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Mission team helps install water system

A New Richmond church has partnered with a community in Honduras to install a new water system there.

Solid Rock Fellowship, which meets each Sunday at the New Richmond American Legion Hall, recently helped send a group of mission workers to Honduras for a nine-day trip.

Among the group of travelers was member Win Olson, Amery, and his sons David and Dan.

In 2003, Olson and his son David were part of an Agua Viva water project team that went to Honduras. Since that time, Win Olson said he hoped to return to the country and help some more.

That opportunity came this spring, as another 12-person Agua Viva team prepared to travel to the village of El Carrizal.

The team helped raise about $30,000 for the project. Each team member paid his or her transportation costs to get to Honduras, so donations all went to the actual water project.

According to Maury De Mers, chairman of Solid Rock Fellowship, the team helped dig trenches and laid pipes to bring water to the village.

"They've been waiting for a water system for 17 years," De Mers said. "Currently they get their water from distant stream beds that can be contaminated and from an old village well that provides a very inadequate supply. When the system is done, there will be a water spigot in every house."

While the villagers were capable of installing a water system themselves, De Mers said, they could never raise the money necessary to complete the project. Most of the villagers are subsistence farmers -- raising a few cattle, a few chickens and crops of corn, beans and some bananas.

While the team's work on the water system was fulfilling, De Mers said, it was also difficult.

"Because of the rugged terrain, work is done with pick axe and shovel," De Mers explained.

The gravity-supplied system will bring water from a mountain spring more than two miles from the village.

Once the system is completed, water will collect in a cement holding tank. Then the villagers will be able to access the tank via a system of pipes to the homes.

The team's trip wasn't just about installing a water system, De Mers reported. They also led a vacation Bible school and a Bible study for the residents of El Carrizal.

"Team members live in the village, share their food and living quarters, provide activities and crafts for the children and share the gospel of Jesus Christ by their actions and the spoken word," De Mers explained.

The team also challenged the villagers to a rugged soccer game, which the Americans actually won thanks to some help from their hosts.

Solid Rock Fellowship supported the mission team financially and through prayer.

"The prayer being the most important part," De Mers added.