For all those who spoke with Francis and Vernon, founders of Holy Cross Anglican School, you will know that they have long wanted to collect the abundant rainwater that San Mateo receives and use it in place of the much more expensive town water supply we currently use. Yet for a vision that sounds so simple, this one remained elusive… until now.
Thanks to a huge collaborative effort, Holy Cross is delighted to be a recipient of a rainwater storage and purification system from the Belize Chapter of Water Missions International. This system collects water from the roof our our new toilet block, feeds it into a 10,000L (2,640 Gallon) storage tank, then an attached system purifies the water, removing any bacteria and contamination so the water is safe for drinking. This purified water is stored in a smaller tank then pumped to the kitchens as needed for drinking and cleaning. The system is amazing – completely self contained and runs by gravity and solar operated pumps so there is no ongoing cost to the school. We hope that this system can supply the total water need of the school for at least 6 months a year, hopefully more. WOW!!!
But the gift of water was only part of the gift Water Missions International gave the school and the community. Each day the team was here, they ran activities in San Mateo, either announcing the project, doing health and hygiene classes with the children, doing classes with the women and also celebrating the installation of the system. Throughout these activities they shared a simple yet powerful gospel message – just as water is life, Jesus is the living water that gives us life. Just as water needs to be filtered to removed contamination, so too Jesus died on the cross to remove the contamination of sin from our lives. They prayed with the community, shared stories, encouraged and celebrated.
One of the things that made this project special was the way many groups came together to make the project possible. The project was made possible by Grace Church, Yorktown, Virginia who had visited the school a year ago with a team and were moved the the water situation in San Mateo and the school. They began exploring options and discovered Water Missions Belize, who were able to provide the expert staff and design for this project. Also partnering with the project was St Helena’s, Beaufort, South Carolina who also had a partner relationship with All Saints in Belize City. It may sound confusing but bringing this diverse group together was incredible, especially seeing the Belizean youth partnering with the American youth and realizing they were capable of making change in their own country.
A huge thank you to all who made this possible for Holy Cross School. We are truly thankful and humbled by your generosity.