Living Water Team
In December of 2015 the Living Water Team was formed to discern our church's response to the City of Flint water crisis. Healthcare professionals from the church partnered with local residents to determine the risk to our Flint families.
Immediately, we began with outreach to our congregation to meet their basic needs for safe water and point-of-access filters. Since our church is a hub of community service and area recovery groups, we also installed filters at the most-used water delivery points throughout the church facility. In addition, the Gerholz Christian Counseling Center provided stress counseling services to volunteers affected by the long-term fatigue associated with disaster relief efforts.
THE FRESH FLINT FESTIVAL
Our Living Water Response Team also launched an annual community outreach event called The Fresh Flint Festival. For the past two years we have partnered with other local organizations and community foundations to host this city-wide event that has brought thousands of residents together with local agencies providing relief services. At the heart of the festival are many opportunities for children to engage in activities that promote healthy living.
The Work Continues
Progress has been made in the city on providing clean water to all residents. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has reported for the second time in a row that “Continuing test results show water quality below action level for more than a year now” a detailed report can be found at the following link:http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135--427919--,00.html.
Despite this encouraging news the city and the state have not declared that the water is fit for consumption yet and continue to encourage the use of faucet filters and other healthy living practices designed to mitigate the effects of lead in our bodies. The primary reason for this is that the City of Flint is committed to the across-the-board replacement of lead service lines to all water accounts in good standing within the city limits. These replacements can cause disturbances in the adjacent properties where a lead service line is being replaced causing elevated lead level readings in water tests to be encountered at addresses where they previously were not observed. Because of this, our city and state government agencies have decided to take the most conservative course of action and recommend continued use of the filters for the foreseeable future.
As we look to the future the Living Water Team will continue to meet to discern how to best distribute the remaining water fund donations. We will provide updates as these decisions are made.