On August 6th, WaterStep traveled with a medical team from Walnut Street Baptist Church (led by Doctors Steve and Pat Wheeler) to Brazil to work alongside AMOR (Amazon Mission Organization). The thirteen member team, including 4 WaterStep team members, arrived in Manaus and was greeted by William Walker, Executive Director of AMOR. The team boarded a boat that became their home base for twelve days. The captain, crew and translators truly were a part of saving lives with safe water! The two villages in which WaterStep worked in were located in the Lake Curumucuri Region of the Amazon Basin and were only accessible by boat.
Upon arrival to the villages, WaterStep met with local leaders to access the installation sites of the organization’s M-100 chlorine generators. The two villages were an hour apart one way by boat. WaterStep found that the primary water source for drinking came directly from the waters of the Amazon Basin. After much collaboration with the community leaders, the WaterStep team installed two water systems successfully, trained pastors and local village leaders in implementation of the M-100 and BleachMaker, taught health education and hygiene, and led very meaningful dedication ceremonies at each site. The WaterStep team also led a Vacation Bible School and made home visits where they prayed with and for people and educated them on the importance of safe water.
Kristal Monroe, one of the WaterStep team members, had no idea what providing safe water to people meant until she saw it first hand. She did not realize, until meeting WaterStep, that many people die from illnesses caused by unsafe drinking water. During her time in the Amazon Basin, she watched many women and children walk to the river to get contaminated water that they would use for the day. She heard stories from local leaders about how children and teenagers had almost died from unsafe drinking water. Kristal realizes, now more than ever, that safe water should not be taken for granted.