Families in rural Haiti struggle to meet even their most basic physical needs, including obtaining access to safe water. Often, people walk for miles to collect their water from ponds, streams or old wells, lugging those heavy loads over rough terrain back to their houses. Livestock also drink from these sources, and people bathe or do their laundry in the same places, so the water is often murky and contaminated. Those who drink it can quickly become sick from illnesses like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, giardia, dysentery, hepatitis A and E. coli.
In Haiti’s dry season, the quest for water becomes even more difficult. Creek beds and shallow wells dry up, so some poor families are forced to dig shallow ground wells. And the water they collect there is often infested with animal waste and parasites.
Not only is the water unsuitable for drinking, but it is also time-consuming to find and collect. In Haiti, like in other developing countries, collecting water is primarily the responsibility of women and children, stealing away valuable hours that could have been used for important work or valuable educational opportunities.
These families are praying for relief, and the Lord is working in the hearts of his people to answer both their physical and spiritual thirst.
The quest for water has been going on for centuries. To find drinkable water is to find a source that sustains life. In Scripture, Jesus calls himself the Living Water for a reason. Just as we need drinkable water to survive, we need a Savior to rescue our souls. That’s why clean water is such a powerful spiritual symbol to those who have lived their entire lives without clean and plentiful water — they understand the new life water can bring.
In Revelation 22:17, Jesus calls all who are thirsty to come and drink from the river of life, himself:
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
For the past three decades, Father Glenn Meaux’s Kobonal Haiti Mission has been meeting the urgent needs of families without clean and plentiful water and addressing his community’s spiritual thirst as well. Through the years, Fr. Meaux has learned that his Mission’s clean water project must be combined with spiritual formation to create true, transformative change in the Diocese of Hinche.
Access to water is a vital first step to breaking the cycle of poverty because it frees families’ time and energy to invest in other areas of life, such as education, establishing a small business or pursuing agricultural ventures.
The Mission builds basic, hand-pump wells in communities without a source of clean water. People who have spent their lives collecting water from holes in the ground now have a dependable source of refreshment for the first time.
When prayers for clean water are answered, it opens the door for Catholic spiritual formation. Fr. Meaux knows that the love and refreshment of Christ can change lives because he is the only one who can meet their deepest longings. This newfound faith and optimism are the foundation on which a better life can finally be built.
Fr. Meaux’s clean water project has given families hope. He has blessed many lives, but there are still families waiting for their prayers to be answered.
Each morning, Jacqueline Louis rises early to collect water for her family. Jacqueline and her husband, Louicius, have 10 children together and live in a small rural village in the Diocese of Hinche.
“I trade goods at the market. My husband is a farmer,” she said. Jacqueline collects water from a small hole in a ravine — water that often leaves the family sick.
“This is where we do our laundry, and this is also where we take water to use at home,” she said. “By drinking this water, the adults do not have much, but the children are often sick: abdominal pain and diarrhea.”
Her small village doesn’t have access to a well or traditional plumbing, so easy access to clean water would elevate her family’s circumstances.
“Everyone has the right to find potable water to drink: Water is life, health. We need clean water for our health and hygiene,” she said. “The development of a well in the area will change our lives. We would no longer have to travel very far to get water, and our children would no longer get sick from contaminated water.”
Without a well in her community, Jacqueline will continue this endless cycle of survival day after day. With your support for the Kobonal Haiti Mission, we can in Jacqueline’s community, answering a lifelong prayer.
Will you help us pray for clean water for families like Jacqueline’s? Your prayers and financial support to drill wells in Haiti will change lives and practically share the Gospel. Make an impact by clicking here.
Join us in this prayer for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and around the world:
Lord, be with families who spend hours a day searching for water. Answer their cries for relief, quenching their physical and spiritual thirst.
Be an instrument of your mercy through me. May I never take the blessing of clean water for granted and may I share what I have with others. May I remember those who are spiritually thirsty, inviting all to “come and drink” from the well of salvation that is offered to all through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Every month (on the 25th)
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2022, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.