From the Field

A small gesture with a big impact

Sebastian Set and Brenda Beltran
Sebastian Set and Brenda Beltran

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

We’d been traveling from house to house in rural Guatemala, meeting beneficiaries of a community-wide water project, when we met Sebastian Set. This young father, along with his wife and four children, beamed with joy and gratitude as they sat with us in their home and talked about how their lives were changing.

Thanks to Cross Catholic’s partnership with the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima, this poor family had received a durable, concrete house along with a sanitary latrine and a home water tap — things that were once unattainable to them. But there was a problem.

Guatemalan water systems typically only run on certain days of the week. When the water is running, the families have to store some for later use. Blue, 55-gallon storage barrels are a ubiquitous presence among the water taps in Sebastian’s farming community. However, when we arrived at his home, there was no such barrel in sight. We learned that Sebastian’s income was so small, he didn’t even have $30 to buy a barrel.

The idea that $30 was getting in the way of this family’s need for clean water was especially distressing since Sebastian had been a village crew leader during the ditch digging phase of the project. Sebastian had encouraged his neighbors to work hard, telling them this opportunity was from God.

As Sebastian spoke, my colleague and I exchanged concerned glances. We agreed, then and there, that we couldn’t leave Sebastian’s house without solving this issue. This was our chance to be Christ’s hands and feet of mercy.

When we broke the news to the family that they would get their storage barrel, they were overjoyed. With this $30 item, they can finally take full advantage of the new water system they worked so hard to help install! To God be the glory for connecting us with Sebastian and his family so that this simple but urgent need could be met!