Traveling along the rocky unpaved one lane road for what seemed about one hour we came upon a long narrow strip of road that would eventually lead us to the community on the outskirts of Calapan City, Mindoro. The surrounding terrain was what one would expect in the tropical climate of Pacific Asia. Lush green trees, coconut and banana, rice fields for as far as the eye could see with the ever present caribou’s and oxen, houses with thatch and metal tin roofs, some on stilts to stay above the water level of the ground. What was different about this area as we continued to travel farther down the narrow road was the increasing numbers of rice filled garbage sacks stacked along the sides of the and tucked next to the side of the houses.
The people of this community live in what is technically the “ garbage dump” of Calapan and the surrounding barangay’s. In rotating shifts these families make a very meager living sorting through and burying the non-recyclable garbage brought to the community by large dump trucks regularly each week. Because it is such a large community of families, each family is able to work only 15-16 days per month in order to allow all families to have an opportunity to make a living. On their “ non-working” days, they must scavenge for recyclable items not buried in the ditches, hoping to sell these items for approximately 200-250 pesos/day extra (equivalent to $4.00-$5.00 U.S. dollars) in order to have funds to feed and provide for their family.
Within this impoverished place is a humble Pastor and a committed group of believers who have been faithfully praying every day for 5 years for God to provide a source of clean drinking water for the community. Since the Pastor has been leading this church, this community has had only one small shallow hand pump of which produces cloudy yellow water is small amount. Several times a week this Pastor travels to the main city to purchase jugs of drinking water, limiting access for water for regular daily activities such as washing clothes and bathing. Our team leaders had the privilege of meeting with this Pastor and receiving a petition signed by the church members requesting that their community be considered for this year’s water well project. Jun and I were so blessed to travel to this church the first Sunday of our outreach to announce that Embrace and Reach International would be excitedly sponsoring the building of a water well large enough to supply water for every families’ needs within the community.
We broke ground with great thanksgiving and celebration in July and are prayerfully believing it will be completed by the end of August. We had the honor to share with this body of believers that God not only heard their prayers and answered but that they in turn where an answer to our prayers as an organization to demonstrate God’s love and care as is stated in Matthew 25:37-40 “to the least of these”.
Learn how you can support Embrace and Reach International's Water Well Projects and other 2020 Outreach Programs, by clicking here: Sponsor A Water Well Project