On Sunday, we were honored to learn about the Mexico Cistern Ministry from Andy Combs, a ruling elder from First Presbyterian Church, Brownsville. Andy knows the ministry well. Since the project began in 2002, he has made 36 trips to the Yucatan to work with lay missionary Todd Luke, who started the ministry.
The Cistern Ministry is a partnership between the Presbytery of the Mid-South, the Outreach Foundation, and Campechano Presbytery. Since 2002, indigenous Ch’ol Presbyterians in the Yucatan have worked with more than 250 families to build family-owned cisterns.
Each cistern holds 6,300 gallons of rainwater collected from the family’s roof. With constant use and typical rainfall, a family can draw up to 15,000 gallons of water annually. The cisterns are purposefully low tech. Gravity makes the water flow and the outlet faucet is the only moving part. Upkeep is simple, so each cistern should last for decades. Families work together during the construction process and repay the construction material costs as they are able. Repayment funds are reinvested to build more cisterns. Churches in the Mid-South have helped build over 20 cisterns.
To learn more about this ministry, see the Yucatan Mission website, http://www.yucatanmission.org/. Under the “What We Do” tab is a link to a video of the cistern building process at http://www.yucatanmission.org/2012-10-20-02-43-55/cv.
The Mid-South Presbytery is sponsoring four trips this year:
May 13-20, June 17-24, July 8-15, and July 15-22. There are openings for all dates. The May trip includes four students from the University of Memphis campus ministry. The cost is $1500 per person: $1,100 covers travel, meals, and lodging; $400 is used for building supplies.
Andy is actively seeking volunteers for all four mission trips. If you are interested in going this year, please contact Andy directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know someone who would enjoy participating, please pass this information to them. If you know a student who would like to go, please talk to them about this opportunity. Trinity’s Mission/Campus Ministry Team has funds that can be used for scholarships.
Even if we cannot physically go to Mexico, we still can help provide clean water to families in southern Mexico. We can generously spread the word about the mission trips and share our resources.
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, – Matthew 25:35