NORTH TEXAS — A businessman on a missions trip asked for a glass of water and discovered a disturbing reality. Most people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water.At that moment, Chris Beth heard the Lord speak to him for the first time in his life and it was two words: ‘Help them.’Ten years later, his bucket ministry has made it possible for 250,000 families in 20 nations to have clean water. Charlene Aaron with CBN News travelled to North Texas to see how he does it.
From its headquarters here in North Texas, the Bucket Ministry is fulfilling its mission of sharing the love of God through providing the gift of safe, clean drinking water in places like North America, South America, Central America, Asia and Africa.
Christopher Beth – The Bucket Ministry:
We have probably distributed filters in almost 30 countries now. We’re actively working in about 12 countries.
During a 2012 missions trip with his daughter to the Brazilian Amazon, Texas businessman Chris Beth saw first hand what it meant to not have access to clean water after being asked if he was thirsty.
I expected her to go into a refrigerator and get a bottle of water. But what she did in turn is she went out into this little plank on this house, bent down with two cups. They were irregular, mismatched, and cracked, and she filled this two cups up with river water.
Shocked by what he saw, Beth says what happened next was something he never imagined.
I’ve never been in a business of hearing God’s voice. In fact I thought when people say, “God told me.” I would like, oh boy. I heard something and I heard two words and he’s clearly said help them.
Beth began searching for a way to help as soon as he returned home. He found the answer at a Dallas camping supply store where Beth saw a filter that uses the same technology as kidney dialysis that could be used to remove harmful bacteria from dirty water.
It attaches to any bucket or receptacle. I’ve went ahead and put some lake water in here from the local lake. So we’ll see if we can make some clean water from this. So we’ll tip the filter down and allow it to start filtering into the clean cup. And as you can see, the water is going from the bucket, through the hose, through the filter.
The filter is capturing all the dirt, the debris, the parasites, everything that’s making people sick from drinking unclean surface water. And this is what we’re left with as a result.
Now equipped with filters, the Bucket Ministry was born as Beth returned to Brazil supplying communities with clean, safe drinking water. Today, the ministry has a growing presence in more than 20 countries.
In the last 10 years, we’ve probably distributed in excess of 250,000. So we’ve helped about 250,000 families. Just last year alone, we distributed about 35,000.
One of its main outreaches is in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, home to some 400,000 people. Most human waste ends up in the river that runs through the slum, contaminating the water, leading to disease and death.
Darrel Larson serves as international director for Sawyer Products, which makes the filter used by the ministry.
Darrel Larson – International Director of Sawyer Products:
Our filter that you could take the same one that backpackers and hikers use on the trail. But we devised a way to hook it up to a bucket, which is very common all around the world. And that’s kind of how the bucket ministry started.
Larson says when his company, which gives 90% of its annual profits to clean water projects, learned that Beth wanted to give clean water to the entire Kabira slum, it jumped at the opportunity to get involved.
They had this incredible map of the slump, three square miles, 400,000 people. And it ended up being 95,000 homes and Sawyer actually donated all 95,000 of the filters.
The difference has been life saving as the number of people sick and dying from waterborne illness has dropped dramatically.
We are hearing reports that the numbers of patients coming through clinics are so few compared to what it was that clinics are having to close and consolidate operations.
Providing clean water has also led to many opportunities to share the gospel.
We use the water as a tool and it’s a tool to get to that point of sharing the gospel. So for us it’s it’s all about the Great Commission and going and making disciples.
The filter can last more than 20 years if cleaned daily. Each filter distributed is stamped with a unique barcode, something that allows Beth and his team to track the success of the filter, as well as the physical and spiritual health of families and communities they serve.
I’ve been blessed over 10 years to be able to see mothers that didn’t name their children because they knew the children were gonna die, I get to see them have this clean water for the first time through this simple tool.
A simple tool that’s made a big difference in Beth’s life too.
Prior to the last 10 years, I was not involved with the church. I wasn’t even a very good follower of Jesus. Now I get to see him work every single day. And what it’s done for me is it’s given me a faith that I don’t think I would have ever had without seeing him work like this.
Source: Global News Alliance, Bucket Ministry Gives Clean Water to 250,000 families