Living Water Ministry

May – June, 2017 | Zacapa, Guatemala

I had a super time in May on a short-term mission trip with six guys from my home church, First Presbyterian, in Winston-Salem. I met them in Antigua, Guatemala, and we headed to the southern coast to drill a well with Living Water Ministry. Apart from a wonderful time meeting new friends and catching-up with the happenings in Winston-Salem, I spent some time reflecting on the living water metaphor as it refers to the Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39).

We went to the site to work on the well over four days. The first day we were officially greeted by the community leaders and a groups of elementary school children. The well was drilled in front of their school. Each day we played with children. One day we sat around in a circle with the children and challenged each other with riddles. I did the translating. What fun it was to watch as the “gringos” tried to solve the riddles. We also interacted with several young men who were all soccer fans. My group did their best to explain NFL football.

Welcome! We´re glad you’re here!

As we worked the expectations grew and grew regarding the water. Our soils samples helped indicate the best depth for the cleanest water. An air compressor helped to blow out the water for about twelve hours until it was deemed clean enough to drink. The children then began throwing water on us and drinking it. In the afternoon, everyone from the community came together to dedicate the well and thank our team. Safe, clean water that does not cause disease, i.e. parasites and bacteria, but promotes healthy life.

Don’t get your feet wet!

As I contemplated the hand pump that brings up the water from below, I considered all the implications in the adjective “living”. Sure, clean water promotes life. That´s not too difficult. But what makes living water a metaphor for the Holy Spirit? As I concentrated, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter Paul dedicated to love. Anything can be “living” when motivated by the Holy Spirit and His defining agape love. There we were, a missionary, a pair of bankers, a contractor, a retail store owner, a marketing exec and several other professionals all compelled by the Holy Spirit to participate in this project. We were a “living” team. My hope is that each of us may recognize how much more effective for God´s kingdom our lives will be if it is characterized by “living” in every aspect. I want to be a “living” husband, a “living” father, a “living” son, a “living” friend, etc. Although the concept seems logical, cut and dried, if we don’t keep it at the fore of our lives considering the One who gave all for us, then we easily fall back into a routine marked by self-centeredness. May we all strive for leading truly “living” lives.

Eric Headed to Texas

On July 1 Eric boarded a plane bound for Dallas. He´s headed north until August 14 to work at Camp Copass, a Baptist camp in Denton, Texas. Debbie and I are both very proud that he has been able to take this great step towards independence, but at the same time we miss him. Just checking in, getting through customs and immigration with no help from mom or dad is a major feat. We know his time in Texas will help him adjust to the culture and better prepare him to go and continue his studies in a university in 2018. Although the airport is three hours from our house, the whole family was present to send him off. I know that gesture of love meant a lot to him as he prepared to enter the airport unaccompanied to embark on his big adventure.

Everybody will miss Eric.

Sewing Ministry

Earlier this year Debbie showed her lady’s sewing class a French curve tool, explaining how necessary it was to have one when making patterns for clothes. She had three curves with her so the women could work in groups. One lady, Yessenia, asked Debbie if she might take the curve home because she thought she might have a way to make one for herself. Surprise! A week later Yessenia returned with ten well made, hand-painted French curves -one for each lady. Her husband made the curves from a material that is taken from the dump (right near this community) to recycle. Both Debbie and I were impressed. A few weeks later Yessenia´s husband made ten more measuring sticks for tailoring men’s pants from the same material. It is amazing what can be done ¬rather than complaining about what is lacking -when available resources are used to make what is needed. Yessenia’s resourcefulness is a lesson for us all.

Yessenia sews while being supervised.

Holistic Ministry for Children and Adolescents

In May Debbie completed a seven month course geared to better equip folks who work with children and teenagers. The seven modules covered street children, sex trafficking, crisis within families, etc. Debbie had class two Saturdays each month which meant she had to go on a bus to the City at 3am and get back home at 9pm. Long days and great sacrifice. A lot of the cases presented in the course left her crying. At the end of the road, however, she feels much better prepared to deal with the multiple crisis in which many Guatemalan children live. Along with the studies, the friendships she made have motivated her to enthusiastically continue her various ministries with children.

Debbie and her classmates

Prayer Requests

•That Eric continues to adapt to the North American culture and enjoy his time working at Camp Copass
•That all the planning for July construction and outreach here goes well in spite of the rain (We’ve had a lot)
•That the folks in Rio Dulce seriously participate in the planning sessions for the pre-camp training in September
•That my back stays healthy and strong. It has been a little problematic.

In Him,
The Stones
ericstonejr@outlook.com | deboradestone@hotmail.com

Financial support address:
The Antioch Partners
Richfield, MN 55423D
*Please make checks payable to The Antioch Partners and note it is for the Stone’s support. Donations are tax-deductible.