okay with this – in fact, it’s all they know. The sense of urgency that we live with day and day out…doesn’t really exist there.
On Thursday, we were advised that the community of Rio Azul has not yet secured all of the tools: the permits, signatures, and agreements necessary to begin Phase 3: digging trenches and laying the drainage pipe that will haul dirty water safely outside of the community. We have been advised that Phase 3 will be going ahead, but will not be able to begin until March. All of the funds that we raised are being held by Food for the Hungry until the community of Rio Azul is ready to start that part of the project.
But our Rio Azul team is scheduled to leave on Saturday. And while we thought they were going to be digging trenches to lay the drainage pipe, we now know that that part of the project just isn’t ready. So our team is going to be flexible. They are going to bring water, a word we use to describe anything God can use in and through us to make the world a better place, to Rio Azul, just perhaps not in the way that we had planned. And I want you all to know that this team is excited to go and give water wherever it is needed. They seem to get the flexibility needed to come along side people in third world countries.
So we will be meeting with the community and FH officials to work out details of the continuing drainage project. And we are excited by what we have accomplished with the town or Rio Azul, and what we still have to accomplish.
Thank-you for continuing to support Rio Azul by giving your financial water. Through your commitment, we will raise this village out of poverty.
Water: anything that God uses in and through us to make the world better. How are you bringing water to your world today?