It’s been seven months since Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines and Water Missions International launched disaster response efforts to bring safe water to those who lost everything in the powerful storm. Earlier this year, we shared a thank you letter from Betsy, whose community received a Living Water™ Treatment System.

“Water Missions International came and brought the most important/biggest gift we’ve received, ever,” Betsy wrote. “It was by then that, little by little, people came to understand that there is always this divine intervention.”

Betsy

Betsy, and the rest of her community, were overjoyed to receive a safe water access after Typhoon Haiyan.

A few days ago we heard back from Betsy with an update on how her community of 5,000 people is doing. She shared that her community is recovering well, and that they’re building an enclosure to protect what was meant to be a temporary solution to their problem.

“Our building is just a small one, just enough to protect the system from the sun and dirt,” she wrote us. “This is courtesy of our governor, who was so overwhelmed by this gift.”

Betsy’s community, like so many others, hopes to keep their disaster response systems running while they continue to rebuild their lives, but these systems aren’t always adequate for their long-term needs. Although the storm has passed in the Philippines, we want to continue to work with communities like Betsy’s and help make safe water access a permanent reality rather than a temporary solution.

Disaster Response Typhoon Haiyan

Water Missions International is committed to staying and helping with recovery efforts as long as we’re needed.

In Haiti, following disaster response efforts for the 2010 earthquake, Water Missions International has been working to transition disaster response systems into permanent installations—projects that run on solar power with the capability of meeting greater water needs. This is our hope for every crisis we responded to, from cholera outbreaks to natural disasters. We want to work to meet a community’s need for safe water permanently, and transform their lives forever.

 

Everyone, no matter their situation or circumstance, has the power to make a difference in another person’s life. Water Missions International is honored to have a group of supporters, called Thirst Quenchers, who give every month to help transform the lives of others with the gift of safe water.

As part of our Thirst Quencher program, these passionate individuals make a monthly donation to support our work. Their regular giving ensures a steady flow of safe water for those who thirst.

As a benefit, our Thirst Quenchers get the inside scoop on what’s happening here at Water Missions International. In addition to a special quarterly e-newsletter, they get access to breaking news, first look at new videos, and a yearly photo calendar.

Sign up today to join our Thirst Quencher program by clicking here. You can help us transform lives around the world with your monthly gift. Your monthly gift is their daily celebration!

UPDATE: 6/19/2014

Safe water now flows in Mulwanda. Our staff responded to requests for emergency aid and installed a Living Water Treatment System™. To hear more about the situation in Mulwanda, watch this special message from Michael, the Director of our Uganda country program.

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Earlier this year, Bryan and I brought home our adopted son from Ghana. We were thrilled to welcome “E” into our lives and home. We’re both committed to helping others get access to safe water, but having a son who lacked safe water his whole life quickly gave us a deeper passion for the importance of the work of organizations like Water Missions International. Bryan wanted to share about how having a son has changed his perspective on the need for safe water.

I will never forget the moment I met my son. It was amazing. He is such a brave and beautiful child.

Fathers Day

Bryan and his son E enjoying a carousel ride

One morning, there was a very large thunderstorm raining down loudly on our home. E came into our room and as we sat together he began to talk about his life. He shared that when it would rain hard when he was in Ghana, they would stop the day’s activities to all go and get buckets. They would fill those buckets with the rain water and bathe using that water. There was no ability to wash on a regular basis. There was just no water to do so.

Upon first arriving in our home, my wife was making him some MILO, similar to hot cocoa. It was very hot, so she took his mug and walked over to the sink to add some cold water to cool it down. With a panicked look on his face, E yelled, “Bad water!” He didn’t trust any water from a tap.

This was the first moment that we had any inclination that he understood the difference between good and bad water. Unfortunately, he believed that if water was clear that it was good water, and from his medical results we know that he had a lot of “bad water” before we were brought together.

Bryan and E

Bryan and E on his first day of school in the United States

I won’t forget the first time I noticed his distended belly, sick from a lifetime of malnutrition and illness. Even now, months after being home together, we continue to be at war with giardia and other waterborne illness from the water he drank while in his native country of Ghana. I’ll also never forget how he told us for the first time, just last week, “My belly no more hurt!” with a wide smile on his face, showing the medical regimen is finally starting to help him.

I count myself as truly blessed. Blessed that we have incredible doctors and resources at our disposal to help our son. Blessed that as a father I am able to provide care for him to be restored to health, and comfort when he is sick. Access to safe water is not something we worry about. I am blessed that I can celebrate my first father’s day with the joyful laughter of our son echoing through our home, as his body continues to grow stronger each day.

