2007 a thirst for clean water

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                    A Thirst for Clean Water
   While      serving      as     full-time                                     Residents provided all the necessary
missionaries in Guatemala City, Elder                                        labor. They also formed community
David and Sister Patricia Hall of the                                        organizations to receive training in
Santa Rosa California Stake became                                           sanitation, water conservation, and
aware of some Guatemalans’ acute need                                        methods for maintaining the wells in the
for access to clean water. They learned                                      years to come.
that children are especially vulnerable                                        One villager, named Maria, was
because their small bodies can’t                                                     observed serving meals to
fight    off    infections    when                                                   people working on the water
weakened        by      water-borne                                                  project. When a pump was
diseases     such    as     cholera,                                                 turned on and water began to
dysentery, and typhoid.                                                              flow from a tap near Maria’s
   When Elder and Sister Hall                                                        home, she wept with joy. She
visited the mountainous villages                                                     explained that she had given
surrounding the southeastern city                                                    birth to 14 children. Seven of
of Jalapa, they were shown eight                                                     them had died as a result of
wells. The wells had been drilled in a                                       water-borne diseases.
cooperative effort between local                                                “I’m so happy,” Maria said. “Now my
residents and a charitable organization                                      surviving children won’t have to live
specializing in well construction.                                           with aching backs from carrying water.
   Because the wells had to be dug                                           And they won’t feel the sorrow I have
deeper than anticipated, the villagers                                       felt—seeing some of my children die
found they needed stronger pumps,                                            because of the unclean water my
generators, and electrical service lines                                     husband and I gave them, when we had
than the ones they had planned to use.                                       no other choice.”
But they didn’t have adequate resources                                         “We’ve been involved in several
to make the needed improvements.                                             wonderful projects,” commented Elder
   The Halls described the situation to                                      Hall, “but the one in Jalapa may be the
local priesthood leaders. They received                                      best because it benefited so many people
approval to use humanitarian funds to                                        like Maria. The Church helped a little
assist the villagers in completing the                                       and the villagers did the rest.”

                      Written by Susan C. Rather, November 2007; printed as “Clean Water” in Church News, Dec. 1, 2007.
                                  Christ Raising the Daughter of Jairus by Greg K. Olsen, © 1990. Do not copy.
                                             © 2007 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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