“Before the [Health & Hygiene] program, my family did not know about the bacteria in the water. We drank from the available faucets because the water looked clean. We didn’t know it was unsafe.”
In the rural community of Punta de Palma, Guatemala near the Caribbean coast lives two women named Delmi and Paulina. Delmi and Paulina’s families have spent their entire lives consuming unsafe water, resulting in frequent illnesses and causing them to be unable to work or attend school regularly. Their only source of water has been from an unpurified water tap in the community. Delmi recently told our staff that she was unaware of the bacteria present in their drinking water because the water looked clean. She did not know it was the source of her family’s many illnesses. This past year, Healing Waters partnered with a local Guatemalan ministry, called Mision el Faro, to ensure that the people of Punta de Palma no longer have to drink unsafe water.
When Healing Waters began working in their community, Delmi and Paulina heard about the Health and Hygiene classes being offered to the women and signed up for the program. Through the program, “Clothed in Strength and Dignity,” women are offered the opportunity to participate in a biblically-based, preventative health education program. Women begin by studying Psalm 139 and Proverbs 31 to encourage positive self-worth by looking at themselves through the eyes of God. The program reinforces the benefits of the safe water project and teaches daily habits to promote good health, such as hand washing and personal hygiene. Through participation in the program, Paulina and Delmi have gained a new self-confidence that they did not have before, built new relationships with other women in their community, and have come to know the love of Jesus in tangible way. Delmi and Paulina also learned what was causing their families to get sick and they began drinking safe water purchased from the water project. Delmi told our staff that since drinking the purified water, her family’s health has improved drastically and that they can feel the difference in their bodies.
In Delmi’s words…
“Now, when I wake up in the mornings and see my children, we get together to pray and give thanks for what we have. This is a new habit I have built after my experience with the program. It has changed my spiritual life and my family’s life in such a positive way!”
In Paulina’s words…
“Before participating in the program, I had low self-esteem and family issues. Clothed in Strength and Dignity came into my life at a point where I felt stuck. This program motivated me to focus on myself and taught me how to understand God’s word and feel encouraged by Him.”
Thanks to YOU, our supporters, the community of Punta de Palma will be forever changed and people like Delmi and Paulina will no longer have to drink unsafe water. But their stories do not end here. They have successfully graduated from our Health and Hygiene Program and will begin training other women in the community on how to care for the health of their families. Every woman who participates in our program represents an entire family impacted and will affect multi-generational change!
A community that once had no access to clean drinking water, now has safe water and the tools necessary to change their future. We hope that you feel just as inspired as we do by the many ways God is working through this ministry to tangibly demonstrate love to His people in need.