Guatemala (MNN) — Andrew Beach, Water Projects Manager for Global Aid Network, and a small GAIN team are coming home today.
They've spent the last couple weeks with families in Honduras and Guatemala.
"So many of the families try so hard and want so desperately to care for their children and their babies," Beach says. GAIN is helping them do just that.
Beach spoke to MNN from Guatemala, where he and his team spent a week distributing shoes, in-home water filters, and helping train families in sanitation and hygiene.
In two days, GAIN distributed some 900 pairs of shoes to children who walk miles for an education.
"It enables the kids to come to school, and that education makes all the difference," says Beach. "It's really incredible to see the way that these kids love school."
Along with presenting families and communities with a source of clean water, Beach and his team spearheaded sanitation and hygiene training. It's an important initiative in Guatemalan villages, where clean water is often re-contaminated by an unclean container.
Beach shared the story of a Guatemalan woman he met on this trip as an example. She spends hours boiling water to provide clean water for her family. But to store the water, Beach says, the woman uses a dirty 55-gallon trash can.
"The water that she was working so hard to boil was also becoming re-contaminated," he explains, underscoring the need for sanitation and hygiene education.
GAIN also shows families how water opens doors for the Gospel.
"Clean water represents that opportunity to have a real involvement in a family, in an individual's life, and for them to see Christ's love and experience it first-hand," says Beach.
Because GAIN's water filters can clean enough water for 3 or 4 families daily, Beach and his team encouraged villagers to share the filters with their neighbors. In addition, GAIN team members shared how clean water could be used to introduce their neighbors to the Living Water: Jesus Christ.
"The idea of never thirsting again and the idea of eternal life just resonates so strongly," Beach says. "We really try to stress…sharing Christ's love with your neighbors, sharing the Gospel with them, and giving them the opportunity to partake in salvation and eternal life."
Pray that people would share Christ with their neighbors as they bring them clean water. Pray for safety over GAIN teams as they travel home today.
See how you can get involved in GAIN's work here.
"The best ways to be involved are working with our hygiene kits, donating hygiene kits and water filters," Beach adds.