“Every mother in the world wants the same thing; for her children to be happy, healthy, to get an education, and to grow up and have a family of their own.”
-John Blevins, Director of Sweetwater Outreach
Sweetwater Outreach is a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to water purification in third world countries. Sweetwater was started around our kitchen table and is still very much a kitchen table organization. My Father, John Blevins, is an engineer and worked for twenty-five years, building wastewater and water treatment plants in America. Three years ago as he was becoming increasingly aware of the dirty water crisis in third world countries. He was offered a chance at an early retirement. The summer he retired he came to Africa for the first time and began to test multiple sources of water. Confirming the statistics that he had seen, every test proved positive for bacteria. This bacterium, at best, is creating stomach difficulties for the mass population and at worst is carrying serious diseases like cholera and typhoid. In a still small voice, Daddy became convicted to use his skills to bring clean water to those living in countries like Africa. Together with his family and a few close friends, he began his journey. He researched and he read and the doors opened wide for him.
Last summer, He and my sister, Mary-John, headed to Africa for two months with water filters and high hopes in tow. As they endeavored to teach the African people the importance of clean water, they learned an equally significant lesson in the importance of community and patience. That summer they installed several small household filters and a few larger ones for some of the churches we had contact with in America. Half way through the trip, Mary-John became very sick with a bacterial infection. My family learned immeasurable lessons that summer and Daddy and Mary-John became immersed in the problems of hygiene, healthcare, and water in Africa. Now my family was personally invested and willing to scale the overwhelming difficulties. They had seen the reality first hand and could not now ignore it.
Back at home; Daddy started a non-profit, for the specific purpose of water purification and at Mary-John’s request named it Sweetwater Outreach. While sick, in Africa, She read Exodus 12:25-26, and knew that Sweetwater was to be the name of our project. This summer, Daddy, my friend Phoebe, and I are spending two months in Africa to continue Sweetwater’s work. We are working primarily in Kisii, Kenya and are striving to become apart of this community. As the work grows, and the doors open, We are realizing that this project will not be complete to end with a few filters in a few churches and that we cannot abandon this area with still so much to be done.