Lake life revolves around water. It is common for lake area residents to swim, boat, fish, surf, ski, wakeboard in the water on a daily basis. Residents do not worry about finding fresh water. It is everywhere. It is used when cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, watering plants and much more. Residents in other parts of the world do not always have that same luxury.
This summer, twelve lake area residents saw that harsh reality for themselves. Members of the Canopy Church along with Living Water International traveled to Nicaragua. There they strived to make a difference in a village where dysentery and death are far too common.
Each day the team was there, four women from the lake area met with the women of the village to teach basic hygiene principles. After lunch, the team hosted Vacation Bible School for the village children.
"There is something special about seeing Missouri women and teens interacting and playing with Nicaraguan children," Pastor Herb Baker said. "The universal language of smiles and laughter rapidly broke through all communication barriers."
During a Christmas offering in December, Canopy Church raised $5,000 to fund a freshwater well. Construction began during day one of the trip when the drill team used a four inch drill bit to boar a hole beneath the earth's surface in search of fresh water. During the first attempt, a dry crack was found at 45 feet deep. Attempts to seal the crack were unsuccessful.
The team did not give up. They gathered their drilling pipe and moved 30 meters away. On day three with a seven inch drill bit, the team struck clean water.
"The hygiene team had just concluded washing the feet of the ladies of the village when we heard shouts of joy from the drill team and village men about 100 meters away," Whitney Baker Lenci said. "We knew they had finally got fresh water. There was a thrill of excitement in the air."
Five days after arriving, the lake residents said good bye with heavy hearts and tears of joy before heading home.
Team members included Pastor Herb Baker, Blair, Haley and Whitney Baker Lenci, Associate Pastor Bob Aubuchon and Sam, Doug Horman and team coordinator Diana, Mary and Chelsi Libby, Lisa and Sarah Burns.