Saturday, 14 January 2017 :: GuyanaLogos Hope crewmembers are used to travelling from country to country by sea, but once they are in port, they usually get around by car. In Georgetown, Guyana, one team of volunteers was surprised to learn that the only way to reach a group of villages was to travel up the Pomeroon River by boat.
Pastor Lall, from Georgetown, has been planting churches along the river for over 20 years. He now oversees 24 churches, all of which have trained, local pastors. The river communities lack access to clean water, so Logos Hope crewmembers helped out by installing nearly 20 water purifiers and training people on how to use and maintain them.
“The people living on the river understand that the water can make them sick, but oftentimes they don’t have a choice,” said Tim Whitson (US). “If there is no rainwater, or if the water gets contaminated, they have to travel by boat to a town several hours away to buy bottles of water.” The team learned from Pastor Lall that many families have eight to ten children, and that even if the family is able to make the trip to town, they cannot afford enough water for everyone.
At one church the team visited, its pastor explained that when it rains and the land floods, worms come out of the ground and float to the surface of the water. Motors chop up the worms as boats pass through, and when people drink the water, it makes them sick.
“When people drink this water they get dysentery, or cholera, and most children end up in hospital,” said the pastor.
Logos Hope’s community understands what it is like to have a limited water supply and is grateful that the ship is capable of desalinating seawater so crewmembers can have safe water. The ship’s team was able to visit seven communities in all, installing two water purifiers in each: one at the church, and one in a community centre or school. Several men from other communities came to the training so that they could receive water purifiers to take back to their own areas. One filter, if left running constantly, can produce 600 litres of clean water a day. With an average person needing around two litres of water a day, each water filter can provide enough water for 300 people.
The local contact expressed his thanks and said, “Now we can purify water ourselves and we can have water at all times. We can be ready for whatever.”
“They are expecting it to rain a lot in the coming weeks,” said Tim. “They saw this as God working to bring fresh water to this area right when they needed it. Everyone knows someone who has become sick or died because of the water.”
It was a fulfilling experience for the Logos Hope volunteers to offer something which will help prevent life-threatening illnesses in the river communities.