Living Water Mission - In the NEWS

August 2014 - Two NEW Videos
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Joseph Muhoro Family Well

Zarephath Project

Meet Danny  

Danny and his twin brother, Kenny, came to our mission last year after being abandoned.  When they came to us, both boys were severely malnourished, diseased, and near death.  This photo was taken during the trip in February of 2014.  Thanks to supporters like you, Danny and his brother are not only surviving... they are thriving. Thank you, from Danny, and from Living Water Mission!

Tecumseh Herald 11/26/2012 - 2:22pm

Pastor Tom Hawkins and a mission team recently returned from Kenya where NewSong Church and the Tecumseh community have been supporting a Living Water Mission. This was the fourth such trip, and Hawkins said the team assisted in the drilling of new wells.

“We developed two new wells this trip,” said Hawkins. “One was drilled...  Read More

Tecumseh Pastor works to provide 
safe drinking water to Kenyans

By DEB WUETHRICH, Homefront magazine, Autumn 2012

Living Water Mission (LWM), led by Pastor Tom Hawkins of NewSong Community Church in Tecumseh, has a mission statement to “provide clean, affordable, safe drinking water to those who need it the most.” It is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that conducts mission trips to ensure the access to clean, safe water. Pastor Hawkins recently sat down to discuss the work of Living Water Mission.

How did Living Water Mission get its start?

LWM grew from the seed of an idea planted at NewSong in 2007 to have a “Radical Christmas,” in which the congregation chose to forego a Christmas marked by consumerism. Instead we planned to donate money toward drilling a well somewhere. Through contact with Keith Gafner, a missionary from this area who serves in Kenya, Africa, we learned that Kenya was in great need of clean water. We wanted to do more than write a check — we wanted a “boots on the ground” team to go over and actually help drill the wells. Because of the clashes in that country, our team could not go until February of 2009, but that gave us time to learn about rudimentary well-drilling.

How has LWM expanded its reach beyond Newsong Church?

It has become a community partnership, with people from all over the region helping with the work we do. We also have partnerships within Kenya that have helped us do what we do.

Who goes on the mission trips, and when is the next one?

We have one coming up Oct. 17 to Nov. 1. We have taken teams of people from Tecumseh and the surrounding communities, and I traveled to Kenya alone last year. This year there is a team going, and a couple of the members have traveled there before.

Where does Living Water Mission most focus its efforts?

In rural areas of Kenya. We have been working in a village called Twiga where Kalyet School is located. There are approximately 700 youths who attend school and their families pay for the privilege. Education is paramount to the families who want a better life for their children.

You constructed a water tower there last year.  What has that done for the people of that area?

Not only does it serve the school and its staff, it helps the whole Twiga community of a couple thousand people. All the work we do is designed to help the Kenyan people become more self-sufficient. They can learn to dig the wells themselves, and use the water to grow food and sell it at the market, thus providing income for the family. Clean water is also foundational to good health, and it’s amazing how everything begins with clean water. Any kind of growth in a community, including its economy, begins with water.

You can’t do anything without water.

What are the people of Kenya like?

They are a very quiet and gentle, peace-loving people. They’re very grateful and very thankful for the work that the mission is bringing into their community. They will walk for miles to attend a church service with us or to take part in the well-drilling work that we are doing. They are very religious, and many of the people have biblical names. I absolutely love being with these people.

What is LWM’s vision for the future?

This year, LWM is taking a leap of faith by beginning to construct a well-drilling facility, which will have living quarters for staff and visitors such as mission workers. It will include a fabrication shop for the well-drilling operations and also reach out into the agricultural community. They will be able to do welding, machining and fabrication there, to earn money and assist the community. The idea is to make it 100 percent Kenyan and self-sustaining. We’ve also got our eyes on eastern Uganda and South Sudan in the future and the need there is urgent. For a community to be successful they have to not just look at themselves, they have to look beyond. When our partners in Kenya have extended themselves to help others, they will be blessed.

The Kenyan people are more able to go into South Sudan than white people, so the sooner we can do this, the sooner  we can help others in extremely desperate places.

By what means is fundraising accomplished by LWM? 

Donations may be made at anytime through our nonprofit at:

Living Water Mission
5211 S. Occidental Hwy.
Tecumseh, MI 49286

Funds are also raised at an annual Kenya Dig It? 5K, two-mile family walk, and a Singing for Water fundraiser. We have also raised funds through the collection of scrap metal but we have suspended that for the time being.

Didn’t you incorporate a personal experience aspect to the Kenya Dig It event this year? 

Those participating had an option of grabbing a bucket and following a marked trail to Evans Creek to “fetch water” like the women in Kenya do. In Kenya, only the young girls and women fetch water, which also inhibits their ability to get an education because they have to do it three times a day or more for the needs of the family. Boys and men almost never carry water. At our event, they then carried the water back along the course for about a half-mile, the average distance a Kenyan person travels for water. We also did a demonstration on how we take surface water and purify it to make it drinkable. We can purify 5,000 gallons of water with one cup of table salt in one hour. It’s a pretty cool process.

Has LWM taken mission trips anywhere else? 

A LWM team traveled to Haiti in2011. It was more than a year after an earthquake devastated the country. The goal was to work with an existing ministry in that country and help them install simple water purification systems or drill wells where they could do the most good.

We did drill one well there.

On your solo trip to Kenya last year, something special happened to you, didn’t it?

Yes it did. God placed a special little girl named Consolata, an orphan who was always smiling, on my heart. Consolata lived three miles from where the church was, and walked to church through some rough territory by herself every time there was a service.

My experience while there was such that I felt like I was being called to take care of this child, even adopt her, and after I calledmy wife, Vera, we made a commitment to do that and we’re trying to bring her to this country on a student visa. Unfortunately, American time and Kenyan time work very differently, and the wheels are turning very slowly, but we are making progress. We take care of Consolata’s schooling, and arranged for her to stay with Pastor Sammy Kibet, who pastors our sister church NewSong Kilamani, and his wife, Rachel. I told her that from now on, I was her grandpa, and I’m very committed to seeing this through, which involves a lot of paperwork and a return to Kenya to take care of some other matters. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this little girl.

How would you respond to someone who wonders why LWM focuses on foreign countries?

The people we are talking about, the people we are reaching, are individuals who literally have nothing, including clean water.

When someone reaches out to help them, their lives are enormously improved because someone cared enough about them, and they are so grateful. There is such a reward in that. We have found that people in our community are generous and do have good hearts, and we need to help someone else besides ourselves beyond our own community. In no way do I downplay the struggles people in America go through, but by comparison with the struggles of the people in some of these other places, we are richly blessed in the United States.

We really need to be our brother’s keeper in the world and share what we have. When we do that, we’re blessed in return.

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