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On October 27, 2013, Agua Viva returned from Ecuador after completing two successful installations in Gompuene and Jipongato. “Las dos sistemas” are fully operational and they look wonderful. Overcoming overwhelming odds and a myriad of surprises, our God showed himself to each of us, and on celebration day, we were “making water”. Yeah!! In Gompuene, Curt Mader lead the Team with Dale Bain, Daryl Taylor, Brian Seabaugh, and George Wuertz. Gompuene was recently hit by a devastating landslide and Agua Viva was headlined in the local newspapers for playing an important role in their recovery. In Jipongato, Daryl Taylor lead the Team with Shawn Caton and Dan Taylor. After two full days without power in the village, the Team learned how to install concrete anchors “by hand”. Guess what? You don’t need near as many concrete anchors when you install them by hand. Agua Viva was also blessed to have two wonderful dentists join the trip. Dr. Craig Gaugh from Mankato, Minnesota, and Raquel Poz Dias from Cantel, Guatemala, joined the team to provide much needed dentistry in both communities. Our dentists saw 86 patients completing 56 extractions, 47 cleanings and 3 consultations. They couldn’t have done it without the help of Brittany Moroney, our on-the-job trained hygienist. The complete Education Program was presented at both sites and all Educators were proudly awarded Certificates of Completion. Agua Viva had the special blessing of Elena Fernandez and Rosa Fernandez actually teaching at Gompuene. This solved a major logistical problem of the Team, and guess what? They speak Quechue!! That was a big plus! Neither community had public restrooms. So, Agua Viva was able to raise enough money to have restrooms constructed in both communities. Public restrooms are vital to the public health in these villages. Good sanitation practice was taught at both sites and Agua Viva believes this will make a giant impact in their public health. Fund raising was very successful. Our faithful contributors and our constituency never cease to amaze us. God has been very faithful, always exceeding our greatest expectations. Agua Viva believes our trips are two missions in one. First, we serve the communities in our host country. But, secondly, we change the lives of our Volunteers and our Contributors. We truly are a “local” charity… providing mission for hundreds of friends and supporters right here in Johnson County, Kansas. Maritza Yanez has been our “boots on the ground” in Ecuador. She has worked tirelessly for the poor and she has proved herself to be “invaluable”. The Agua Viva Team is so thankful for her help and participation. Ecuador: Opportunity in Gompuene (Update January 7, 2014) Agua Viva received a disconcerting message from Maritza Yanez on Monday, January 6, 2014, regarding our Water System Installation in Gompuene, Ecuador. In an effort to be completely transparent regarding this matter, Agua Viva has shared below a detailed assessment of this matter and our path forward. Ms. Yanez informed us that other communities surrounding Gompuene, Ecuador, strongly objected to our Water Installation insisting that Agua Viva did NOT seek the necessary approval from all of the leaders having jurisdiction in the surrounding communities. A large gathering of community leaders took place and the leaders insisted that our Water Installation be “immediately removed” from the site. The water purification system was therefore immediately “and peacefully” removed and it has been relocated to a “safe” place. There was nothing operationally wrong with the system. First of all, this has never happened to Agua Viva before. It is difficult to understand all of the “unwritten” rules and regulations associated with these “loosely held” communities. In response to this “bad news”, Agua Viva would like to inform all of our constituents of the following: Agua Viva DID have a signed, dated, fully executed covenant with the community leaders where the Water System was installed. Agua Viva always requires a covenant prior to an installation. Agua Viva is attempting to understand the “un-written laws” that may be dictating their decision to dismantle the system. Agua Viva is determined to re-act out of Love, Kindness, and Humility. Agua Viva intends to do everything possible to “mend all fences” and restore trust between Agua Viva and ALL of the surrounding communities. Agua Viva will offer to relocate the Water System to an alternative “neutral” location within the Gompuene area where even more citizens can benefit. A new covenant will be required and surrounding communities will also be signatory to any new agreements. Agua Viva has contacted Living Waters for the World for advice. LWftW has already responded with encouragement and Agua Viva will protect our important relationship with LWftW. Agua Viva carefully follows LWftW guidelines and Agua Viva will be keeping them informed of the status and progress in Gompuene. Maritza Yanez has done an excellent job communicating on our behalf in this matter and she seems willing to continue to do so. Our heartfelt thanks has been offered to her for her hard work and her support of Agua Viva in the country of Ecuador.