I invite you to join Water Missions International this Father’s Day so that men around the world will no longer have to fear that their children will die from contaminated water. So that families can have sanitation that protects them from illness, and critical health and hygiene training can impact generations to come with life-saving knowledge.

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Earlier this year, Water Missions International strategic partner In Touch Ministries traveled to our Haiti country program to visit our safe water solutions and learn about how we work with communities to bring safe water to those who thirst. While they were there, the In Touch team captured the following footage and crafted it into a video that tells the story of how George and Molly Greene were called to serve others.

Over the years, our staff members around the world have dealt with many threats to their physical well being. Every day they travel miles through jungles and over washed out roads to communities in remote areas; they deal with threats from local gangs or terrorists, and they are exposed to life threatening diseases like Malaria and Cholera. But since December, a new threat has emerged for residents of the Caribbean.

Haiti Safe Water

Our staff in Haiti frequently work in communities where Cholera is an issue, so they are no stranger to the threat of illness.

A virus is spreading rapidly, leaving victims to suffer severe headaches, a burning fever, and so much pain in their joints they can barely walk or use their hands. Currently, 13 members of Water Missions International’s staff in Haiti have come down with this virus, known as Chikungunya. The Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people through mosquito bites. While it’s more common in Africa and Asia, the virus has been spreading rapidly through the Caribbean over the last few months. There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent infection from the virus. Although it is typically not life-threatening, at least 14 deaths in the Caribbean have been linked to Chikungunya.

We ask for your prayers for our sick staff members in Haiti as they rest and recover, allowing their bodies to fight this painful illness. We are grateful to them for their dedication to transforming lives through safe water — in spite of the risks they face to their own health and welfare.

As school children across the United States of America celebrate the end of the school year and the promise of summer, the students of Kitale School in Kenya celebrate being free of waterborne illness. The dreams of children in Africa aren’t that different from the dreams of students where we live – they want to grow up and be pilots, teachers or great leaders. But because of access to safe water, these dreams might one day become a reality.

Safe water access has made a noticeable difference for these children. “Last quarter no student was diagnosed with typhoid or an amoeba,” one teacher told us happily. “This is a tremendous change since we used to have more than 15 cases in a term.” Continue Reading…

Hach Walk For Water

Lauren Jernigan —  May 29, 2014 — 1 Comment

Walk Participants

On Saturday, May 8th, over 200 participants and volunteers gathered at Hach Company’s Loveland location for the first annual Walk for Water in support of Water Missions International. Local Loveland High School Cheerleaders kicked off the walk with an original cheer while a marimba band played festive music, serenading the walkers who collectively raised over $12,000 to help fund a safe water community development project. Continue Reading…

“When George and Molly Greene founded Water Missions International—a strategic partner of In Touch Ministries—they had one goal in mind: to save lives, both physically and spiritually.” –Cameron Lawrence, In Touch Magazine

Water Missions International’s strategic partner In Touch Ministries included a feature story on our founders George and Molly Greene in their most recent edition of In Touch Magazine. George and Molly’s story is right at the heart of who we are as an organization: their calling is our calling, their work our work.

Safe Water Distribution In Haiti

George Greene distributing safe water in Haiti.

Continue Reading…

“Good afternoon, my name is Edinaldo. I live in the community of Quinito. We are grateful for the LWTS system, and we also say thank you to our community for helping to build the LWTS enclosure. Thank you so much!”

 “Hello, my name is Nadia and I live in Quinito. We are happy and cheerful for the LWTS system because it will benefit many people and help eradicate gastrointestinal diseases, especially in the children. This is a great gift! The children and the community are happy for this great help that comes to prevent many diseases. The children are happy and you can see them filling their water bottles with safe water for the first time.”

Quinito, Honduras

Now the children in Quinito can fill up their water bottles with safe water.

Water Missions International engineers and technicians hear words like this often on the day a community celebrates their new safe water solution. When a new system is installed, hope blooms in a community. People can finally see the chance for a better life.

But we also know that all hope needs continued encouragement to grow. While education and training are a crucial phase to every project, our staff will continue to go back to each community to do periodic follow ups, checking on the progress of the community and ensuring that safe water continues to flow. These visits ensure that the community’s needs are met. They give us the opportunity to continue to work with a community on sanitation projects and to expand the safe water solution if there’s a new need.

Since a safe water solution was installed in Quinito, Honduras, our staff have traveled back to the community three times. They’ve checked the water quality and given advice to the safe water committee on how to further engage the community. As our relationship with the community continues, our goal is to be there to encourage them every step of the way.