In a Bolivian Village, Life Giving Water

On August 20, seven youth and faith formation ministers and two CRS staff members traveled to Bolivia and Peru through the Called to Witness program that provides short-term, firsthand experiences of the developing world as seen through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Kathy Regan, consultant, Our Sunday Visitor curriculum division, certified spiritual director – Soul Purpose Ministry, Shenandoah, Iowa, filed this reflection.

Today in Bolivia I met a people who draw life from the land . . . a land dry and rocky . . . to some almost desolate . . . a people with weathered faces who live a simple life just trying to survive . . . connected to the land . . . to family . . . to the community . . . and to God . . . whose only water source is a polluted creek bed a three-hour walk away.

But on Tuesday, August 24, 2010, lives forever changed for this simple community of 44 families . . . as life-giving water flowed through the pipes and down the Andes Mountains into their homes and school.

Water . . . life-giving water . . . now flowing into their lives. There was dancing . . . and celebration . . . there were tears and laughter . . . there was food and rejoicing.

These colorfully dressed woman gathered around the faucet. Their fingers danced amid the running water . . . they splashed like children playing in the rain . . . they immersed their bodies . . . delighting in and blessing all those gathered around.

It was a sacred moment . . . a sacramental moment. These women . . . mothers and grandmothers . . . rejoiced in this gift from God and the people from CRS, for they know that water will help keep their families alive.

And I . . . I was humbled to bear witness to this life-changing, life-giving moment . . . beautiful people that I now call family.

Life has forever changed in this Andean community . . . and my life is forever blessed!

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