As the leader of Agua Viva’s install team for the Gompuene installation this past October I must confess that this was one of my most memorial installations! What a wonderful group of volunteers that we assembled, not to mention the team that Daryl Taylor and Jim Allen led in the village of Jipongato. Gompuene, as with Jipongato, is an indigenous Quichua village in the Chimborazo regions of Ecuador at an elevation of 10,200 ft. When we arrived there were strong doubts in our group that our system installation would be accomplished by the end of the week. Our Dental team was set back somewhat with the arrival delay of Raquel Poz Diaz, and the bathrooms and water room were still yet to be finished. But as ALWAYS, God’s plan was in full gear. We accomplished what we thought might be impossible and the impact on both our new friends, and our team, was something truly amazing. After fellowshipping with our friends throughout the week during the installation, education and the sharing of roasted Cuy (Guinea Pig), I have never experienced such love and emotion from such a wonderful people. Tears were shed in abundance amongst all when the reality set in that we were leaving.
When the week began our first devotionals touched on the subject of bringing HOPE to the village of Gompuene. Jim Allen and I first visited Gompuene in 2011, prodded by the City of Riobamba, because they had suffered a major landslide which cut off their spring-fed source of water – the City of Riobamba was sending a fire truck to the village once per week to give them (and their livestock) 600 gallons of water. Our plans to help them began immediately and though our relationship with Maritza Yanez we were able to help bring a source of clean water to them. Hope and help is what they truly needed.
Onto the subject of this blog……as always we always have a number of interpreters who help us during our installation trip. On this recent trip to Ecuador we were blessed to have a group of American and British Peace Corp Volunteers who traveled and stayed with us during the week. The impact of our mission on them I believe was profound – these young people sign up to do work in third world countries and hope to make an impact during their term as Peace Corp employees. Towards the end of our trip everyone had an opportunity to share with the group what they were feeling, and some of the most wonderful comments came from our Peace Corp friends, who shared with us that never in their serving time in Ecuador had they had experienced the kind of impact they had shared while with Agua Viva. As Peace Corp employees they expected that they would be able to help people in their work, but according to their stories they had never experienced the kind of true impact that they experienced during their week with us. It changed their lives and helped bring Hope to those who so desperately need it.