As Dad has been traveling around the world this year (he is in his seventh country in as many weeks), he has spoken to church and political leaders about the biosand water filter. It seems that I have become the Impact Nations "clean water guy", a resource to project leaders and apostolic leaders from around the world.
Throughout the last few weeks, I have received a number of Skype calls from Dad so he could introduce me to the men he is working with. We have made the most of some very limited bandwidth in countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda. I've had the privilege of encouraging men like Langton, who is working with his team in Zimbabwe and have already installed over one thousand biosand filters, making a significant dent in a very serious cholera outbreak. I'm working with men such as Robert Mponye in Uganda and Simpson Rebbavarapu in India as we explore ways to train their teams to bring safe drinking water to communities all over their respective countries.
Some of these discussions have included potential partnerships with governments at both the provincial and national level. One such possibility came to my attention five days ago. As the JOC team was working in Pampanga, Dad had an opportunity to meet with and pray for Governor Panlilio. During their initial meeting, Dad spoke of the biosand filter and the governor expressed significant interest. As had become our protocol, Dad called me to arrange a Skype meeting with the governor and his staff. I suggested that I hop on a plane, since I live in the same country and a face to face meeting would likely lead to bigger things.
Two days later I was on a plane headed to Manila and then a bus to San Fernando. It was great to see Dad again. I hopped off the bus and caught a ride to a local church where he was teaching a bunch of pastors. It was felt good to listen to him doing his thing as I sat at the back and did a bit of work on my computer.
He wrapped up his session and we headed to the provincial capitol. We got a few minutes with the governor who seemed genuinely pleased that we had come. We proceeded to a boardroom where I spoke to about eight of his senior staff about the filter technology. It was neat having Dad in attendance so he could see me do my thing.
As always, I was peppered with technical questions as people struggled to understand the power and simplicity of this thing we call the biosand filter. After the presentation, the provincial administrator invited us to her office where we agreed in principal to move ahead with a plan to bring clean water to the province of Pampanga.
I have already written a rough draft of a Memorandum of Agreement that I will bring to my lawyer tomorrow to turn it into a legal document. The proposed plan is to start a new filter manufacturing center in Pampanga as a private enterprise, with the government purchasing filters for distribution in the coastal communities.
The ramifications of this deal could be huge. It brings us to a whole new level of influence. It will very likely lead to other provincial contracts (I have leads in both Sultan Kudarat and Agusan del Sur). It will certainly strengthen our business, giving us profits that can be reinvested in other projects around the Philippines and perhaps the world.
It seems that the Lord has suddenly accelerated things and brought me to a whole new level. A couple months ago I was focused only on Mindanao, but today I am contemplating ways to make our Zimbabwe project profitable, drafting job descriptions for project leaders in Uganda, India, and northern Philippines, and beginning to get a vision for an integrated global clean water strategy.
I'm excited about the possibilities, but I'd be lying if I told you that this stuff doesn't scare the crap out of me. I'm in way over my head. I'm just a mediocre musician. A university drop-out. Now I meet with governors and draft province-wide strategies? How did this happen? Do I really want it to happen? This stuff is hard work, and I don't know how to do a lot of it. I feel like a fraud.
This morning Dad preached a message that speaks directly to this issue. I'm a child of the King of kings and He has called me—you too, by the way—to the family business. He sees what is not yet, and calls it as though it were (Romans 4:17). While I may see my current limitations, God knows my destiny and has set it like a horizon before me. He has put a purpose and a passion in my heart that will serve as the vehicle to get me there. I'm just along for the ride.