Ron Wilson spent most of his adulthood making deliveries as a driver for UPS in South Central Kentucky. He was active in church but would not have described his life as active in missions. This all changed when he and his wife attended a training for Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief. As Wilson began serving in disaster relief ministry, God began moving him from the pew to the broken places of the world.
As God continued to speak to his heart, Wilson decided to retire from UPS to free himself to serve in missions more through disaster relief. This led to Ron not only serving with disaster relief, but also agreeing to get further training in water purification. Wilson, who is a member at Parkway Baptist Church in Bardstown, committed to attend training at Waterstep International, where he learned how to utilize his every-day mechanical skills in repairing water wells and hand pumps.
Access to water is one of the greatest problems facing humanity. One in 10 people around the globe does not have access to safe water. More than 840,000 people a year die from issues caused by unclean water. Almost half of these who will die this year are children under the age of five. Every 20 seconds a child dies from unclean water. Fifteen children will die as you read this article.
As Wilson learned more about the staggering needs of water across the globe, God moved him to go back to work delivering. But instead of boxes and packages, he is now delivering clean water for the sake of Christ.
When Wilson retired from UPS, he made a pledge to God to be willing to go wherever God sent him. God has sent Wilson to Haiti, Suriname, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Uganda to deliver practical help and the hope of Christ to the hurting and hopeless. Later this year, he will travel to Nicaragua and Mozambique to serve. God is using his hands to fix wells and pumps, and his knowledge to train others to do the same.
Earlier this year, Wilson traveled to Uganda with two other Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers to repair wells in refugee camps along the Uganda/Sudan border. The team was able to bring clean water to refugee camps that were literally drinking from muddy holes, and to train eight national church leaders in well repair.
The training will give these church leaders a means to provide for their families, but also a platform to gain access to refugee camps and villages for the sake of Christ. Ministry through Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief partnership missions has already resulted in five churches being planted in Northern Uganda.
Wilson shared after his return, “It was exciting to see eagerness to learn as they taught these eight men, and to see how God is using clean water to open doors for Christ in these camps.” Wilson is living out the truth of Colossians 3:17 which declares, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
A retired UPS driver is now delivering clean water and the living water of Christ.
Coy Webb is Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Director on the KBC Missions Mobilization team.