A Powerful Tool for Evangelism
How many times a day do you pour yourself a glass of water, replenish your child’s water glass, or use water to mix baby formula? Most of us probably need to drink more water, and it’s easily available to us. What if your next glass of water has a yellow or brown color or an odd smell? Worse yet, you’re used to this water. With water filters installed on refrigerators, water filter containers, and access to bottled water in the US, you expect drinking water to be safe and good for you. However, the water from the faucet is contaminated and unhealthy for many people, and it’s what they’re accustomed to.
For Pastor Manuel Alfredo González Taboada (Alfredo), becoming a pastor was never in his plans; it was God’s plan. About 24 years ago, Alfredo worked as a shoemaker in Morón, Cuba, and left to go home for lunch one day. While riding his bike, a vision appeared with many people in front of him, and he heard a voice saying it was the Church of Chambas. Alfredo shared the vision with his pastor, who told him a missionary was needed in Chambas. Later, where he saw the vision of the people on his bike ride that day, he built a church, never knowing how the ministry would impact the lives of so many.
In the early 90s, where Alfredo lives, you could drink the water. Then, due to a lack of funds, repairs and maintenance stopped at the community’s water treatment plant. The water is pumped from a nearby river where people swim, and animals trample through the water. Without proper water treatment, people experience stomach problems, vomiting, diarrhea, and many other illnesses, sometimes resulting in hospitalization because drinking faucet water is unclean with dirt, germs, and bad odors. The drinking water is worse in the rainy season because the dirt and germs get muddled up even more, causing more people to get sick and some hospitalized. Unfortunately, adapting the water for drinking isn’t an easy process.
After a hurricane several years ago, Alfredo received his first water filter from Atulado. This was a blessing for him and his family because it provided safe drinking water at home. He began sharing clean water with fellow church members and neighbors. As people learned the church had clean water, they came to the church. While Alfredo and church leaders offer people clean water, they also take advantage of the time to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Inspired by the message of God’s love, some have started attending church. The water filters provide life-giving clean water and have become a powerful tool for evangelism. Alfredo has taken the water filters to the homes of church members so they can do the same.
Anytime Alfredo equips someone with a water filter, excitement fills the air. As he shows them how it works, some people shed tears of hope when they hear just how effective the filter is in providing clean water. Most have never seen crystal clear water, and the emotion overtakes them. Alfredo also teaches people how to maintain the water filter. The Sawyer water filter uses reverse osmosis to filter the water, and flushing it with clean water extends the lifespan up to a decade, making it a viable solution for Cuba, unlike other filters we typically use in the US that only last three to six months.
Clean water helps maintain a healthy body, keeps you hydrated, flushes out toxins, and aids in digestion. After using the water filter, many people report an improved quality of life because they get sick less frequently. Sharing their testimonies with neighbors has provided a powerful witness to the church’s work within the community.
Atulado has purchased 600 Sawyer water filters since 2020 for people throughout the island. Alfredo has made clean water his mission for his town, and he has, so far, deployed 21 filters. With about 29,000 people living in his town, we have a great opportunity to impact more people, and we expect to deliver many more Sawyer water filters in the future to help Alfredo equip people with clean water.
Sawyer Water Filters Make a Difference
- 95% Waterborne Illness Reduction
- 90% Reduction in Diarrhea
- 10+ Years Lifespan per System
In addition to offering clean water to one person or family at a time, Alfredo’s ministry spreads the news of Jesus Christ through sports ministry, working with teenagers, kids, and adults. He dreams of having several church study groups in strategic places throughout his city to help people get closer to God if they aren’t near the church.
When Alfredo isn’t working in ministry, he enjoys spending time with his wife Karitina Florisbel Pérez Cardenas, daughter Elizabeth, and son Daniel. Sometimes they swim or spend the day playing dominoes and other games with friends.
While many say their health improves, some have health issues from drinking unclean water for so long. Unfortunately, Alfredo reports complications with his gallbladder, even though he drinks clean water today. As you think of Alfredo, please lift him up in prayer for comfort and healing.
Alfredo says, “My favorite Bible verse reminds me of where to go and what to do when making decisions.”
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”