The Impact of Your First Living Water Trip

I recently had the special opportunity to go on a Living Water Trip to Llano Grande, El Salvador, with my home church, First Baptist Church of Richmond, Texas. For many members of the team, this was their first Living Water Trips experience.

Ryan Salch, who was volunteering with Living Water for the first time, was hesitant about any friendships that he would form with the community members.

“I wasn’t sure that I wanted to connect with anyone [from the community] while there. I thought it would make me too emotional. I couldn’t change anyone’s life or the situation that they’re in. I thought, I’ll do my job [drilling a water well], my one part, and that will have to be enough. I didn’t expect to start seeing things so differently, so quickly. Instead of noticing the things that people didn’t have, I began to notice all of the things they did have.”

The Living Water El Salvador staff and Living Water Trips volunteers work in the community of Llano Grande.

For teacher and mom of two, Katie Boudreaux, signing up for a Living Water Trip was a spur-of-the-moment decision. We needed two additional team members to have a full team, so at the last minute, Katie and her husband, Trey, said “Yes!” 

Several weeks later, we were on a plane headed to El Salvador. Katie went from not having a current passport to preparing herself to drill a water well in a matter of weeks!

To say that there were a lot of “what ifs” before arriving would be an understatement. It’s no small feat to leave your kids, your home, your job, and a new puppy behind for a whole week, especially when both parents would be gone. Katie needed a lot of faith and trust in God’s plan.

“I went into the beginning of the week with an expectation that I was being called to serve—serve by helping bring safe water, serve by teaching better hygiene, and serve by showing God’s love. I was not prepared for how I was the one who would end up being served.”

God moved in mighty ways. By the end of her trip, Katie was overwhelmed with emotions and expressed her gratitude for the people she had been fortunate to meet in Llano Grande, El Salvador.

Living Water Trips volunteers and the community members of Llano Grande pose in front of their new safe water well.

“Everyone I met was so rich in faith. … I can only hope that from here forward I live my life more like [the community of Llano Grande], setting a better example for my family and at work to show what it looks like to truly love and live by faith. The people that I met during this week are an inspiration to me as to how to live your life truly caring for one another as God intended.”

To learn more about Living Water Trips and experience a life-changing trip of your own, visit

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