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Water is Essential | Sonya's Story


Water is essential. Access to enough water is not usually a first-world problem—it is often one of the first things offered to us wherever we go, free of charge. This is not a luxury that exists in places like Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Every drop of water costs money; in fact, one can literally purchase water from a vendor by the spoonfuls and drink out of a ladle on the side of the road if they need to quench their thirst. Many people only buy water if they feel like they absolutely need it.

In February, I was deeply disturbed by this reality when I met Sonya, a mother of three, who has experienced a lifetime of challenges. One, in particular, paralyzed us all as we stood in her house, and she opened up about one of the darkest times in her life when she had nothing to offer her children, and she could not even afford a spoonful of water. She told us that she had to go away for a while because the only water she had for her children came from the dirty puddles found alongside the road, or dirty streams where animals bathed. My mind cannot even fathom the desperation that she faced as I picture her putting that water to her lips!

As we were standing in her house I saw a puddle on the floor from the rain that ravaged her neighborhood the night before and I just wept. I could never…I would never drink that!

water on floor

Just as I thought that she had shared her darkest season of life, she proceeded to tell us that she does not feel loved at all! She knows Jesus loves her but she has no one, other than her children, who really care for her. She feels unloved and abandoned!

The heaviness in that space was so hard to carry! I stood there unable to speak and with slow tears trickling down my face, I felt like an uncomfortable amount of time had passed by without a word being spoken. We all just sat with her in her pain for a moment. Sometimes silence is the hardest but the most needed thing to acknowledge a reality. I wanted to fix it all! I wanted to go back in time and change her story! I felt helpless!


As I stood there, I knew I could not fix her pain, and I could not change the past, but there is always something that can be done. In silence I just started praying, “Lord, left alone, Sonya will never be able to get ahead and she will always feel abandoned. Please show us what we are to do.” In that moment our first response was to pray! As I stood next to that puddle that reminded me of her past, the Lord brought to my mind the rain that had been beating on her home for weeks.

He helped me see that the water that she was desperate for in her darkest season of life now wreaks havoc as it beats on a roof that is patched together with someone else’s old scraps. She lives in a house infested by termites and rotting patches of scrap wood. I looked at the roof that has very little stability and I wondered how long will it all hold together? Will it make it through one more rainy season? It’s not likely!

The Lord gently reminded me that we can’t do it all but we can do something! Sometimes meeting a need is the next best thing. Some of the greatest expressions of love are taking action!

Sonya is no longer in a season where she is desperate for water, but she is deprived of feeling loved and supported. She feels alone to fight for her children in a structure that looks like it could collapse in the next storm, and that could send her to another deep dark time in life.

sonya's family

The WE team has covered this in prayer and WE feel called to help Sonya and her family never have to face that reality. Will you also pray with us that the Lord will provide for this precious mom and her children? The cost to rebuild a permanent structure for Sonya is $7,590. We know this is another big investment, but one that we cannot overlook after seeing what we saw and knowing what we know. WE are believing that the Lord will provide abundantly for this family.

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