He Went Without

Six months ago I was here in El Recreo with a team providing clean water filters. We spent five days installing filters. I want to know if what we had done had an impact, if it’s really making a difference. I wonder if the nods of understanding from families mean anything as we demonstrate how the filters work and how important it is that they use them.

So when I got the chance to spend some time with Luis last night I wanted to hear his thoughts. He was very adamant about the fact that the filters were a blessing to the families, that from a health aspect, they understand how important they are. It’s also a huge economic benefit to these families who only make $300 – $350 dollars a month (talking with our friend Marcelo and Sandra today, they said many families don’t even make $300 that the previous numbers are not current. Along with the lower income, rent cost a minimum of $100 a month leaving some families with less than $200 to provide for their needs). It costs the families $1.25 per 5 gallons of purified water. Sadly the families here need to boil the purified water that they purchase, because the reality is it’s not really purified… it’s often got a yellow tint to the water and it has a smell. A family that has a filter will save around $30 dollars each month after they start using it to purify their water.

As we drove we continued to talked about the impact and I made a comment, “I know you have a filter and are using it, but let’s talk about the whether the church finds the filters useful while they serve in the community.”

Luis turns and looks at me and says, “I don’t have a filter.” “You didn’t get a filter last time we were here?” I said. “No, he says, but tomorrow I will.”

I was shocked. I didn’t really know what to say, how could we have forgotten Luis, this all going on in my head, as we continued talking. The reality though, is the church here chose who were to receive filters last November. Luis chose not to get a filter. He could have. Just added his name to the list and he would have had one. No one would have thought twice about it. Luis however chose not to have a filter so someone else could.

He went without.

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Posted on June 7, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

    • Yeah crazy. After talking today with Sandra the Chilean missionary about the cost of living and “if for example someone makes $300 a month” and she “kinda” laughs and says “if.”

  1. good story Steve. causes one to think . . .

    • Hey Jody, definitely… making less than most as he serves the church full time and washes cars on the side to make some money, I was floored by his willingness to step aside to make sure others had. Pretty humbling.

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