On 7/12/2016, Chris Thackwray (President and CEO of VA-AP) talked to the members of the Magnolia Rotary Club about the "Living Waters Project" that he is involved with. Pictured above from left to right are Kira Sears and her Dad, Chris Thackwray.
Chris told everyone that he became aware of the Living Waters Project through a group called "Texas Baptist Men" (http://texasbaptistmen.org/). Texas Baptist Men Water Ministry partners with stateside churches to help mission churches in poverty stricken areas bring clean water, good hygiene practices, and a means of self reliance to their communities, while sharing the love of Jesus Christ. “Sharing God’s Love in Texas and Around the World” is what Texas Baptist Men is all about. That is exactly what the Water Ministry is doing by addressing a global crisis: The need for clean water, and Christ. They provide clean water and share the “Living Water” of Christ.


For over two decades the Water Ministry of Texas Baptist Men has worked to show Christ’s love through water purification in more than 70 countries. They have added pump repair, water well drilling, and health and hygiene. Safe water and good hygiene can change the health,and economy of an entire village. It gives them hope for a better future. Working with a local church, they train their people enabling them to take control of their own needs, and to teach others. It is vital to have local participation and community input in solving their problems. Opportunity is provided, not charity. We leave the equipment and training materials with them providing them a means to have a sustainable solution for their needs. This creates self respect and self-sufficiency with a connection to the local church.

Chris then told everyone that the "Living Waters Project" has enough sponsors and is continuing to work wonders in small villages around the world. However, he recently became aware of a second problem and that is in areas where clean water is not yet available even from wells. People (mostly children) are forced between the decision to either drink bad water and becoming really sick or dying of dehydration. It was determined that one child dies every 21 seconds in some areas from bad water and poor hygiene.

In these poor areas, when kids become sick, there are no hospitals or clinics and no easily available medicines like Pedialyte. Pedialyte helps prevent dehydration and replace nutrients and electrolytes lost through vomiting and diarrhea in adults, children & infants. It was discovered that mixing the right amount of salt and sugar (readily available in most countries) in 8 ounces of water can create a working version of Pedialyte. However, there was no way for the people in these areas to measure these amounts so a company in the UK came up with a two headed spoon where one end of the spoon was for salt and the other end was for sugar. See photo below:

Chris's company and other volunteers purchased about 2,000 of these spoons until someone suggested a redesign of the spoon to put both heads of the spoon on one end and a hole in the other end so that the spoon could be hung up when not in use. Another suggested modification added a slit between the two heads to allow the spoons to be hung on a cup. The cup was designed because the people also needed a way to measure out 8 ounces of water. The cups were also designed to be stack-able to save shipping space. The lip that allows the cup to be stacked is exactly where 8 ounces of water is and filling the cup all the way allows for 16 ounces of water to be measured. This final spoon design cost about $.45 to make and can be seen in the photo below:

The Texas Baptist Men have now purchased enough spoons and cups to save about 70,000 children and/or adults. In addition to the cups and spoons, Texas Baptist Men volunteers teach villagers how to drill a well and then they leave the drilling equipment with villagers so that they can teach others how to drill the wells. Texas Baptist Men's organization is currently working in Nigeria to save lives using these methods.

The next country they are going to is India. However, even though they receive enough donations to purchase drilling equipment, cups and spoons, the largest expenditure is still the travel cost for individual volunteers so they are looking for donations from individuals and companies to help fund their mission trips.

For more info about Texas Baptist Men and their "living Waters" projects, go to http://texasbaptistmen.org/.