The Living Waters Mission is making a difference in the lives of rural Honduras residents living along the impoverished Mosquito Coast and the inland communities of that poverty-stricken nation.
"You see a lot more smiles on peoples' faces," said Frank Monterosso, who has partnered with Hernando dentist Dr. Robert Seymour and area Rotary clubs in District 6800 to build and install water wells in Honduras during the past 17 years. "It's like a miracle has occurred in their lives. It's given the communities a way to maintain it (drinkable water) themselves."
For centuries, the people of Honduras have had to drink from shallow ditches located not too distant from outdoor latrines.
Surrounded by ocean water, that water is too salty to drink.
Having potable or sanitary water has transformed communities, according to Monterosso.
"It gets them functioning as a community," Monterosso said. "It's changed their lifestyles. They now have good clean water to drink."
Monterosso began making journeys to the Mosquito Coast in 1991 and in the year 2000, Monterosso started the water well drilling project with help from Seymour, who had begun a medical missionary outreach to villagers by that time.
"Frank had been a full-time plumber in Sea Breeze, Fla.," said Seymour of Monterosso's early career.
Seymour went to Rotary Club training in Oxford and while he was there briefed other Rotarians about the proposed project.
"The impact it has had has been tremendous," Seymour said.
Monterosso said the Living Waters Mission, which gets its name from the Scriptures, said so far the missionary teams in Honduras have built and installed more than 800 water wells.
"Sometimes we hit rock, and we have to stop and drill somewhere else," Monterosso said. "There have been a lot of real difficult situations where people have been without running or drinkable water."
Monterosso said that's where his Christian faith and that of missionaries is made evident to families the team is able to assist.
"As missionaries we have to show them by faith what we do," Monterosso said. "It's been a great opportunity for our mission work, which is to spread the Gospel. The Lord has really blessed our work. It's been a blessing to the people of Honduras."
Monterosso said before the water well teams went to Honduras, the people of Honduras suffered from waterborne diseases.
"Young kids were dying from dysentery," Monterosso said. "The people of the village have an energy and a willingness to work now that they are not battling parasites. It has literally saved their lives."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.