Water for Cuba
Church develops program to provide clean water
By David Owens, firstname.lastname@example.org Laurel Leader-Call The
Laurel Leader-Call Thu Nov 25, 2010, 02:50 PM CST
LAUREL — Like Jesus Christ before them, the members of First-Trinity
Presbyterian Church of Laurel are providing the "living water" to people
around the world.
For two years, church members have traveled to Matanzas, Cuba, to
install water purifying systems in the island country.
Verniece Goode, team leader, said the church participates in Living
Waters for the World, a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters,
Presbyterian Church (USA).
Goode said the Synod of Living Waters includes churches in Mississippi,
Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. She noted that the local church has a
relationship with a seminary in Cuba, and realized that the seminary's
water was contaminated.
"The first water system that we put in was at the seminary," Goode said.
"Seminary officials took us to other sites including an orphanage in the
same town, and we found their water to be contaminated everywhere we
Goode said the church's team, which includes six trained members,
installed a water system there last summer, and plans to go back this
summer for a third installation.
While Cuba is a more developed nation than many other countries in that
region, Goode said it doesn't mean that they have needs such as clean water.
"They have a lot of water wells especially outside of the cities," she
said. "They have municipal water systems, but their infrastructure is so
poor. There are a lot of leaks, and at times, the electricity doesn't work.
"The water sits there and becomes contaminated," Goode added. "They also
store their water in cisterns on top of the building and all kinds of
things can get in there."
Goode said it costs approximately $10,000 including $5,000 for the water
system, along with trip expenses and replacement filters.
Louise Beidler, a church member who has taken the Cuba mission trip,
said the church members and other community residents have been very
"We can't get federal grants because of the embargo," she said. "So we
have to rely on the support of our church family and others."
Beidler said the team has hosted a number of fundraisers including an
"Entertaining with Spirit" event Saturday at the church.
"This is one of our fundraisers," she said. "We also have an
adopt-a-part program so people can take ownership of it and feel like
it's theirs as well."
Carol Davis, chair of the church's mission and outreach, said more than
200 people attended the "Entertaining with Spirit" event which featured
local decorator Tana Henderson.
"We had 14 tablescapes for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, done
by local sponsors including Vic's, Corner Market, Quinn Pharmacy &
Gifts, The Emporium, City Home Center, Lovie's in Hattiesburg and
Scentsy," she said. "We gave out ideas for the holidays, how to set a
table and how to use many things in different ways."
Davis said the event also included a food tasting and everyone in
attendance received a recipe book just in time for the holidays.
For more information on Living Waters for the World, visit
www.livingwatersfortheworld.org or call First-Trinity Presbyterian
Church at 601-428-8491.