Rosa Castro: Gifting a Water Well
By Matt Vilkas and Pearl Ganta
The 700 Club
Every Christmas, Rosa Castro enjoys seeing her grandkids’ faces light up as they open their gifts. But one year the presents she and her family gave each other were rather unique.
“I sent an e-mail to my kids and said, ‘What do you think of instead of exchanging Christmas gifts we collect money for a water well?’” Rosa said.
But Rosa’s grandkids were less than thrilled that they weren’t getting as many toys as usual.
“I told my grandson, ‘Adam, what do you think? Don’t you think that it would be a good idea? Instead of getting a lot of Christmas gifts, that you can give water to a lot of kids?’ Rosa said. “And he looked at me and says, ‘This Christmas is going to suck.’”
Rosa had the opportunity to travel to India to see Operation Blessing dig the wells. She knew the kids would be more excited if she brought back pictures and stories from the villages where the wells were dug. She met Kottaya and his family at their home in southern India. He sells vegetables, while his wife works as a day laborer in the fields.
“My wife would go to the forest to get water, cook, bathe the kids, and get them ready for school,” Kottaya said. “But many times all the jobs were taken when she finally got to the fields.”
“The water we got was salty,” said his wife, Yadamma. “Our children would get sick. They suffered with fevers, coughs and colds.”
But with the help of Operation Blessing and Rosa’s family, their problems were solved.
“Because the water is near, we are able to store more water to wash clothes, bathe, clean dishes and cook food,” Kottaya said. “We raise our hands and thank you and your God for the well.”
“I am happy and at peace. Now I can get to the fields early enough to get work,” Yadamma said.
“This well is not going to be thrown away and it is bringing water to so many people. So the money that we put in [to this] instead of the gifts is so much worth it,” Rosa said.
When Rosa returned home, her grandchildren couldn’t wait to hear about her trip. Afterwards, they felt different about the meaning of Christmas.
“It’s not really just about presents,” said Rosa’s young granddaughter. “It’s about God’s birth. And it’s about being kind and giving. And you just don’t have to get presents. You could enjoy yourself at Christmas, because God’s born.”
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