At Connect for Water, we want to bridge the gap to provide access to clean water solutions to those who might not be able to afford them. We work to be the connection between those in poverty and access to clean water, but to accomplish this, it is essential to have distribution partners. One of our partners in Thailand is Pastor Rut and his wife Awm. A few years ago, they left their comfortable lives in Bangkok to serve communities in poverty. They traveled miles away from their home and the familiar to the communities of the province of Udon Thani, an area in northeastern Thailand where Pastor Rut was born.
Their goal was to plant a small church, but they soon found that the adults of the community were wary of these “strangers.” Realizing they had to build trust, they began leading programs for local children. The number of children attending grew steadily and eventually these programs developed into occupational training in farming, motorcycle mechanics, sewing, and baking. The children enjoyed learning from Pastor Rut and Awm and began to develop loving relationships. When the parents saw this investment in their children, they began to believe that the pastor and his wife could be trusted. This trust opened the door for them to help the communities in new ways.
As they continued to invest in the lives of the local people, they began to see other needs that could be addressed. One of these needs was for clean water. They noticed that there was an unusual number of cases of kidney stones and other health problems which were caused by drinking contaminated water. This was when Pastor Rut and Awm decided to connect with Connect for Water, as they had heard of us through connections in the Grand Rapids area, a Cornerstone and a Calvin College graduate. With our understanding of the area, we decided to send Village Water Filters for distribution because they would be able to provide clean water to each of the families and would work well in the rural setting.
The Village Water Filters were well received. The parents smiled as they began to understand the importance of the filters, enabling them to provide clean water to their families. The children giggled as water flowed from the bucket and they were able to see how the water became clear and to enjoy the refreshing taste. Today, these people are now living healthier lives because of the access they have to clean water. By sharing village water filter kits with local schools and families, Pastor Rut and Awm were able to become friends instead of being strangers
Connect for Water is based on connections like these that allow clean water solutions to be distributed to those in need. If you have a story to share about the impact of clean water or would like to connect with us in our work, please send us an email at [email protected]. We would love to make even more connections to provide more clean water around the globe.