Panama (MNN) — On a string of Panamanian islands, the people are used to life without water wells. To quench their thirst and keep clear of dehydration, their best options have been to collect rainwater from their roofs or, in the dry season, to dig in the spongy soil for dirty water to drink.
Finding fresh water to drink, bathe and wash clothes is near impossible for the people. When a church visited the islands in March, they were astonished–and ready to do something about it.
Why no wells? For a long time, it was believed that these Panama islands were too shallow to drill wells. But as HCJB Global did some research, they realized that was not necessarily true.
"We read about this organization from North Carolina that would drill for water on coral islands," explains Dr. Ron Guderian, a former HCJB clinical pathologist. "We called them up and they agreed to help us."
Using simple well-drilling equipment, team members located areas that were at least 40 feet above sea level. Once they hit the 20-foot mark of drilling, they hit solid rock and fresh, potable water.
The 22-member team was able to drill five wells on community leaders' land, leaving behind drilling tools and cash to buy supplies to drill another five. At least two more have already been drilled.
Beyond blessing these communities with fresh water via wells, the team also helped with rainwater catchment systems. While in the region, the team also took the opportunity to set up medical clinics and conduct children's programs.
In the midst of it all, the Gospel shone clearly. "Usually while a well was being dug, some were praying and our pastor led some Bible studies for the people while the children's ministry was being done with puppets, drama, music and more," says Guderian.
"With the help of the local pastor, we were able to communicate much better the reason we come and serve–to show the love of Christ."
Pray that islanders who now benefit from these wells and other projects will remember the message preached, and seek Christ.
HCJB Global Hands has many opportunities for you to get involved with projects like this. Click here to learn more.