This week, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day and putting the spotlight on one of our programs that supports women in need: the M25 Project.

The name comes from the Bible verse Matthew 25:35, “…when I was hungry, you gave me something to eat; when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink…” but the original inspiration for this project came from a lovely lady named María.

Doña María was a remarkable woman who lived near the village of Chuchuca, high in the Quiche Mountains of Guatemala. At the age of 60, she took on the responsibility of bringing up her granddaughter (also named María) when the baby’s father abandoned them, and her mother, a young girl of just 16, couldn’t cope. Young María has special needs and has never been able to go to school but her grandmother gave her the best care that she could for over 20 years.

This included taking her to the Living Water Adopt-A-Child center in Chuchuca twice a week, where she received a hot meal and any medical care she needed. Doña María had to accompany her granddaughter every time as she was not able to go by herself – a two hour journey on foot each way.

In 2017, Doña María, now in her 80’s, and her granddaughter had a visit from Young María’s UK sponsor, who came to their home with Steve McDaniel, the International Director of Living Water Adopt-A-Child. Steve was translating for them and, at the end of their time together, Doña María tentatively made a request that was to bring about a whole new area of service for the ministry. She said: “I know there are rules which are important, but I am not as young as I used to be and I get very tired walking to the program with Maria, waiting outside for her and then walking home again. When I come, can you please let me have just one tortilla to eat to give me strength for the walk home?”

He promised Doña María that whenever she came to the program with her granddaughter, she was not to be given one tortilla, but a full meal instead.

More than that, the vision of the M25 outreach program came to him.

Today many elderly, widowed and vulnerable adults are being supported with food, medical help and pastoral care in both Guatemala and Albania through this project, inspired by Doña María.

Doña María went home to be with the Lord in 2019, but her legacy lives on through those being helped by the M25 project. And what of Young María? She is now being cared for by her mother and her new family and is happily settled with them.

This week especially, we’re grateful for the opportunity to minister to God’s beautiful daughters and we want to thank everyone who supports the ministry of Living Water Adopt-A-Child. We encourage you to learn more about the M25 Project and how we’re ministering to Women In Need.