+ Lenten Series Group learning about water filtration systems.
Greetings! My name is Bryan Trach. I am a junior studying CIT at IUPUI. When Fr. Rick announced that this year’s topic for the Lenten series would deal with the Corporal Works of Mercy I was extremely excited. Growing up I learned about and studied them in grade school. I was fascinated that the church had put together a list of seven ways in which we can help those who are most in need in our community and around the world. I loved volunteering in high school but was able to only work on one or two of the Corporal Works of Mercy so I was excited to practice the other points with the St. John’s community!
Starting the night out with stations was a terrific way to put the evening into perspective. We focus on Jesus’ death and how he suffered an immense amount of pain to ensure our sins shall be forgiven. If Jesus can give his life and everything and everyone (it can be easy to forget that Jesus was also human and had special relationships and friendships that meant a lot to him just as you and I have) that he came to know while on earth and give all of this up for us and our salvation then shouldn’t we be able to sacrifice just a couple of hours a week to those who are in need?
Fr. Rick gave an awesome talk to help kick off Friday’s Lenten service. He then went on to introduce Bill Farrar. I had heard of Fountains for Hope, the mission that Bill founded, while I was discerning a mission trip to Haiti and Fr. Rick told us about Fountains of Hope and how they helped St. John’s send a water filtration system to Haiti to help with the cholera outbreak. Hearing this story left a big impact on me and I was excited to finally meet the guy who was helping to change thousands of people’s lives!
Bill is an awesome testimony of someone who is truly open to God’s call. His work with Fountains of Hope in no way was what he studied in college or anything like that. This really struck me because I hope to be working in the IT industry in a year from now. This means I would be naive to think this is the only way God will use me. This is an important message that certainly applies to everyone no matter what their vocation is.
Bill went on and talked about how effective the water filtration system is. I was shocked to hear that areas where there is a water filtration system trips to the hospital decreased by up to 26%. This goes to show how necessary clean water is. After sharing some of his knowledge and stories Bill lead us outside to show us how to set up a system. I was amazed at how simple the solution was. Not only was the system easy to setup and understand but it was efficient. It can treat up to 1,000 gallons of water in only 20 minutes on just 1/3 cup of salt. Bill explained to us that the only two parts that needed attention were the salt and battery. He said salt is available in all countries and can be found for cheap and he also told us about how he includes a tiny fold up solar panel that can recharge the battery.
After Bill gave his talk we went inside to eat dinner. My mind was blown away at the fact that so many people in our world are dying while there is a solution to fix the problem. Of course with everything in life this solution cost money. Bill reminded us that even though we are college students on tight budgets that prayer is just as good as cash and that prayer is extremely powerful and will make awesome things happen!
As the night came to an end I asked Bill how he deals with crime in the 3rd world countries that he often visits. He said that even though he tries to avoid the bad areas he still has had a couple close calls. Bill is an example of a modern day saint because through the miracles that he is working Bill is bringing a basic need to those who need it most even if it means putting his own life in harm’s way.
-Matthew 25: 35 “…for I was thirsty and you gave me drink…”