Can you imagine if the water that came from your tap made your children sick? This is the reality that our neighbors in the villages of Cuatro Esquinas and Zorrilla, Cuba live with every day. You can help!
San Pedro Apostol in Zorrilla, Cuba and St. John’s Episcopal Church have enjoyed a sustained relationship as sister parishes. During a recent mission trip to Zorrilla and to the neighboring church of Cristo Rey in Cuatro Esquinas, Fr. Dave Killeen and our traveling team learned that the parishioners of both churches identified the need for clean drinking water to be their top priority for their parishes and communities. The public water systems in both towns suffer from cracked delivery pipes, which allow disease-causing microbes to contaminate the water supply. St. Johns has committed to work with both churches so that they can become equipped with water purification systems. Christ Church, Monticello, which is the sister parish of Cristo Rey in Cuatro Esquinas, has also pledged support.
The quartet of Cuban and Florida churches will work together for clean water by drawing from the expertise of “Living Waters for the World,” (LWW) a highly regarded water purification ministry of the Presbyterian Church. LWW has helped churches and others who have developed sustained partner relationships to provide water treatment to more than 500 communities in dozens of countries. Parishioners from St. John’s and Christ Church will attend LWW’s “Clean Water University” this fall in Oxford, Mississippi, where they will receive “train the trainer” instruction to help guide parishioners in Cuba to install and operate the systems and to teach trainers from the community about the importance of water-related hygiene. The project also requires that trainers return to the Cuban churches periodically to assure that the systems and training continue to succeed. This remarkable partnership is an initiative that emerged from St. John’s 2012 Visioning the Vineyard strategic plan.
We installed both clean water systems from November 18 to 21, 2013 in Zorrilla and Cuatro Esquinas, Cuba and celebrated with a Holy Spirit filled ceremony in which we all drank small cups of clean water!
Nick Staab, our videographer, has captured moving memories of those two installations.