Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bringing Clean Water to Guatemala

"But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." -John 4:14

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the San Francisco Bay Area! As you may already know, a lot has happened in the last year or so. Last summer, Matthew and I went to Cambodia for two weeks to volunteer with Agape International Missions by serving children who have been trafficked for sex or who are vulnerable to trafficking. It was a very meaningful trip that opened our eyes to the horrors of child sex trafficking and that further confirmed our calling to serve abroad for a more extended period in a couple of years. On a slightly different note, I also recently found out that I was accepted into the Masters of Public Health program at UC Berkeley, so I will be leaving my job at Aetna and starting a two-year program in health and social behavior this coming fall. I am hoping that God will use this time to prepare me for a career change that enables me to exercise my passion for health justice.

On the theme of health justice, one of the major global health crises of our day is that 783 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Many of these individuals are part of the billion people on our planet who live on less than a dollar a day. Communities without a reliable source of clean drinking water are often plagued by water-related diseases or parasites, and some people risk their safety to travel miles every day to gather water from the nearest source.

I recently learned of an opportunity to bring clean water to one such community, and this is the main purpose of my letter today. One of my friends was awarded a volunteer grant by his tech company, which pays for him and one other individual to go on a well-drilling trip to Guatemala. The only catch was that he needed to assemble the rest of his drilling team quickly! As Matthew and I were reflecting on whether another missions trip was in the cards for this summer, God placed this need directly in our laps. Matthew will unfortunately be out of town on another trip that week, but we decided it would still be a great opportunity for me to go and serve the Guatemalan community alongside our friends.

So in less than two months, May 18-25, I will be headed to Guatemala with Living Water International! This is an organization that seeks to demonstrate God’s love by implementing participatory, community-based water solutions in developing countries. They recognize that meeting physical needs is an important testament to the true “living water”—the gospel of Jesus Christ—which alone satisfies the soul’s deepest thirst.

In order to attend this trip, I need to assemble a team of people committed to praying for me before, during, and after my time in Guatemala. In addition, I need to raise approximately $1900 to cover the participation cost. Due to the short timeline between when God provided this opportunity and the date on which the full cost of the trip is due, I am left with about two weeks to raise full funding. I am trusting that God will provide! I would be honored if you would consider partnering with me on this mission to bring clean water and the love of Christ to those in need.

Would you be willing to join my prayer team and/or to support this mission trip financially? Donations are tax deductible, and any amount you are able to contribute is significant in helping to reach my fundraising goal. You can make donations via credit card by calling our Living Water International trip coordinator, Sarah Evans, at (281) 207-7814, or by mailing a check with the remittance form at this link to Living Water International (address listed at the bottom of the remittance form). All donations must be received by Living Water International no later than April 15. If you would like to join my prayer team, please comment below or contact me directly.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Kristen Campbell

Update: For those on my prayer team - my prayer requests right now are for the Lord to provide spiritually and financially by raising up a team to support the trip. The other major request I have is for my neck. I have been experiencing a lot of pain in the last couple of years and have (finally) started physical therapy recently. Please pray for healing, strength, and also to stay safe on the trip, especially because there will be manual labor involved, and I need to plan for it to protect myself from further injury. There may be opportunities for me to take some breaks from manual labor by conducting hygiene lessons in the community (as the organization usually does this at some points anyway). Please pray for God's protection over my neck/back and for Him to be watching over all of the logistics of the schedule to create the best environment for that. Thanks!

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