Skip to main content

In the summer of 2011, while returning from a business trip, Jim Allen was randomly seated on an airplane next to a young lady from Ecuador. Her name was Maritza Yanez. Out of a short conversation, a new and exciting opportunity arose for Agua Viva International in Ecuador. As it turned out, Ms. Yanez was providing research on water filtration systems at KU and she asked if Agua Viva would be willing to “help the poor people of her country?” Ms. Yanez helped Agua Viva identify a community in Chimborazo and the Water Team arranged a special trip in the fall of 2011. During the trip, the Water Team executed a complete Covenant with Pastor Pedro Fernandez and the elders of Iglesia Promesa Divina. New challenges were confronted. One big challenge was that water samples indicated excessive levels of iron and the turbidity (cloudiness) of the water was very noticeable. After extensive consultation with LWftW, it was decided that a sand filter would be required to clean up the water. Agua Viva had not, to date, designed or installed a sand filter system. Another big challenge for this trip was that Agua Viva did not have contacts in Ecuador for translators, bus drivers, translators, and lodging. With the help of Ms. Yanez, the Team was able to round-up the necessary arrangements for the trip and the date was set for July 14. This was just two weeks after our return from Guatemala! Lastly, the Team was very concerned about the extraordinary altitude. Chimborazo was situated at about 12,500 feet elevation. The entire team noticed the effects of the altitude during our site investigation in September of 2011. Therefore, the Team made an appeal to the Men of Colonial mountain climbers for a team of men experienced at altitude. The MOC graciously responded and two experienced climbers, Dale Bain and Daryl Taylor, joined our Team. On July 22, 2012, the Team successfully completed our LWftW Water Purification System and Sand Filter. A few serious problems with turbidity were thankfully “cleared up” the night before the celebration after the Team worked until midnight. God is good! The entire Team was blessed with help from George and Sheree Wuertz, Melanie Swift, and their family. The Wuertz are missionaries in Cuenca, Ecuador, and they are supported, at least in part, by Colonial Presbyterian Church. I am sure the Team would agree that we would not have completed our installation on time without their help. Two other big successes were encountered. First, the Team was allowed to speak to both universities; ESPOCH and UNACH. As a result, Agua Viva is considering partnering with ESPOCH to produce a curriculum at the University. Plus, Jim Allen was permitted to lecture at UNOCH regarding the importance of Water Purification and Gender Empowerment. The second big success was that Agua Viva was able to identify two new possible partners for a new installation. One possibility was discovered at Iglesia Evangelica Luminaria de Dios, Gompuene San Vicente, Samblas, Flores, Riobamba. We met primarily with Angel Morocho , the secretary of the church, and several others members of the church. A covenant is being prepared and we hope to return in October of 2013 to this needy community. The other opportunity was discovered in Iglesia Evangelica Nueva Vida, San Vicente de Jipangoto, Palletonga. This small community is very excited about working with us. We met with the President of the church, Moises Vimos Yosaca, the Mayor of the town, Alberto Vimos Josera, and four other machete-toting members. They explained that Pastor Fernandez was the part-time pastor for this church, too. Following God’s lead, Agua Viva has been showered with His blessings and opportunities abound as we continue to seek His will. Our translators were wonderful. Three of them, Ashley Studholme, Orrin Tiberi, and Krista Kinnard were Peace Corp volunteers and we believe that Ashley and Orrin will be able to join us next year for our second installation in Ecuador. We were also very pleased with our bus driver, Diego Orozco “Beto”. He was a very safe driver and quickly became a part of our team. During our first trip, the Team stopped alongside a mountainous road to visit with a young girl on a burrow. We couldn’t understand her name but we took two wonderful photos that wound up on our website. During our install trip, we asked Pastor Fernandez if he knew the young lady in the photo. “Of course!”, he explained, “and that is my house in the background of the photograph. Pastor Fernandez then invited the young lady to our celebration. Her name is Ana Llagsha Potojalo. The Team felt it was a great blessing to meet and know this young girl and we gave her a Spanish bible and a “care package”. Thank you, Jesus, for knowing the desires of our heart.