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A Dream Come True

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El Maderal, El Salvador

When we arrived in the tiny village of El Maderal on Monday, the people told us that they dream about water — clean water. The older folks remember when the streams that run near the village were more than a source of water, but a source of food as well.

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All of that changed fourteen years ago when the district started dumping garbage just up the road from the village. It was not long before the fish disappeared, an indication that the water was contaminated. The people not only lost their source of water. They lost a valuable food source as well.

barry-treas-at-control
And so the people complained to local and regional authorities. But nobody took action on behalf of the poor people of El Maderal. The problems continued and worsened. And so the people began to dream about water. And they began to pray. Daily. Hard. In earnest.

team-at-mud-pit

Some, by their own confession, had little faith that their prayers would be answered, that the dream would come true. But others held on to their faith. And this week, the hopes and prayers of the people of El Maderal were finally answered. Their dream for clean water came true.

david-istre-at-controls
This was not the easiest week in terms of drilling. We spent an entire afternoon and evening trying to break through a layer of rock. We measured progress by the inch. Painfully slow. But we thought of the people of El Maderal. And we thought of God’s faithfulness. We persevered. And we broke through and continued drilling to one-hundred feet.

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As we developed the well, abundant and clear water gushed up from the depths to the cheers of the people. The kids, and even a few adults, seized the opportunity to run and play under the spray. Laughing. Jumping up and down. Soaking themselves in the showers of blessings — a dream come true.

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On our final afternoon we gathered around the well with the people of El Maderal. We enjoyed skits, a puppet show, a gospel presentation, lots of words of thanks from the folks here, and a special unexpected presentation. The people not only thanked us, they made paper crowns and presented them to us as they sang the words to “Thank you for giving to the Lord.” This was one of the best moments of any trip I have led — absolutely heartwarming.

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I remain deeply grateful for Living Water International for making dreams come true for people all over the world longing for a source of clean water. And I am grateful for the people of Kingsland for loving the nations and investing so much so that we can share and show the love of Jesus in places like El Maderal. That is indeed a dream come true.

el-maderal-plaque

We Dream of Water

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El Maderal, El Salvador

El Maderal is a tiny village that you are not likely to find on Google maps or any other maps for that matter. Tucked away in the hills of El Salvador not far from the Pacific Ocean, El Maderal is home to twenty-one families. Their humble little homes flank a short stretch of road that leads to the regional garbage dump.

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Dozens of times a day, big trucks overflowing with garbage rumble their way to the dump past the people of El Maderal. They have grown accustomed to the traffic in their remote little slice of El Salvadoran geography. What they are not happy about is how the garage dump has impacted their lives.

el-maderal-stream
Located at a slightly higher elevation than the village, all of the stuff that ends up in the dump has contaminated every steam that runs down and through the village. The water is unfit for drinking and even bad for doing the laundry. Although they have complained to anyone in authority who cares to listen, the problem remains unresolved.

barbara-and-kids

When we arrived in El Maderal on Monday morning, we were warmly greeted by kids and adults holding handmade Welcome posters and colorful bouquets of balloons. A woman spoke for the village and told us that we were an answer to their prayers. “We dream of water,” she said, “clean water.” They saw our team as the answer to their prayers and the fulfillment of their dream.

team-at-airport
We came to El Salvador to drill one more water well in cooperation with our friends at Living Water International. And, we had the good fortune to be the team to drill the water well that the people of El Maderal have been dreaming of. A blessing for us — and an unimaginably huge blessing for the people of El Maderal!

omar-at-rig
Today we completed our second day of drilling. It was a tough day. We drilled through rock all day and made progress only to eighty feet. We need to reach one-hundred feet to ensure that the people here will have a clean and reliable source of water. This matters to every person in this village. And it matters to us.

mark-in-mud-clothes

Because this is so important, we don’t mind getting covered in mud and doing whatever it takes to make sure that when we leave the people here have a water well. So, a part of our team is drilling, another group is teaching hygiene lessons, and another group is repairing wells in the area.

omar-and-mike
We know that without clean water kids will continue to get sick, women will continue to spend a large part of their day fetching water from unsanitary sources, and life in general will continue to be tough. We want to change that for the people of El Maderal. We want to turn what has become a nightmare into a beautiful dream fulfilled.

james

The Well is Presented 

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by Mike Kelley

By the love of God expressed through Kingsland Baptist Church, Living Water International, and the men of City Gates we give to the community of Santa Cruz Porrillo this fresh water pumping station.

The Well is Completed

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by Mike Aronson

The well is completed, dedicated to the community and the Lord.

Today was a day to recuperate before the journey home. Breakfast at 8:00 but for many this didn’t change the wake up time. Ham & cheese omelet, refried beans, fried plantains. This was followed up by our daily singing and devotions, James 2:14.

Now that this trip is over what will we do next. Will we continue to show our faith through works to others or sit on the sidelines and be a spectator? For us the answer was obvious.

For our day we went into San Salvador for lunch at Pollo Compero, getting us ready to go back to gringo food. After lunch a quick trip to Starbucks, it was here we said good bye to Danilo. Hopefully. We will meet up with him on another drilling trip.

