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Lifewater Canada was founded in 1995 by Jim Gehrels, Glenn Stronks and a small group of volunteers who became convinced that being Christian is far more than just going to Church on Sunday. When people ask: "Why did you provide our village with the equipment and training we needed to get safe water?", we reply that it is because we are inspired by Jesus's dedication to serving others and that we are able to do this work because many people want to give back some of what they have received.
In our experience, the compassion that Canadians feel for those walking miles to draw water from a stagnant swamp reflects the same compassion that Jesus showed by working with the poor and oppressed. Our desire to provide people with adequate quantities of safe water is our point of connection with our supporters who come from all walks of life, all faiths and all belief systems.
Although we are focused on helping others, often our volunteers and donors are powerfully affected by their participation in water projects. It is indeed humbling to see how joyful people are despite their poverty while we, as an affluent people, often are focused on what we don't have. Once we have seen children drink black swamp water, we can not forget how blessed we are and we are driven to do what we can to help those who wish to help themselves.
It is scary to step out of our comfort zone and participate in projects where we loose the control that we are accustomed to: where we will sleep, the safety of our food and drink, reliability of transportation, availability of needed supplies, the chaos of visas & air travel. But it is also awesome to experience God's grace and to see how amazing "co-incidences" bring each project to successful completion. Our projects are supported with prayer and we encourage people to share their faith values whenever asked to do so. However, we are fully committed to providing humanitarian assistance to all people, regardless of religious affiliation, race or political persuasion.
We strive for consistency between our beliefs and our actions by: