Hi, my name is Kate Lengacher! I was born and raised in Wakarusa, Indiana—a small town of about 1,600 friendly, Midwest folks. My parents were born and raised in this community, and my two older sisters and I grew up surrounded by family and friends. I am thankful for my roots in a small, Midwest town where I learned three values I will carry with me for the rest of my life: Firstly, family values and why they are important; secondly, deep faith and the importance of making it my own; and lastly, hard work and the importance of pursuing your dreams wholeheartedly.
Though I loved living the small-town dream, the knowledge that there was a big, intimidating, beautiful world full of rich experiences out there ready for me to explore was always in the back of my mind. In third grade, my family took a trip to the scenic Quito, Ecuador, a city with rich culture at the base of the Andes mountains. I was awe struck by the beautiful people in this South American paradise, and I was fascinated by their language and how different life was. After this, I was hooked on all things travel and knew that it would become a large part of the rest of my life to some extent.
My junior year of high school, I spent a month in the Amazon Jungle and witnessed a clinic there that sparked a love for the integration of missions and healthcare. So, I went to Hope College in Holland, Michigan to pursue a degree in Biology, graduating in 2014 with the hopes of somehow combining my passions for healthcare and missions field.
After college I gained some amazing experiences from living in Chicago working in an Emergency Room to moving back home and working with youth at my church. One thing that both these opportunities showed me was that God was continuing to lead me towards something that involved missions, health, and international work.
I transitioned from the flat, Midwest cornfields to the warm, sunny South when I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, last August to start school pursuing my Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology from Emory University with a focus in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) field.
My dream job involves WASH program advising so I can create effective interventions and encourage others to improve WASH infrastructure in developing countries. Historically, public health has brought poor solutions to poor people. While unintentional, I believe we need to do better at pursuing more sustainable interventions and holistic approaches through the integration of public health, WASH, and missions.
I am excited to be joining the Healing Waters’ team as the WASH Research Intern. In this role, I will be focusing on research surrounding health and hygiene curriculum while also evaluating best practices in international development through collecting data and showing health impacts from WASH interventions.
As part of this internship, we had the opportunity to spend some time in the Dominican Republic visiting and learning from the site leaders and Healing Waters International staff. I loved seeing firsthand the impact HWI is having in communities by building transformative relationships, partnering with the locals to bring clean water and resources to their community, and seeing the multi-faceted approach that is needed when addressing such important issues as the global water crisis.
I am passionate about working within the public health and WASH field because, not only does it bring needed resources to a community, but it is also redemptive in nature as lives are truly being changed by the power of God I love when God weaves chapters and experiences in life together and I am excited to learn from Healing Waters this summer while also continuing to pursue the calling and purpose God has placed before me.