On to the “Market” to look for trinkets to bring home. After an hour of “man” shopping Stanley (our host and drilling expert) took us to a vista point overlooking the city.

We are now back at the hotel waiting for dinner and a few more stories and off to pack and get some rest. Up at 4:00 am to begin the journey home. What an exciting week this has been.

Finished, With Lots of Smiles

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by Don Davis

Work began this morning with the pump assembly and was finished relatively quickly. Several pumps from the hand lever and clear water started flowing. The well was complete!

A few of the villagers built a fence around the water well to protect it from livestock. They all took turns at the pump with big smiles on their faces. We again had lunch in the village — this time enjoying delicious homemade chicken soup.

The dedication service for the well began after lunch with many of the villagers attending. Luvi and Danilo started by addressing the audience and had everyone laughing in short order. Then came a puppet show featuring the story of Jonah and the whale. This was followed by a Good Samaritan skit performed by our team. Danilo then presented the gospel message and finished with an invitation and prayer.

Everyone walked up the road to see the well. There was some more pumping and placing of hands under the flowing water. A few pictures were taken and this concluded a fantastic week of working with the wonderful staff of Living Water and the extremely friendly and hard working people of Porrillo Village.

Everyone was excited to see clean water flow from the well.

Everyone was excited to see clean water flow from the well.

 

Everyone was smiling.

Everyone was smiling.

 

Another delicious meal prepared by the village ladies. Chicken soup.

Another delicious meal prepared by the village ladies. Chicken soup.

 

Our team acted out the story of the Good Samaritan. Mike Kelley being mugged by Danillo as they play the victim and the robber in the Good Samaritan skit.

Our team acted out the story of the Good Samaritan. Mike Kelley being mugged by Danilo as they play the victim and the robber in the Good Samaritan skit.

 

Danilo preaching the gospel.

Danilo preaching the gospel.

 

The villagers rejoiced at the dedication of the water well.

The villagers rejoiced at the dedication of the water well.

Almost Finished

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by Dennis Shumard

This morning we continued to purge the well. The water is clean and welcome. I have been blessed by the number of men that have been joining us in labor every day. While we don’t share a common language we are still able to work side by side and laugh with each other as Mike Kelly and Don Davis both fell in the water pit and I fell in the mud.

A number of men from the area have been spending the night on site to protect the equipment. They have been doing this since Friday. The entire area is very anxious to have clean water. Yesterday  when we started sending water into the air it was almost a carnival atmosphere.

After cleaning up around the well, the form for the concrete was set and work began mixing concrete. With the last of the concrete in place Stanley set the Living Water/Kingsland BC dedication plaque in place.

It has been a true joy meeting the staff of Living Water and the people benefiting from the well. It is also wonderful spending time with brothers in Christ as we labor to further His Kingdom.

Purging the water well.

Purging the water well.

 

Setting the form around the well.

Setting the form around the well.

 

Pouring concrete into the form.

Pouring concrete into the form.

 

Waiting for the concrete to harden.

Waiting for the concrete to harden.

 

Mike Kelly being Mike Kelly -- loving on people and sharing God's love.

Mike Kelly being Mike Kelly — loving on people and sharing God’s love.

Another Excellent Day

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by Todd Watne

Another excellent day filled with warm smiles and hard work. Began the day with coffee and the ocean mist while engaging in some great conversations. The waves are thundering in the morning. I shared a brief devotional from Isaiah 46:9-10 and to paraphrase it: God is God and he governs the beginning and the end. He will accomplish his purpose on earth while graciously letting us play a part.

We finished drilling today at a depth of 120 feet (39 meters). We’ll continue with our work as the locals from the village grow eager with excitement. Their faces and their hearts are warm with hospitality. The team is benefiting from their assistance too.

Laundry line at local home.

Laundry line at local home.

 

Broken chain on drill rig.

Broken chain on drill rig.

 

Don Davis and Mike Aronson repairing broken chain on drill rig.

Don Davis and Mike Aronson repairing broken chain on the drill rig.

 

This is Reese and he's full of life and energy. Loves playing frisbee with us and his friends.

This is Reese and he’s full of life and energy. Loves playing frisbee with us and also with his friends.

 

In addition to the broken chain, the starter had to replaced. The LWI staff managed to locate what was very likely the one and only starter in the country for our rig. It set us back a couple of hours but we prevailed in the end.

In addition to the broken chain, the starter had to replaced. The LWI staff managed to locate what was very likely the one and only starter in the country for our rig. It set us back a couple of hours but we prevailed in the end.

 

Getting very close to the desired depth!

Getting very close to the desired depth!

 

On the way to the work site, we were shown this dumping ground just off the highway. It consists primarily of dead horses and parts and some cattle. The locals often switch horse meat for cattle.

On the way to the work site, we were shown this dumping ground just off the highway. It consists primarily of dead horses and parts and some cattle. The locals often swap horse meat for cattle.

We are grateful and eager to serve the community and one another. These Kingsland men are so solid.

A common means for water storage in remote El Salvador are cisterns that collect rain water. Here is an example.

A common means for water storage in remote El Salvador are cisterns that collect rain water. Here is an example.

 

Unloading gravel to pack in around the casing of the well.

Unloading gravel to pack in around the casing of the well.

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