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Decades of Praying: Safe Water for Santa Elena, Peru

Imagine spending most of your life longing for safe water. Every day, as you go about your laborious work in the fields, you hope and pray for water that doesn’t make you and the rest of your family sick.  

In Santa Elena, Peru, Grandma Maria Luciana lived this reality. For nearly half a century, she did not have access to this life-giving resource. 

“I worked in the fields since I was 12 years old. We had no choice,” Maria Luciana told us. The only one who listened to our needs was the Lord.” 

Fifty years ago, she and her husband moved to Santa Elena when her first daughter was only two and she was pregnant with her son. Now 72-years-old, Maria Luciana is a mother of eight adult children and a grandmother of 15.  

Estrellita (or “Little Star” in English) plays under the watchful eye of Grandma Maria Luciana. Unlike her grandmother, Estrellita has been blessed to have safe water readily available for as long as she can remember.

The water piped to homes in Santa Elena is contaminated and causes many people to fall ill. As the family’s matriarch, Maria Luciana felt it was her responsibility to ensure her family was safe and healthy. Even when tragedy struck, she never lost hope. 

“Two of my six daughters have lost their husbands,” Maria Luciana said, as her eyes welled up with tears. “I am sad now to think of them without anyone to care for them and the children.” 

Since her relationship with Christ is central to her life, she turned to Him for hope. She constantly prayed that her family and community would have access to life’s most needed resource: safe water. 

Maria Luciana with three of her 15 grandkids and the widowed daughter she lives with. Their lives are not easy, but safe water eases the burden.

God answered her prayers when Water Mission built a safe water solution in Santa Elena. The safe water was a blessing to her family and many others in the small, rural town.  

“Before, we didn’t have water,” she says. “Thanks to God, we do now.” 

Maria Luciana spends most of her afternoons watching her grandchildren play. She does this without worry, knowing that her loved ones can stay safe and healthy because of Santa Elena’s access to safe water. Her strong faith never wavered throughout the decades of praying for safe water; her hope in what she knew God could do never failed.  

Safe water in Maria Luciana’s community is an answer to decades of prayer.

This Christmas, you can bring safe water solutions and the hope of the Living Water message to communities like Santa Elena. Around the world, 2.2 billion people still lack access to safe water. Please pray for Maria Luciana and her family. Consider extending God’s love to other men, women, and children like them through a gift to Water Mission.  

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