In a very poor section in the outskirts of Juarez, Mexico, called Loma Blanca, we have a center for youth. Up until recently, everyone in the area received water by paying a delivery truck to fill up 55 gallon drums outside the houses. That water was used for everything — drinking, cooking, doing dishes, laundry, and flushing toilets. There was no running water available. For years now the city has been laying the necessary pipes to bring water to the area.
Finally this summer, the municipal water company finished with the pipes and started putting in water meters for each residence. We were first told that we had to go downtown and fill out a contract for our water service; but then we were told that we would receive our first month’s water bill and be charged for our contract then. Right after that however, the water company trucks came back and removed all of the water meters from all the houses because no one had gone to sign their contracts. So we still had no running water and had to keep using the water out of the plastic drums like we had been doing.
Ramona (on left) with some of the teachers and kids of Las Alitas.
Ramona and Mando, who head up our ministry of Las Alitas, went downtown to fill out the contract so that we could receive running water. The initial set-up fee was $140 and although they had the money, they did not have all the paperwork that the water company was requiring. “You need the deed proving your ownership of the property. You can go down the street and get that document.” When they got to the other building it was already closed for the day. Frustrated, they left downtown. “All this red tape!” complained Ramona. “Why do they make it so complicated? The poor need the water service. Lord, forgive me. Please bless those in charge and take care of your people.”
Arriving back at Las Alitas, one of the little boys ran up to her excitedly crying out, “Ramona, Ramona, the water company came while you were gone. They put your water meter back in.” Ramona shook her head, “No, we just came from there and they wouldn’t give us the contract.” He said, “No, they came and you already have water!” Ramona persisted, “I don’t think so.” But he opened the metal cover in the ground and pointed, “Look, there is the meter.” We went over to the tap, turned it on, and water came flowing out. We have two separate buildings, and she asked, “What about the other building?” All the kids took off running to see if it had running water too. Out gushed clear water when they turned on the faucet.
We don’t know what happened. No one else in the neighborhood was given their water meter that day — not until they got the paperwork taken care of. But we have running water at our center and it has been flowing ever since. We pay our water bill each month, but the Lord must have taken care of the contract. Thanks be to God!