Rainy Season Destroys Homes,
Leaving Water Women Without Filters
In Zambia, an especially destructive rainy season did its most severe damage on the night of January 29.

“A heavy downpour through the night led to a flooding of our area,” said Fr. Douglas Ogato, who, along with Sr. Theresa Konsolo, leads the Water With Blessings’ efforts in northern Zambia. “74 houses collapsed and the people lost everything they had over the course of the night – water filters, food, children’s school books and uniforms. They couldn’t get anything out of the house because they were trying to keep the house from collapsing, which it did anyway.

“They lost everything except their lives.”

The next day, the now-homeless people came to the compound near the church and school.

“They asked to be accommodated in the youth training school building, but it was too small to house all of them,” Fr. Douglas said. “The local Disaster Mitigation and Management department helped them with tents, pitching them in the school’s compound. They’ve been there since. It’s still raining – the rainy season lasts until the end of March. They can’t go back to their homes. Everything is still on the ground.”

In all the flooding and damage, at least 30 Water Women lost their filters.

“There is virtually no clean water,” Fr. Douglas said. “But we have requested that other Water Women near the compound come to share clean water with them, and put in practice the covenant they made to help others. To some extent this is working.

“But water is a scarce resource, and buying water is very expensive. That poses a challenge.”

There is another shipment of filters on its way to Zambia, but it won’t arrive until late April or early May.

“The situation is dire,” Fr. Ogato said. “If we can get some big containers, 30 or 50 liters, it would be helpful. The Water Women could filter water into them and the families could use the water during the day. They are already doing great work coordinating clean water for the affected families, but walking in the mud-flooded compound isn’t easy. Gumboots would be a great help to them, but one pair costs between $12-$15.

“It is the poor who are being affected. Any help would be very much welcome.”

To help the people in this struggling part of the world, please click the button below.

Where are your footprints? Most of us love to travel and share stories of the beauty of places visited – from national parks to the pyramids of Egypt. We can watch a travel channel, participate in travel clubs and check out a travel app.  

We are now approaching the Lenten season and beginning a journey of faith. In a fast-paced culture it is easy to become absorbed with many demands–the stress of work and family commitments and a seemingly never-ending COVID pandemic. The journey, however, continues with the gifts that Lent provides–an invitation to pause and reflect on the many events of the year and where our footprints can be found. Lent gives us time for prayer, fasting, spiritual resources and times of quiet.   

Spiritual writer Fr. Richard Rohr speaks of Lent as a journey to deepen relationships with God and others. During this time we travel from the desert to the mountaintop.  

This time of a spiritual journey brings us to almsgiving. In quiet and prayer we reflect on the needs around us and the needs of the world. This is more than simply putting money in a basket, but a desire to connect with others nearby and around the world. 

Water With Blessings continues to journey with Water Women and their children around the world. By providing life-saving water filters to these families, we have developed the bond of community with donors, trainers, and volunteers. This has been a ten year journey well worth taking.  

We follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who walked with the poor and marginalized, responding to needs frequently forgotten.  

During this Lenten season, where will your footprints be? We invite you to travel with Water With Blessings by giving what you can to help us equip and train mothers as Water Women. 

As you journey through Lent, a sacrifice of bottled water and soft drinks could provide funds for those who lack clean water of any kind for their life’s journey. We invite you to consider tracking your spiritual journey of sacrifice and almsgiving with a weekly donation. Just $12.50 per week would add up to the $75 needed to provide a mother with a top-line, lifetime filter and Water Woman training.

We will soon be in touch to see if you would like prayer cards for the Water Women whom you’ve sponsored. It will only take a few weeks before your contributions have brought filters to mothers.

Just click the purple button below to start your Lenten journey with God’s thirsty children.  
A common refrain for success is that "90% of life is just showing up." As I reflected on that statement, I thought of our Water With Blessings trainers that persist rather than allow a natural disaster to interfere with providing training to Water Women. Their commitment knows no limitation! I thought of the many hours that volunteers spend speaking to groups, writing thank-you notes, knitting filter socks, or working at outreach events. From the gifts of major donors to the widow's mite, Water With Blessings continues after ten years because of the many advocates who "show up" to support our one of a kind mission. Visualize a never-ending circle of people whose commitment, generosity and energy make Water With Blessings an effective force meeting the challenge of providing life-saving clean water for children around the world. Your "showing up" continues to transform lives and support better health free of waterborne diseases!
Thank you!!
Join us February 25th for our monthly Waterside Chat. This time we will be checking in with our team in Honduras. Below you can see a quick overview of our previous Waterside Chat in Haiti.
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