After arriving at the hotel we quickly loaded up our gear and hit the road to visit some local communities and see firsthand some of the conditions we would be encountering. Our first stop was an area just a few blocks from the hotel and directly on the river. We were told that this was one of the better communities and to expect much worse as the week progressed. I guess the term “better” was relative.
The drinking water conditions here are slightly better than the regions we will be working in later this week. Here, the government has ran a series of PVC pipes to allow water to flow to individual huts. That being said, there is filth and garbage everywhere and the smell at times tended to be unbearable. Unless you see if for yourself it’s hard for it to sink in that this is real and that people here and around the world live in these conditions daily. It’s surreal.
Despite these deplorable conditions, God can be seen in the local children. They seem to always have a smile on their faces and can be seen playing soccer in abandoned fields or dodge ball underneath the huts. Their smiles are radiant and they are welcoming to all. Take away the filth and they are your kids, just wanting to be played with and do what normal 8 year old’s do, be 8 year old’s. The kids were gracious enough to let me in on a game of keep away and we had a wonderful time just laughing and goofing around.
After leaving we headed for service at a local church where we met up with the E3 team out of Alabama and the FBCW team. The service was wonderful and the praise was heartfelt. Jo-Ann Wilson gave a wonderful testimony to a packed house. Praise the Lord! It was a wonderful evening of visiting old friends from both Alabama and Iquitos. After service I was able to present the water filtration project to local pastors who accepted it with joy. We worked to determine when and where the filters would be distributed and settled upon three communities. I was told that these particular areas are in extreme need of clean water.
We will be working tomorrow to gather the needed supplies (buckets,etc.) in anticipation of our first delivery on Tuesday. Looking forward to another day serving the Lord.