Katarina with Deborah & Giovanni
(Photo by Zac Benson)
Katarina is a single mom of three kids. It's a challenge to work and care for these little ones on her own. She doesn't have any family in the area to help. We have had the privilege of serving her sweet family of the last few weeks. We have helped with some basic food items like: beans, rice, veggies and fruit. In addition, we have helped with some cleaning and maintenance in her home and yard. We are becoming quite attached to this precious family.
Anna Kate playing with Deborah!
Last week she invited us to attend a church service held at her home. We were so excited and honored to be invited. Yet, when it was time to leave for her house, I was a little nervous. I didn't know what to expect. I was very nervous about food and what I might have to eat. Well, to my delight, the service was only about 20-25 minutes late in starting. We sang some songs and then the teacher stood up to share his "reflection" from the Bible. We had been told to expect an hour of teaching, but it really was a devotion. He taught for about 30 minutes or so. I didn't understand all of it, but there were many words I recognized. As I reflected, I was happy to be sitting outside in the cool evening, listening to the Word. The Word comes in power, even when I don't understand all of what is being said. People had the opportunity to be transformed and life renewed just by hearing the Word.
The well with a few inches of water.
Yesterday, we went back to Katarina's house. She has an open well on her property. During the rainy season it had about 4-5 feet of water in it. Now it was down to about 6 inches. This has bothered us from the first day we met this family. You see, Katarina works during the day. She often leaves the children home alone. Their ages are 12, 7, and 4. Sometimes the 12 year old works too, so the 7 year old is in charge of the 4 year old. Everytime, we leave their house we pray, "Lord, please protect those kids and keep them out of the well."
Lee digging deeper for more water.
As we have continued to build relationship, we have offered to build a cover for the well for the protection and safety of the children. She asked for and received permission from her landlord this week. So, yesterday Lee and a few others went to work. She asked them to dig the well a little deeper so she would have more water in the dry season. She does not have running water or electricity at her house, so she uses the water to wash dishes and laundry. When the guys jumped down in the hole and began digging, they realized her latrine (about 20 - 25 feet away) must be leaking into the well. The smell was awful. How can anything get clean when all you have is filthy water?
After digging deeper, they set to work on a cover for the well. They built a platform to cover the well and a door, so she can still get water. It is the most sturdy, well-built, over-engineered structure on her property. What joy to know, that little Deborah can continue to run and play with reckless abandon - and she will not fall in the well. Her mother can leave with a little less anxiety about the safety of her home and her little ones.
Framing the cover
All the kids wanted to help - Lee helped them use the drill.
AK, Parker, Lee, Angel, Steven (from CTEN) and Giovanni.
Job well done!!
Now - what to do about the unclean water..... Lord, we need your wisdom.