Todd and Maria Luke (Outreach) - January 2014 Update
Dear Xpujil Mission Friends,
On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, I stood at the front of a small Presbyterian Church in the village of Nuevo Campanario—about four miles south of Xpujil. Outside, it was a shade darker than twilight and raining. Fat raindrops seemed to fall faster than the pull of gravity. Water pelted the church’s tin roof. Victor Guzman and Felipe Torres were with me. Victor was in the back of the church, leaning in close to another man’s ear so they could chat in Ch’ol. Felipe sat on a second row bench with blank receipts spread beside him. In my last correspondence, I asked you to pray for both of them. Felipe’s leg feels well, but Victor continues to experience pain. Tests and doctors have been unable to pinpoint a cause.
This was our last cistern meeting. We had covered eight villages in five days. At each stop we met with cistern owners, asked for input, listened to comments, and received “abonos”—cash repayments to cover the cistern construction material costs. We opened with prayer and after the meeting began, each family came forward to receive a slip of paper with the following info: name of husband and wife, GPS location, cistern identification number, repayment history and outstanding balance. All cisterns in Nuevo Campanario have been built since 2012, so payment history was almost nonexistent and the balances high—equivalent to the average annual income for a family in a decent harvest year. Not repaying is a possibility. It would be a loss for them and their community. And I lose too, if I keep thinking like that.
To wrap up the meeting, I briefly restated why we are assembled, “We are beneficiaries of the rainfall sent freely by our Heavenly Father and partner in this clean water ministry. I hope your continued participation and repayments are always made with a spirit of gratitude. In so doing, your own hands become the serving hands of our savior Jesus Christ, who would love to bring water, both the kind you drink and the kind that redeems lives, to every family in Nuevo Campanario and the region.” We pray and the meeting ends. We are invited to stay for coffee. A woman fills a large pitcher in about two seconds by holding it beneath a gushing stream of water coming from a church downspout that channels rainwater runoff from the roof into an overflowing plastic rain barrel.
On behalf of your Mexican partners, those you know and those you've never met, I wish you all a prosperous New Year.
Amount needed in 2014
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