By Lon Stuebinger and Karen Brown
In December of 2018, Lon, with the Bucket Ministry, had the opportunity to visit a young woman who had received a water filter a few months prior. Although quiet and shy, Joyce was very kind and hospitable as she welcomed Lon into her home.
Joyce lives with her husband and five children in eastern Uganda. Her small home is typical for her community with dried mud walls and floors that keep the dwelling cooler during the day and warmer at night.
Joyce and her family have struggled through the years. As her husband is blind, he is unable to work much to help provide income. The family relies on the tilapia (fish) they raise in a small basin for both their food and their income. Additionally, they draw their drinking water from a small spring, which has caused the family to suffer from typhoid and diarrhea. In recent years, they have been to the clinic for treatment of typhoid on five separate occasions. Treatment for typhoid typically costs 60,000 Uganda Shillings (about $16). Diarrhea also often must be treated at the clinic for a typical cost of 30,000 UGS. Because of their small income, Joyce has struggled to find the means to pay for treatment, so much so that they were unable to pay for the most recent treatment. However, because the clinic knew of her husband’s disability, she was not required to pay.
Since receiving the water filter, Joyce and her family have not been sick from any water-borne diseases (like typhoid!) and have been diarrhea free! Because they no longer have to worry about typhoid treatment, the family no longer has to save for medical bills. They can now save for clothing and school supplies. They are so grateful for the filter and it was obvious they treasure their bucket and filter when Lon visited their home. Joyce carefully stores her backwashing syringe and covers her bucket with a cloth to keep it clean. She also keeps her filtered water storage container spotless.
Not only has the filter been helping Joyce and her family have healthier lives, but they have been sharing the filter with three other households. Now, a total of 26 people enjoy the benefits of safe water from one filter thanks to her generosity. It is a blessing to see this family that has very little be willing and happy to share what they have with those around them so that all might benefit. The Bucket Ministry is always thrilled to hear life-changing stories like this one.