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Gulf Winds Employee Shares Mission Trip to Guatemala

  1. Living Water Intl. – Guatemala – October 9th-16th 2010
Living-waterGreetings all!  I just want to share a bit about my short-term missions trip with Living Water Intl.  We spent a week there earlier this month with the intent to provide a fresh water well to one of the small villages near the Pacific coast.  In addition to my summary, please take a look at Living Water’s website when you have a few minutes free, http://www.water.cc/.
Our team consisted of ten folks from my church (Grace Bible Church in the Heights), one from another local church and one from Denver.  Our original trip had been planned for June.  However, a volcanic eruption near the airport followed by a tropical storm 3 days later warranted a reschedule!  We arrived at GUA on Saturday morning and were greeted/picked-up by the local Living Water (LWI) staff.  LWI has a home base in Antigua which serves all Guatemala operations.  Upon arrival in Antigua, we spent the remainder of Saturday in preparation (prayer, planning, instruction, shopping) for Sunday’s trip to the coast where we would be drilling.  On Sunday we attended a local church service in Antigua.  We then loaded up the truck and van and headed out to the coast.
Living-water-2During the work week, we stayed in an old hotel (sin a/c!) which was located about 15 minutes away from the village where we were working.  The villagers were glad to see us as they had been on a waiting list for their well.  Only one of our group had any previous drilling experience (7 LWI trips, I think)….the rest of us weren’t really sure what to expect.  Fortunately, we also had some of LWI’s local staff with us who had all of the needed experience & expertise!  At this point, I also need to add that on each work-day in the village, we sent a 3-person team out to the local school and church.  Their purpose was to teach the women and children how to properly use the well and its pure water (for brushing teeth, washing hands, keeping livestock away, etc).
Monday began with about 4 hours of set-up.  Throughout the week we worked in 4-person teams and rotated on/off the drill.  No rest when we were off though…..we were out in the street playing ball/Frisbee with the kids!  By the end of the first day, we had punched through to good water at 105’.  On Tuesday, the hole was re-drilled to 7” diameter to make room for the pvc casing.  This task was completed on-time and we were able to remove the drilling rig and begin developing/cleaning of the well.  Wednesday consisted of more developing, installation of the pump base and also pouring of the concrete pad.   The only tasks left for Thursday were to drop the pump and 1.5” steel water pipe, plus install the pump mechanism.  By 10am everything was complete and the well dedication and fiesta began!   The villagers had put together quite a celebration to dedicate their new well…..complete with band, food and speeches by the mayor and local pastors!  After the fiesta, we passed out about 44 Spanish Bibles to the people, said our good-byes and loaded up for the return trip to Antigua.  Friday was spent relaxing, sight-seeing and shopping.  This R&R day was afforded to us since we had been blessed with a trouble-free work week.  It was much appreciated!  On Saturday, we awoke at 3 am, loaded the vans and headed to the airport for the return flight to Houston.
I am certain that I speak for our entire team in saying that we are all very thankful to have had this “out-of-the-ordinary” opportunity to serve in Guatemala.  Thankful first to the Lord, then to those who supported us and the well  (financially, in prayer, house-sitting, etc), to the LWI staff, to the gracious people whom we met and served and to each other. The list of blessings seen during the week would go on and on.  In conclusion, His words:
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“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ ” – Matt 25:34-40
Ben Altemus | Gulf Winds Sales Department