How do you provide clean and safe drinking water to 884 million around?
You support The Bucket Ministry and come along side them to provide water filtration systems that can filter 1 million gallons of water for under $100.00 US. (That’s delivered, installed and trained ON-SITE)
You read it right! Give up 1 Starbucks a month this year and you could help filter 1 million gallons of water, and change an entire villages future!
What is The Bucket Ministry™?
The Bucket Ministry™ is a group of ordinary people that are extraordinarily focused on sharing God’s love through the gift of clean, safe water. Our team is comprised of many different people from many different walks of life, different countries, and different churches. But with all these differences we come together to achieve one simple goal….to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our mission also includes working alongside domestic and international mission groups, churches, and other organizations to use clean water filtration systems as a tool for sharing the Gospel.
To understand “who we are” starts with where and how God breathed life into this ministry. In the summer of 2012 we had an opportunity to be on mission on the Amazon River in Brazil. There are approximately 33,000 villages along the Amazon River and on this trip we visited 7 of them. In one of these villages we visited a small home that was flooded. The Amazon River rises and falls over 30’ annually so this means that some homes are flooded for several months and at other times of the year some require a mile long walk to get to the river. We were welcomed into this home, warmly, and as we entered we noticed that the family was living on a small raised platform since the rest of the home was flooded–this area was about the size of a kitchen table. This is where they slept, ate, and did everything you and I would do each day in our homes.
Upon entering we are asked if we are thirsty and of course we replied yes. At this moment, we watch as the woman walks outside with two broken, irregular cups, bends down into the river, and scoops two glasses of dirty river water for us. Of course, seeing this was a little concerning. We thought surely, she would not be giving that water to us but as she came back she handed the water to us. This is where God first opened our eyes to the problem. People are forced to drink unclean water.
We now realize, that one single humble, interaction in that home in the Amazon was the beginning of one of God’s great plans.
The vehicle that we use to arrive at this goal is clean water. In all areas that The Bucket Ministry™ goes to work clean, safe drinking water is a large issue to the health and wellbeing of the community. The World Health Organization reports that some 884 million people lack access to clean, safe drinking water. This is over twice the population of the United States. While this concept seems so foreign for so many people that do not give clean, safe, drinking water a second thought but it is one of the largest issues that is contributing to horrible increases in infant mortality around the world. In many of these areas it is common to experience: Giardia, E. Coli, Amoebic Dysentery, Cholera, and Typhoid from the ground water sources available.
In many areas that The Bucket Ministry™ has gone to work we have witnessed countless families that testified to the fact that they are experiencing nausea, stomach cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea every day! Almost all of these people think that these conditions are normal and this is just how they have to live. Once you let that soak in for a minute it becomes even more troubling! They think its normal to be sick like this every day. While it is tragic to think about: this scene repeats itself millions, if not billions, of times per day all over the planet.
How to make ground water drinkable?
The tool that The Bucket Ministry™ uses to achieve its mission is a small and portable water filter that attaches to any bucket or receptacle. The filter is manufactured by Sawyer Products and is derived from kidney dialysis technology and utilizes the same hollow fiber membrane construction. The Sawyer PointONE™ filter delivers tiny micron filtration 100% of the time to ensure no bacteria or parasites can get through. This filter will effectively remove Giardia, E. Coli, Amoebic Dysentery, Cholera, and Typhoid (as well as many other parasites and bacteria). The Sawyer filter membranes are sturdy enough to withstand daily backwashing which allows the filter to be cleaned and reused again and again. This filter will produce 350-500 gallons per day which is more than any one family will need since we know the average family uses 5 to 8 gallons daily for drinking water. Because of the production and use rates this one filter could easily provide clean, safe drinking water to over 40 families! The lifespan of the PointONE™ filter is at least 1 million gallons which means the average family will be able to utilize this gift for 20 years or more!
