Jun 18, 2012
Lucky Number Thirteen
I’m proud to announce that Wine To Water has officially added Guatemala as lucky country number 13. One of my close friends, and WTW board member, Allen Peterson had been hounding me for a while to get down to Guatemala. He had been doing mission work there off and on for the last 15 years and was always telling me about how amazing the people were and how so many of their lives would be changed if they could somehow access affordable clean drinking water.
Last fall Allen and his wife took a trip down to help serve at one of the school/feeding centers they had been supporting in a slum called Primavera. Primavera is one of the more dangerous areas in Guatemala and on this trip down a local gang made contact with Allen’s team and basically said if they didn’t stop their work in Primavera then they would begin killing the team members one at a time until they left.
This obviously shook Allen up a bit and he questioned whether he would ever return to the place he held so dear in his heart. However, just a few months later he felt the good Lord calling him back and this time he asked if I would go down with him to help three of their school/feeding centers gain access to clean water, one of them being Primavera. “Death threats, gangs, little kids needing water… I’m in!”
Allen and I just got back from Guatemala last week. We had an amazing trip down. We installed water filters in all three school/feeding centers. And in Primavera not only did we hook them up with filters but by the end of our time there we had installed an entire rainwater containment system.
Oscar, an awesome local Guatemalan dude who runs these feeding centers, told us that he and his wife shut the doors of the Primavera center after the death threats. The gang began following him, found out where he lived, and eventually he was forced to move to a new home in a protected community. Oscar’s heart was broken for the children of Primavera and he said he prayed every day that if God wanted him to go back there to work in spite of the gang, then he would gladly go. However, in his praying he asked that God give him some sort of sign if he wanted him back there.
In January Oscar received a call from someone in Primavera begging him to come back to reopen the children’s center. The man told Oscar that six of the notorious gangs members had just been killed in recent drug violence and that he didn’t think they would bother them anymore. So Oscar took that as his sign and returned. Not long after he asked Allen to come back down to continue to help his people, and voilá, Guatemala becomes lucky country number 13!
Thank you all so much for your continued support. We will keep everyone in the loop on how we plan to grow our projects throughout Guatemala… and I hope y’all ALL know that this work that we love so much would not be possible without you. Whether you’ve supported us financially, hosted an event for us, or just kept us in your thoughts and prayers, we love and are thankful for each one of you.
Picture 1: Children at one of the feeding centers are gathered around watching us install the water filters
Picture 2: Oscar pouring the first bucket of water into one of the filters