This has been effective in building trust with the Indian populations because the remoteness of the villages makes it very difficult for the Indians to receive medical attention.
Medical clinics were the tool we first employed in our relationship building effort. They allow us to stay in one location and draw the entire village to our encampment. It is a much more efficient method, time wise, for visiting with practically everyone in a village.
A lot of the diseases treated at the jungle clinics are a result of, or are exacerbated by, drinking water of poor quality. Providing clean drinking water, as well as the Water of Life, will make a huge impact on the Indian’s quality of life. Just as the health of an individual’s body improves by providing it clean water, the health of a community improves by providing it a Christian witness.
There are several ways in which we can address the problem of contaminated water sources. The possibilities include, digging shallow wells, isolating springs from surface water runoff and piping, rainwater collection systems, filter systems and simple chlorination systems.
The construction of suspension bridges in strategic locations throughout Talamanca, like the well drilling, will greatly impact Indian life. Drownings occur periodically with children and the elderly the usual victims. Mothers carrying infants, the elderly or school children trying to cross fast moving rivers over logs of mere inches in diameter are a recipe for disaster. Having a part in the prevention of such tragedies will aid in our trust building endeavors. The permanent bridges will also give us as Missionaries easier access to villages throughout the year without fear of being stranded on the wrong side of a river by a sudden flood.