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Employed and Thriving: Water Mission Empowers a Father in Peru

An important goal of each Water Mission project is to empower every member of the community we are serving, especially the fathers.

“This job is a blessing from God,” said Hildebrando Ruiz Sosa, a father of four and a water treatment system operator for Water Mission in Nina Rumi, Peru. “My family and I are very thankful to God and everyone who supports Water Mission.”

Water Mission system operator Hildebrando Ruiz Hildebrando Ruiz in Nina Rumi, Peru
Hildebrando Ruiz Sosa serves his community of Nina Rumi, Peru, as the water system operator.

Bringing safe water to a community requires extensive involvement from its residents to ensure the project provides a life-giving service well into the future. One key responsibility is the role of the system operator who monitors the water quality as well as conducts general maintenance. This position is elected or appointed by a community-based management committee. The system operator has a consistent salary that is compensated by water sales among the community.

Michael Staub, our financial sustainability specialist, said, “We cannot underscore the impact of employment. The safe water system cannot run without Hildebrando. He’s the operator. The community needs him.”

Monitoring water quality levels is an important part of Hildebrando’s job.

“The opportunity to be an operator has been a great blessing because I have received a lot of knowledge. I’ve learned how to drive because of Water Mission. And all the engineers and technicians are like brothers to me,” Hildebrando said.

His “brothers” have encouraged him to get involved at his church, and they have shown him how to parent in a way that is glorifying to the Lord, as 1 Timothy 3 instructs fathers: above reproach, faithful, temperate, self-controlled, not given to drunkenness, gentle and not quarrelsome, and full of respect for self and others.

Hildebrando has grown spiritually during his time with Water Mission.

Michael believes that this is part of Hildebrando fulfilling a God-given desire to contribute, a deep desire to glorify. This is what we believe is at the heart of community empowerment: mobilizing community members to create positive impacts that originate from them — not from us. We pray for every project to be sustainable, and the only way to ensure that is to encourage community ownership and responsibility.

We believe the people we serve are the catalyst for change. They hold the key to long-term and tenfold impact. When we install a Living Water Treatment System, what we’re really providing is a path toward self-empowerment, self-sufficiency, and self-esteem. We provide them with a physical solution to a physical problem, but we also hope to witness mental, emotional, and spiritual transformation.

The water project strengthens the entire community, building a brighter future for children in Nina Rumi.

“I have known the Lord since I was 12 years old, but I fell away a little bit. I neglected the path of God. I strayed. But after Water Mission came to Nina Rumi, I reconciled with God,” Hildebrando said.

He is now able to provide for his family. In turn, his belief in himself has been strengthened. He carries out his tasks at home and at work with confidence and pride. The external changes in his life have brought about internal transformation, and vice versa. The same can be said about many other community members, according to Hildebrando. “Our lives have improved a lot in the area of health — physically and relationally. Not just my family but the entire population of Nina Rumi — the entire village is consuming this safe water, and we are all benefiting from the system in many ways.”

Hildebrando maintains and operates the safe water treatment system in his community.

He said that if a neighbor isn’t available to collect water, someone else in the community will come by to pick up their containers and fill them with water. “There’s more unity and more understanding among us,” Hildebrando said.

Our vision at Water Mission is to see every person have access to safe water and to experience the love of God. When we hear stories like Hildebrando’s, we are reminded that when our work demonstrates God’s love through the meeting of physical needs, we are also proclaiming His goodness and displaying His compassionate, generous heart. Hildebrando has become a part of this vision. His work of measuring water levels and managing water quality have made him a witness to God’s love, a conduit of His provision, and a disciple of His word.

With access to safe water, children in Nina Rumi are healthier and happier!

This Father’s Day, we pray that tens of thousands of men around the world will receive the hope of safe water and the love of God.

Empower fathers through the gift of safe water.

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