One of the single most compelling benefits of this filter is its simplicity. While there are many water filtration options used in these remote areas of the world very few are as simple to operate. With a quick backwashing of the filter daily it will continue to deliver clean, safe, drinking water for 20-plus years. The process to clean the filter is completed with a glass of clean water and a syringe or plastic bottle. Simply by aggressively forcing clean water through the filter backwards—it will wash out all the debris, sediment, and parasites. The filter is then ready to be used again. This process is not cumbersome and only takes 5 minutes or less once a day! As part of The Bucket Ministry™ program we teach each family that receives and bucket how to clean the filter and many are asked to demonstrate to their peers so we can be assured they understand how to complete the task.
Once people are educated on why they are getting sick and then they are exposed to a simple, portable, and practical solution to solve those problems it changes their hearts. This opens a door to be able to share more than just a solution for clean water.
The Bucket Ministry™ program has many different components. While one of the beginning components is the education of the filter and how to use and care for the tool it is only the start of a typical presentation. We consider being able to use the filter as a transitional tool to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ as our primary purpose for being there that day. Our directive is quite simple and is delivered in Matthew 28:18-20 18, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” This is called The Great Commission and is at the heart of The Bucket Ministry™. The simple connection of the filter and the dirty water to the cleansing power of a relationship of Jesus Christ and the sins in our lives opens many conversations and allows team members to share their faith.
Another very important part of The Bucket Ministry™ program is WASH training. While the clean, safe drinking water that is delivered by the Sawyer PointONE™ filter has the ability to change the health of entire villages overnight, we can compound those great benefits by adding sanitation and hygiene training additionally. For example, clean water is fantastic but if you don’t wash your hands you will continue to get sick. Our teams deliver introductory training, initially, on sanitation and hygiene and then our follow up teams will go into much more detail.
The last component of our program is The Bucket Ministry™ medical team. While we know that the clean, safe drinking water will help people dramatically we also realize that most of these people have infections of parasites in their bodies already. So just giving them clean water is not enough. As part of our program we work with local doctors and health professionals to write protocols to prophylactically treat the entire family receiving a bucket filter with anti-parasitic medicines. We then source all the medicines locally and our team educates and distributes the medicines.
Follow up with the communities that receive the filter is very important to The Bucket Ministry™. We have established protocols that we will not go to work in an area unless we have regularly scheduled follow ups by a local person that our team has vetted and trained. In most cases the follow up is performed by pastor or missionary and this gives them more of an opportunity to build relationships. Many pastors that we work with consider the follow up to be one of the best parts of the ministry as it gives them an “open door” to return to the home of the recipient to continue the relationship.
How can you be involved with The Bucket Ministry™.
Many people ask us how they can be involved with The Bucket Ministry™. While there are many ways we would like to offer a few of our favorite ideas:
- Help us tell the story! Perhaps something as simple as sharing our social media posts will tell the story of God’s work in this ministry to many more people. When you consider the number of contacts or friends that many people have it would not take long for the story of His work to be told. That’s simple multiplication!
- GO: Maybe you hear the call to join The Bucket Ministry on a trip to be part of a team that directly ministers to those in need? Please see our trip calendar on www.thebucketministry.org . We welcome you to email us for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CONNECT: Maybe you have a desire to use the bucket filter in your own mission through your church or organization? Please contact us and we will be grateful for the opportunity to assist you with free training materials and videos. We will also freely share our suggestions on sourcing filters, buckets, medications, and other supplies for your mission. The only thing we ask in return is that you share the story with others and that you join us in sharing God love through the gift of clean, safe drinking water.
- GIVE: We need many individual sponsors to achieve our mission. For as little as $50 you can sponsor a home with a bucket filter and the necessary medicines to relieve the entire family of their infections. So basically for what it costs to go out to eat with a family of four you can provide 20+ years of clean water for a family. We also know that we will need some larger contributions so that we can say yes to other opportunities around the world. All donations are tax deductible. You may go to www.thebucketministry.org to donate or by mail to: The Bucket Ministry – PO Box 238 Fate, Texas 75132
- PRAY: Most importantly we would encourage you to support us in prayer. Prayer for our team. Prayer for resources to carry on this mission. Prayer for the villagers and others who are suffering from the effects of unclean water.