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Man helps bring water to children

When Walter Chandler learned about the staggering water shortage around the world, he knew he had to do his part.

In 2013 he attended a national conference with his church, Bethel Church of God in Christ, and sat in on a presentation by Water 4 of Oklahoma City, which partners with churches and organizations to train local entrepreneurs to start their own business and to drill water wells, bringing safe and clean water to their communities.

"And the numbers were kind of staggering to me," Chandler said, "and this was in 2013. So we're losing 5,000 children per day from water-related diseases  diarrhea, dysentery. You're talking about over 1.4 or 1.5 million children are dying per year from waterborne diseases. So once I realized that it was like, 'Man, we gotta go something.'"

Since then, Chandler has taken two trips to Uganda and serves as a coordinator with the national Church of God in Christ to find places in Uganda that need water. Chandler and the national church partner with Water 4 to build well systems that can be drilled manually for about $1,500 a well.

During Chandler's first trip to Uganda in 2013, he went with three other people from his home church and they drilled the first four wells in places where the national church's ministry team was building schools, churches and orphanages. The national church has 47 churches in Uganda and has built 10 water wells since Chandler's first trip. He said the national church still needs to drill 80 water wells, which can serve 400 people per day.

On Aug. 15, Chandler set off to Uganda for a second time with 15 other people from the national church, and they spent most of their time in the Ibanda District in western Uganda. During his second trip, they dedicated a finished school and orphanage in Ibanda and coordinated drilling more wells in other regions.

"One of the issues is 84 percent of the population of Uganda lives in the rural areas," Chandler said. "So you're talking 40 million people with 84 percent of them in the rural area and they don't have the infrastructure, otherwise they don't have running water. They don't have gas. They might have lights."

Chandler and the team also visited schools and held seminars to share the gospel. He said at one school they saw 114 children accept Christ out of 900 children. He said even though they go on the mission trips to provide physical needs, they also want to provide spiritual needs.

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