Sunday, March 02, 2014

Quietly Extraordinary (part 2)

As a young person, Gaspar wrote letters to a Canadian missionary who worked on the west coast of Mexico. This missionary had raised funds to drill a series of wells to provide water for the Cora region of Nayarit, and had local government backing to do so. There was only one problem. He had drilled five wells, all bone dry, and had exhausted most of his resources.

In desperation, he called Gaspar. Gaspar, it turns out, smells out water. Now, I don't know what comes to mind when you hear the term "water witch" but it is apparently a gift that some people have. My grandmother had this gift. Gaspar has it too. It is a fairly common practice in Pennsylvania, and it done in Canada and, it turns out, Mexico also.

Gaspar flew from Oaxaca to Mexico City to Tepic. He met his missionary friend, who had exhausted all his hi-tech echo technology. Within two hours of his arrival, Gaspar "found" a strong underground spring, and a well was drilled. Sure enough, water flowed abundantly from the hole. In the next several days, a total of five wells were drilled, and the mission was rescued.

In Oaxaca, springs of water originate in the mountains, and the town that controls the water wields a significant amount of power. The villages downhill and downstream often pay quotas for the water they receive, and the price can be paid in money, alcohol, even women for parties. Yes, this still happens.

Although geologists say that well drilling in much of Oaxaca is a fool's errand, Gaspar disagrees. There's water all over the mountainous areas of the state, he says, and he can prove it. He has liberated numerous villages in the valley from the tyranny of the water-hoarders in the hills. Water means life and liberty. At one point he received death threats from irritated power brokers on the heights. You help us out, we'll protect you, he was told.

Gaspar is trusted by everyone in these small villages, because he has a knack for relating with people, and a proven history of helping people, regardless of their religious or political affiliation. But he is careful to not sell out to any organization or influence group. They all have an agenda, he says, and it usually has to do with being elected. We aid people because the gospel of Jesus motivates us to.

I weary of Twitter heroes, their self-worth chopped up into 140 character sound bites. We need more Gaspars, the unknown and unappreciated champions of a kingdom that, really, is not of this world, that isn't even understood by this world, but that triumphs over it...every single time.

If you missed part 1, check it out HERE.


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