We are sending a BIG “thank you” to everyone who has so graciously contributed in our effort to be Christ’s “hands and feet” during this crisis, providing clean water to so many suffering people. After two days of travel (and the minor distractions of break-downs, rain, and mud), Agua Yaku arrived in Trinidad with 200 filters and buckets (and 200 more will arrive on Sunday). The first thing I noticed as we arrived in the city, besides the obvious flooded houses and fields, was the awful stench. Dead and dying livestock, fish, and other debris create a odor you just cannot escape from. Everything is muddy, wet, and foul.
Between meetings with pastors and NGOs to begin coordinating the daunting task of getting filters out to isolated communities, we had about an hour and a half to drive along the dike that is holding back the flood waters from the city. Many families on the wrong side of the dike have already lost their homes and are living in tent cities. Because all the rural communities are flooded, the only way to get to them is either by boat—the slow way—or by air. Most of the runways are underwater and there are only a couple of government helicopters available to fly supplies in and people out. Tomorrow we will begin working with Samaritan’s Purse, local church leaders, the Civil Defense, and other public and private institutions in a coordinated effort to distribute Sawyer water filters, food, medicine and clothing in communities where help has not yet arrived. Anxious to jump into the fray, we made two filter stops in houses along the dike. Both families were grateful to receive the filters and promised to share the filtered water with their neighbors—none of whom have access to clean water. Here are a few images from todays visits around the edges of the flood. Thanks again to everyone who has given so sacrificially toward this effort. If you are still on the fence about partnering with us in this crisis, stop thinking about it and, as the Nike ads say, “Just do it!”