The Miracle of Clean, Accessible Water
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10-year-old Madeline lives with her family in a remote community in Guatemala. Their greatest need is clean water for drinking, bathing, and cooking. “The water has a yellow color,” she told us. “It also has a rusty smell and tastes very bad.” The only water source is an open well contaminated with bacteria and high mineral content. Madeline’s dad, Jamie, told us it is dangerous. “It is not suitable for human consumption, so we must look for other resources to satisfy the need.”
To be safe, the family must buy drinking water packets nearly every day from a vendor in a nearby community. Buying water has put a strain on their budget. “The income I make is just enough for us to survive,” Jaime added. “I felt sad that other communities have clean water, but we don’t have any here,” Madeline said.
Some days Jamie does not have enough money to buy water. On those days Madeline goes thirsty or runs the risk of sickness from drinking from the open well. “I didn't want to drink that water because I knew my stomach was going to hurt a lot,” she said. One day, Madeline said she was so thirsty that she finally gave in and drank the bad water. She said the pain got so bad she spent the entire day in bed. “My stomach hurt so much, I couldn't even stand up."
"I felt bad because I didn't have money to buy water,” said Jaime. “That time I had to borrow money to take my daughter to the hospital."
When Operation Blessing came to Madeline's community we confirmed the water was dangerous. We then dug a new well and installed a large water tank and filtration. Finally we ran pipes to each home. "Now the water tastes sweet and delicious,” declared Madeline. “Now I can go to work in peace knowing my children will have clean water to drink at home,” said Jaime.
“Thank you so much for giving us this water. God bless you for what you did for us," said Madeline.
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