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CEO Update: Latest Lifewater Highlights

Grace and peace to you. I’m just back from Africa where I was evaluating a new project location in Uganda. Plus, we held our quarterly Board of Directors meeting this weekend, so I have quite a bit to share!

A Story from Uganda

First, a brief story. At Lifewater, our first core value is that we are Christ Centered. It’s more than just an idea—it defines how we go about our day-to-day activities. This core value has a direct impact on where we choose to undertake projects. We go to the least and the last: unreached people, most of whom are illiterate and survive as subsistence farmers. These families suffer from very high degrees of water-borne illness (they are sick a lot), and they live in rural, hard-to-reach places where others will not serve (because it is too expensive, inconvenient, hard on their equipment, etc.).

A few weeks ago, I was in Uganda visiting a potential new region to serve. During these visits, I’m mostly listening to community members, meeting with government officials, and prayer-walking around the villages. It’s a really special time that I only get to do a few times a year.

I don’t often take photos, but I did take this picture of a village water source:

I spent about half an hour just observing who came to gather water. It was the middle of the day and it was hot. Here’s what I noticed, over and over again: young girls (8-10 years old) filling jerry cans with dirty water, loading the cans on old bicycles, then pushing the heavy loads back to their home. Over and over again. I wanted to see how far they were walking, so we headed down the path. After the second mile, I was pretty tired, so we called the car over and drove the rest of the way. These girls walked five miles carrying four 40-lb jerry cans of water from this filthy source to their homes. It absolutely crushed me. These girls weren’t in school. They do this each and every day, just like their mothers did and just like their grandmothers did before them.

As I left, I felt the spirit of God whisper to me that this is a cycle that can be broken, and we are here for such a time as this. At Lifewater, we scour the countries where we serve to find the hard places and the forgotten people – those who don’t have any economic or political power to influence and change the way that things are.

When you partner with us, you are telling these girls they are loved by God and that there is more for them in store. Thank you.

Lifewater Highlights

  • Our field teams registered more than 1,600 healthy homes in the month of January! That is the most in our history. Every single healthy home is a months-long process where our staff work with a family to help them make changes in their water, sanitation, and hygiene behaviors on their own. We celebrate each family and register them one by one.
  • Drilling season is upon us and we are deep in the mud. In January 2018 alone, Lifewater staff completed 27 village water projects and one school water project (you can see a few of them here).
  • We have another 100 or so water projects we are working to complete before the rainy seasons begins in earnest around the end of April. Communities have done their part for each and every one of these projects (saving funds, sharing in the cost, working toward healthy homes, etc.) and now it is our time to deliver! Please pray for God’s provision during this busy time.

All of the above projects are possible because people like you generously contributed to Lifewater or sponsored entire projects on your own. Thank you.

We just launched a campaign to sponsor 15 more specific village projects in Ethiopia this fall and would love for your help to make these possible!

Glad to serve with you.
~ Justin

P.S. If you missed my update from last month, you can find it here and you can find a copy of our most recent newsletter here.