Working Together For ‘God’s Thirsty Children’ Our Youngstown Associates recently adopted “Water With Blessings” as a project. They raised $3,000 to buy water filtration kits (pictured above) for families living at the Brownsville, Texas/Matamoros, Mexico border in need of clean water. In December, I traveled to the border with six college women and met up with Sister Larraine Lauter, a Kentucky Ursuline who founded the program, for what was a beautiful and enriching experience. Not only was our goal to help people in desperate need of clean water, but also to give the young women (such as Lynne, at right) an opportunity for an international immersion/reflection experience with the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. Sister Larraine trained “Water Teachers” from among Ursuline Associates at the border. Our local group brought the clean water to 50 young mothers during the training sessions. These “Water Women” agreed to share their filters with four other families. Thus, “God’s Thirsty Children” received the gift of clean water for Christmas. Advent Scripture readings provided a focus for our morning prayer and reflection, while participating in “Las Posadas” filled three of our evenings. We walked with local families through the neighborhood, singing and praying, while “seeking shelter for Mary and Joseph.” We shared a meal with immigrants at La Posada de Providencia in San Benito, Texas, who are housed with several Sisters of Providence while waiting for their immigration cases to be processed. Their stories were both sad and hopeful. The week ended with an enjoyable day at the beach at South Padre Island. Carly Conklin (center in photo at left), one of our Companions in Mission who made the trip, says, “Such an amazing project! I’m so blessed to have been included in this first group to work with U. S. women. Thank you for this life enriching opportunity to see God’s loving hand at work.” I was inspired by the prayerfulness and generosity of the six beautiful young women who made the trip with me. We’re planning another trip to the border in December 2014. If you or your group would like to sponsor a “Water Woman,” the kits are $60. You can view a short slideshow of the experience.