Over the past few months, we have shared the stories of many individuals whose lives have been transformed through safe water. We called this “One story at a time” because each person’s story is so valuable.
I recently heard the story of Clara, from a desolate, impoverished community in one of the most rural parts of Guatemala. Living her entire life in the community of Chiquixji, Clara was once a teenage mom, unsure of her future. Clara had anything but an easy upbringing. Her parents didn’t have enough money to send her to school, so by the time she was 9 years old she was sent off to work as a maid in strangers’ homes. She never learned to read or write. She married as a young teenage girl and hoped that she could provide her children a brighter future than her own. Clara is now 51 years old and still lives in Chiquixji. She raised 9 children and has worked diligently to make sure they could each go to school.
On June 28th, less than 5 months ago, Healing Waters implemented a community water project including health and hygiene education in Chiquixji. Clara eagerly participated in “Clothed in Strength & Dignity”, the women’s health and hygiene program. After the program was completed, our trainers hosted a graduation celebration for all the women who completed the training. Clara was asked to share her testimony:
“I feel blessed by God, since it is the first time I have finished an educational process. This was not in school, but for me it was like going to school! I haven’t thought about going to school since I was a child – I forgot that dream of learning. And when they invited me to participate in the training, I learned very important things for my family. Today at the graduation ceremony, I feel the happiness that children feel to go to school and receive a diploma that bears their name, because today I feel happy like a little girl who has just finished elementary school.”
I believe God was working in Clara’s life long before safe water came to her village. Safe water just provided another means for her to experience his love and grace in a very real and practical way.
As you approach this season of Christmas, perhaps consider your own story, and how God has been working to show his love to you and through you in very simple, tangible ways. I believe he is always working all around us but sometimes we are more aware of it than others.
Will you give this Christmas season to make sure thousands more people receive safe water? Join your story with Clara’s and many others by giving the gift that keeps on saving.