In March 2020, a team of 15 volunteers traveled to Tacana, Guatemala to oversee the installation of a water purification system and train members of the Alpha y Omega Church in operation and maintenance of the system, helped them develop a plan for sustainability, and provided intensive education on health and hygiene. A few members of the team visited 2 additional potential sites, and a covenant agreement was signed with the Iglesia Evangelica Centroamericana Cristo Viene in Tectitan, a nearby community. The plans were to return in March of 2021 for the installation and education; however, on the teams return home COVID changed those plans. We are still anxiously awaiting the time when we can return to Guatemala, and continue the ministry of helping provide clean water!
In the meantime, we are still in contact with our new friends in Tacana, and reports are that the water system is functioning, and clean water is being produced and distributed. However, due to COVID restrictions, loss of work, and the faltering economy, the church is unable to sell the water. Instead they are giving it away to church members and those in need, including first responders and a local clinic and school. As part of our covenant with the church, we promised to provide both spiritual and financial support, including help with replacement filters, to supplement what funds would have been generated through the sale of water. To help honor our commitment, Grace sent $2000 this spring to support them through these challenging times.
In addition, we are helping support the Nicaragua Living Waters Program, where our mission partner Yobeth Hebbert oversees all of the systems in the country. Three of those systems were installed through First Presbyterian Church of Temple, prior to their joining with Grace. After 2 major hurricanes devastated the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, and severely damaged several of the systems, $8000 from the existing Living Waters fund at Grace was sent to help establish a supply chain and warehouse, and to expand their technical support to get systems back on line.
So despite the pandemic, Grace continues to honor its commitment to bring Clean Water to those is need in both Guatemala and Nicaragua, where access to clean water is truly life-saving. Please keep our mission partners, Yobeth Hebbert in Nicaragua and Rubenia Sanchez in Guatemala, as well as the Alpha y Omega and Cristo Viene churches in prayer.
Seats for Students Fundraiser for South Sudan Mission School
The goal of our Seats for Students Fundraiser is to provide 200 chairs for students in the South Sudan Mission School, which currently has approximately 350 Kindergarten through 6th grade students enrolled. Imagine sending your child to school each day, knowing they would have to sit on the floor all day! In the Primary Mission School of the South Sudan Education Mission, that is exactly what many of the children have to do. Many of you heard our mission partner, Paul Both, talk about the rapid growth of the school, and his vision for even further expansion including a vocational component and a library for the school, which provides opportunities for young children to learn in a Christian environment, giving them a better chance of not only survival, but a better future in this war torn area of the world. Each chair is $10, and all funds collected will be used specifically for this purpose. This is also something that your own children or grandchildren might have fun supporting!If you would like to donate funds for one or more chairs, you can write a check to GPC with “SSEM chairs” in the memo line, or donate online through the Give tab. Thank you for your support! And if you would like to follow Paul Both and the work of the SSEM, you can visit the website at https://www.ssemhome.org