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The First Sip: Honoring Molly F. Greene

“We must maintain a position of seeking Him first and praying about everything,” said our co-founder, Molly F. Greene, in a conversation about her hopes for Water Mission. “We need to be available to the Lord.”

We take to heart a belief Molly carried with her since Water Mission’s founding in 2001: that we must remain in what she referred to as “a blessable position,” a place defined by God’s call and a reliance on His provision. In fact, it was a response to God’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves that birthed our first safe water project — a response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in Honduras.

In 1998, Molly and her husband, George C. Greene III, were fully immersed in running their environmental engineering firm in Charleston, South Carolina, when they received a request for multiple water treatment systems in the wake of the storm. Unable to find an existing water treatment system that would work for the specific circumstances, George and his team of engineers took action to build one — and thus, the first Living Water Treatment System was born. Not long after, in 2001, the Greenes established Water Mission.

When the Greenes arrived in Honduras, they were shocked by what they found. The river that
cut through the village was highly contaminated. The residents referred to it as the “Rio de Muerte” — River of Death — because people who drank from it died from waterborne illnesses. It was the same river that we would source water from. When the newly built water systems became operational, the community remained terrified to drink the water, despite it being treated and safe to consume. To convince them that the water was safe, Molly boldly took the first sip.

Ever the exemplary leader, she always took the brave first steps necessary to establish and grow Water Mission. She and George were our first volunteers, investing their time, energy, and souls in what would later become an international organization supported by hundreds of volunteers. They were among the first Thirst Quenchers, our faithful community of monthly givers. They have consistently led our staff to seek God’s will in our day-to-day work.

At meetings, Molly was the first to clasp her hands and bow her head in prayer before making decisions or taking action.

“Molly wanted everyone to know that we desired to be faithful stewards of what was entrusted to us, praying over details big and small, leading with humility and modeling our values of love, excellence, and integrity,” said Jen McHugh, vice president of volunteer and investor partnerships. Jen remembers Molly as a woman who inspired passion, dedication, and maturity in faith in her staff, always leading by example with her warmth, hospitality, and tenacity. Jen said, “It is with great honor that we will continue to serve in this way.”

Remembering Molly’s prayerful, humble service, we will continue to work toward ending the global water crisis, which impacts 2.1 billion people around the world. After her passing and in her memory, we will embody the commitment she had to fostering servant leadership and prayerful discernment. We ask that you pray for us as we continue to serve in this new season.

We invite you to sign up for Prayer Ripples to continue Molly’s legacy.

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