A Very Special Mother's Day in Honduras:
Sister Larraine's Travel Blog
Greetings and Mothers’ Day Blessings from Honduras!
For the community of Water With Blessings, this day holds a very special place in our hearts, for mothers are at the heart of our mission in a very distinctive way. All our efforts are based in the idea that when we empower mothers with filters to serve their families and communities as Water Women, we are tapping into a powerful font of love, motivation and hope for the children of this earth. The idea of mothers as Water Women began here in Honduras in 2008, and with very minor modifications, the same concept and program has been embraced by mothers all around the world, in many different cultures and circumstances.

Last weekend, in Honduras and many other countries, we celebrated May 1 as the Day of the Worker. I decided to treat our WWB Honduras Team to an outing, and so off we went, up into the mountains above Tegucigalpa, to find pupusas (a delicious street food of tortillas and cheese) and paletas (wonderful fruit-based ice cream) in Valle de Angeles, a colonial village and popular tourist destination.

On the way I chatted with Ayde and Diana, our first mother-daughter team members. It’s a great joy to recall Diana as a small 4 year old girl at Ayde’s side for one of the very first Water Woman trainings, and now see her, a beautiful young mother with her own 2 year old son. That makes Diana our first second-generation team member--and that makes my head spin! 

Ayde was the second Water Teacher we recruited, very soon after Lilian, our very first. She’s known for her nonstop humor, making her a very popular presenter as well as a beloved team member, especially during long road trips. Ayde is never discouraged or down about the situation. When Honduras first locked down for covid-19 in March 2020, the team was stranded without public transportation, hours from home. Her teammates lovingly recall how Ayde cheerfully rode atop plastic cartons of soda in the back of a friendly truck, laughing and joking all the way to keep up everyone else’s spirits during a super uncomfortable trip home. 

Diana is much quieter and shyer than her mom, but I told her not to worry -- I too was a very shy, quiet child (true!) For now, Diana is more comfortable as data manager and photographer for the team, but I’ll be praying for her as she steps up into the role of Water Teacher. 

I’m overjoyed when I remember that, since age 4, Diana has had plenty of clean, safe water to drink. She’s beautiful and healthy, and her health shows up in her little son, Jetsel (het-sel). Now that he’s weaned, Jetsel drinks clean water everyday, all the water he wants and needs. As Diana has since age 4, Jetsel will grow up without suffering the effects of waterborne illness, without risk of death by dysentery or dehydration. 

Ayde can be very, very serious when it comes to the message of clean water for children. She never fails to tell the mothers gathered for Water Woman training about the difference that clean water has made for her family and neighbors. And then she returns to her playful self: “You have to take care of this filter like it’s a little baby! Make sure you put this little baby to bed clean every night, and it will take care of you for many, many years.”

Fourteen years ago, a small group of Hondurans and North Americans gathered at Divine Mercy Chapel with ten Sawyer PointOne filters and one simple idea: empower mothers for the health of their children. “Blessings are for sharing”, declared the Honduran leaders, and “let God choose the right mothers, through the hand of a child.” (Water Women candidates are drawn in a lottery by a child, after a community prayer.) We had no earthly idea that by today, over 145,000 mothers would make the same sacred promise to care for the filter, and to share filtered water with their neighbors. No earthly idea... but the God who makes and loves mothers gave us the heavenly idea of Water Woman. 

Today, I ask you to pause and pray with me. At this very moment, all over the world, mothers are hoping and praying that the next sip of water won’t bring illness and death to their young children. Today we pray for all mothers everywhere. We pray with joy for our Water Women, whose compassion for their own children overflows to the children of their neighbors. But we also pray for the many millions who don’t have clean water for their families. We thank God for the wonderful privilege of serving mothers and their children for these past 14 years, in Honduras and far beyond... and we pray for all that we need to continue raising up Water Women.

Supporting Mothers is the Center of our Mission for Clean Water
We honor mothers and all of the extraordinary mother-figures in our lives on Mother’s Day. Thanks to your donations and volunteer efforts, Water With Blessings is able to extend our mission to ensure more clean water for mothers and vulnerable children in countries around the world, including Honduras. 
Your partnership with us ensures that our in-country teams can expand our one-of-a-kind mission that benefits vulnerable children and empowers women to lead in their homes and communities for safe water. When you learn of children suffering--and even dying--because of contaminated water, you want to help create a better future and ensure a lifetime of opportunities for them to survive and thrive.
As you follow our social media pages and website postings, you can see the “Heart of a Water Woman” in action as we highlight the work of committed moms in a different country each day by featuring their photos and their reasons for wanting to filter water. Your investments in 145,000-plus Water Women using straightforward technology that requires no chemicals or power source helps ensure safe drinking water today, whether we are battling outbreaks of cholera or parasites or the current global threat of COVID-19. These steadfast Water Women protect the futures of their families and neighbors in their communities in Honduras, Haiti, the Philippines, Zambia, Uganda and every other country where our in-country teams work collaboratively. 
We ask you to join our collective efforts to gain more philanthropic support for expanding our mission to reach more of God’s Thirsty Children as we empower more women to filter clean water. Whether it’s responding to hurricanes in Honduras, flooding in Zambia, or planning the first-ever Intertribal Water Gathering to draw attention to clean water needs in the Navajo Nation and other indigenous communities, you know that Water With Blessings is able to respond quickly to disasters or long-standing inequities that limit access to safe water sources for vulnerable children.
You support our Power of One approach when you choose to participate in our spring campaign, Water is Life. Because of your investments, we are able to respond to disasters and emergency needs as well as continue our comprehensive training sessions to ensure a growing sisterhood of women who want to provide healthier lives for their families and communities. 
As Sister Larraine returns to Honduras for the first time in more than two years, you can see our joint commitment to improving children’s health is made possible by putting filters in the hands of mothers.
Sister Larraine has built collaborative relationships and essential partnerships with other churches, religious orders and global nonprofits to ensure that safe water is a reality for children in communities that otherwise would continue to suffer from waterborne diseases.
We can all look for and see God’s light in the midst of the darkness and struggles that have surrounded us for the past two years. The love and support of one committed Water Woman and mother can transform lives. Giving to our mission translates into better health as one more equipped Water Woman makes clean water flow for 4 more families. 
Thank you for supporting our Water is Life campaign with your gifts and volunteer actions. Together, we can protect children from suffering, disease and death with a new start today so that safe, clean water can flow freely for them.

“Speak as if you have a thousand voices. It is silence that kills.”  
                                     St. Catherine of Siena  

Water Women need your voice!

I look forward to seeingyou on Thursday, May 12th, at 12:00 PM EDT.  

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