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Difficult but not Impossible

World Water Day Recent Story Difficult but not Impossible

Bertain can seem almost impossible to access by truck¸ certainly by heavy equipment.  Chosen as one of World Relief’s target communities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, it is clearly the most vulnerable as well as the most difficult to visit. Bertain’s oppressive poverty is worsened by its lack of water sources. Three years ago, Pastor Fritz Gilles of the Baptiste de la Grace Church invited World Relief’s Mobilizing Youth for Life, a youth-focused HIV and AIDS prevention program, to come teach the young people in the Bertain community about AIDS prevention, abstinence, and making good life choices.  The program ended with commitments from two participants to continue training others, and a relationship began. 

After the earthquake, Pastor Gilles told World Relief that their most urgent need was for a clean water source. Until now, having free water each day meant walking 25-30 minutes down steep paths to a river and hauling back a bucket of impure water.  Not only is the route dangerous, the young people were using this as an excuse to leave the watchful eyes of their parents and become involved sexually.  Pastor Gilles felt a well would meet the vital need for a close and clean water source as well as increase the necessary supervision of the community’s teenagers.

“A well? Here?” 

World Relief is not new to wells.  After the earthquake, WRH put in 12 wells in key sites that have made a difference for communities who had no good options for water. However, Bertain presents its own special hurdles.  To reach Bertain, one must drive through a river, up a narrow road that drops off dramatically.  “It isn’t every truck that can make it,” Joe Crowley of WRH explains.  The other obstacle is simply the rocks which make well drilling more than challenging. A machine will start drilling, but the rocks have to be dug out by hand. After long consideration, the engineer for the project stated, “Difficult, but not impossible!”

A key partner, Elmbrook Church, stepped in and unbelievably, Pastor Gille’s vision is now a very real project reaching its final stages.  Romnal Colas, program director of church engagement here in Haiti states, “This well will bring great joy to the people in Bertain!” 

In Haiti where the lack of clean water has resulted in cholera outbreaks and children commonly suffer from waterborne diseases, we are grateful for each step forward knowing that God is helping us to make the difficult, possible.






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