Our History

The vision for the water ministry began in 1999 during a mission trip to Honduras following Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the country in October 1998. At that time we witnessed the suffering in a village that was quarantined because of cholera, a waterborne disease.  Further discussions with locals and missionaries underscored the vast suffering in the country because of the scarcity of safe water.

Follow up visits to Honduras led to the development of a limited concept to provide safe water using volunteers from the U.S. and a small drilling rig to construct shallow wells in villages that needed water. The work was to be done in cooperation and concert with the Episcopal Missionary Diocese of Honduras.  An initial assessment was that the small rig that was envisioned would be inadequate to provide water where it was needed. A budget for a larger rig was developed and a successful grant request was made to the Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) Fund for just under $50,000. Planning work was continued in parallel to the development and approval process of the grant. As the planning progressed it was found that several initial assumptions were not workable and additional equipment, including tools, a truck and air compressor were needed. Within this time frame it was decided that the Water Ministry would become a project of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas (www.dwtx.org). With the help of Living Water International (www.water.cc), we were able to buy a truck and air compressor as well as the drilling rig (over $90,000 total value) within the grant by ERD.

The equipment was shipped to Honduras in October 2002. The initial team of volunteers met the equipment in the El Paraiso region of Honduras. This team spent the majority of its time getting the equipment working since there was a good deal of damage and theft during transit. The following volunteer trip was very successful and the team completed three wells during the ten day trip.  In 2005, the Texas Water Mission was created to support the Honduras Water Ministry and future water ministries.  The Texas Water Mission (TWM) provides oversight, financial support, and strategic planning for the water ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.  The Texas Water Mission is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Our water ministry continues to support the Honduran team we've trained and worked with since 2002, by providing technical support and mentoring. Since late 2009, our Honduran team has been able to construct a water well and teach the accompanying Health and Hygiene classes without the direct supervision of a U.S. based volunteer team.  This demonstrated that we had "taught them to fish, rather than giving them a fish" and was a major milestone in the Mission's goal of sustainability.  Annual visits to review equipment, processes and record-keeping assure sustainability will be maintained.

The Texas Water Mission is building on its success in Honduras by expanding into projects for Mexico.  A Northern Mexico volunteer group has been trained for work across the Mexican border from the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  When conditions become safe enough for travel by volunteers, the well drilling projects will begin.