The morning started like any other. She woke up, slipped on her sandals, grabbed her bucket and headed for the little pond. At six years old, this was already one of her daily chores. She collected water each day to provide drinking and bathing water for her family. She went to dip her bucket into the water source and the unthinkable happened…
The night before, due to the always unpredictable electricity situation in the community of Consuelo, a power line had fallen and was in the direct path of the pond. Unaware of the line, she stepped directly onto it.
We wish this story wasn’t true. We also wish that an innocent life didn’t have to be taken. But her legacy continues as the community rallied to see change.
Pastor Julio, the pastor of the community, has always seen his role as care taker of Consuelo. For months, the community had been calling the government to fix the power lines. When her life was taken, they said enough is enough. The church members assembled and began digging for new power line poles. By showing the government their diligence, they were able to fix all the electricity problems in the community. As Pastor Julio so plainly explained, the church didn’t just bring stable light and electricity to their community, but they also brought the Light of the World through this physical act.
The church has become the epicenter for physical and spiritual transformation in Consuelo. In 2012, Pastor Julio connected with Healing Waters to begin a water store to meet the critical need for safe water. Today, that water store is an enormous operation, producing 16,047 gallons a month. Since they opened they have sold a total of 1,300,144 gallons of safe drinking water. With the proceeds of the water store, the church has continued to meet the needs of their community – they opened a bakery, school, and provide vocational training. They are employing over 50 people and impacting the lives of thousands.
When asked about all the programs the church is involved in, Pastor Julio replied, “it’s what the body of Christ is supposed to do!” The name of the bakery and water store, painted on the building, says “Belen,” which means Bethlehem – the “house of bread.” The tangible needs being met through bread and water have become indispensable tools for sharing The Water and Bread of Life with the people of Consuelo. We are honored to have the opportunity to resource local churches to do the work of Jesus in their communities.
As we spend the next few weeks reflecting on the story of another vulnerable family who found themselves in the small, poor town of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago, let’s not forget that the night that the Light of the World was born in a humble stable, God in the form of a physical baby came to earth to be both bread and water – sustaining and healing Life for all of us!
We saved you a seat at the table. Join us this Christmas as we do our part as followers of Jesus– bringing light to a dark world, bread to a hungry generation, and water to thirsty communities.