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  • Writer's pictureYucatan Helping Hands

February 2018 RBPC– Making Clean Water Possible in Cantamayec

Updated: Aug 30, 2018

The look on the children’s faces was priceless during Vacation Bible School (VBS). With pride, they joyfully maneuvered their little “wells,” little plastic cups they fashioned in a paper sack that were attached to yarn and straw. They had just listened to the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and how Jesus offered her living water for her soul. Soon, they will be drinking clean water produced from a real well themselves.

In February, Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church (RBPC), who organized the VBS, constructed a new building that will house a water purification system through Living Waters for the World (LWW). The buoyant Bainbridge Island team from WA, was led by Laura Alonso, whose dedication and inspirational leadership has brought RBPC to Yucatán to serve and construct homes since 2010. But this time, they wanted a different project – one that would benefit the whole community.

RBPC team with Ahinas and mason Cristino in Cantamayec

After we contacted LWW, they mentioned there was a need of a water plant in the pueblo of Cantamayec. Just so happens that our hammock maker Febe is from there. So she put us in contact with Pastor Irving from the Principe de Paz church. The pastor mentioned to us that bad water had earlier contributed to the death of a child in the community. LWW came to meet us and groundbreaking started back in December by our masons Cristino and Charlie. Together with the local church brothers and the RBPC team, the building was constructed on the church property.  

Principe de Paz church will receive the arrival in July of a team from Pennington Presbyterian (NJ) and Unity Presbyterian (SC), who will be installing the reverse osmosis system, which filters out germs and deposits. This team will also be educating church members to teach the community the importance of using clean water. At the end of the week, there will be a grand opening of the plant, and we’ll be especially excited to see the children drink the first clean water produced at the church.

Construction of the water plant building by RBPC, the local church and masons -- with an added bonus: a garden!

As is the case with our other two water purification plants, being a non-profit ministry, families with scarce resources and elementary schools will be provided water at no cost while it will be sold to the community in 5-gallon jugs and at a lower price than commercially sold water. We also recently received great news that funds have been generated for a new well to be installed for the system. This is important since the water pressure from the local municipal is very low and rationed during certain hours of the day.

Marisol, the pastor’s wife, explained that she was so happy to see many new faces of children during the week the group led VBS because it’s been through their children’s ministry that she and her husband have been able to reach out to parents and extended families to grow the church. One of the highlights of the mission week was having the choir women lead music classes during VBS. While the children had a blast learning to play boomwhacker instruments and sing a jazzy worship song in English led by Jennifer, RBPC's lively and ardent conductor, the women were equally delighted with their students. Many of them belong to the church's children choir and are robust singers themselves. Marisol says she continues to use the boomwhackers as teaching tools during choir practice.

The afternoons also included VBS games by the RBPC men. Led by Dan, a Boeing retiree, we always look forward to their activities; afterall, who comes up with building rockets with alka seltzer? Always a hit!

(Photo on left: demonstrating the rocket launch!)

As missionary parents, it's always a joy to see Kawika translating during construction and VBS activities. But the week was topped off with a surprise. Moments before the farewell service, Pastor Irving asked Kawika to translate his sermon. It was the first full sermon Kawika translated, and although he was nervous in front of the large crowd, he delivered it well.

A shout out also to our other two translators Jimena and Lucia (photo left) who helped to make the mission a success.

We pray that the Principe de Paz church will continue to be a beacon of light using their new water ministry to lead others to better health and to Jesus Christ the fountain of living water. We look forward to the installation of the operating system in July!

We are so grateful for RBPC's dedication and service over the last 8 years and having shown the light of Jesus Christ to so many. Although they served in Cantamayec, they did not forget their friends in the pueblo of Akil and made a side trip to visit the church there.

Make New Friends But Keep the Old: RBPC visits with members of the Bethel church in Akil where the team has served in previous years building new homes

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