top of page

Bower Hill Launches a Haiti Solar-Powered Water Purification Project

Posted 8/1/2011

You are invited to join us in a new Bower Hill mission effort. The installation of a solar-powered water purification unit in Haiti!

On Sunday, June 5, the Rev. Karen Battle presented Bower Hill with a mission opportunity to respond to a desperate need in Haiti through the Presbytery’s Haiti Water Project (details below). A joint effort of the Synod of the Living Waters (‘Living Waters for the World’) and the Synod of the Sun (‘Solar Under the Sun’) trains church teams in the installation of solar-powered water purification systems that can be used anywhere in the world where people are in need of clean water for drinking and cooking.

A group from Koinonia was very excited about the prospect of serving our Lord by helping those still suffering the deplorable conditions in Haiti. This group proposed to Session and the Mission Committee that we form a Bower Hill team to install such a water purification unit in a Haitian community. On Sunday, July 10, Session approved this project.

Based on Rev. Battle’s presentation, several congregation members have already expressed an interest in being on the traveling team and several more have indicated a desire to help here in Pittsburgh! If you are interested in being part of the traveling team, let us know! In addition, there is plenty of support work to be done by volunteers here at home.

Please call or email the church office if you are interested in joining the BHCC team (either traveling or support) to make the Haiti clean water project happen.

If you have any questions, phone or email:

Rick ( ) or Pat Jacobs (

Phone: 412-835-0348

Alan ( or Betsy Hohlfelder ( )


This water purification project is indeed a MAJOR commitment on the part of BHCC, but we believe the Spirit is alive and working in this congregation to give us the power to make it happen.

Here is a summary of the mission opportunity Rev. Karen Battle presented to us:

Need: As you may know, the people of Haiti, especially after the recent earthquake, are in desperate need of clean drinking water. Cholera is a serious and ongoing problem.

Presbytery Mission: The Presbytery’s goal is to send five traveling teams to Haiti who will develop ongoing relationships with Haitians through the installation of solar-powered water purification systems. Teams from two other churches in Pittsburgh Presbytery are already in place and undergoing training. Presbytery support: Presbytery will pay for the solar unit and water purification equipment (filtration/UV) to be installed and provide some funds to help pay for our training. The project will be overseen by Presbytery’s Great Commission Ministry Team.

BHCC time and talent commitment: We need the active and involved support of the entire congregation – the actual project team will include many more people than just the ones who will be traveling to Haiti. It is expected that completing the project will take approximately three years. Traveling team commitment: The traveling team will consist of 8-10 Bower Hill members who will attend training and then, between them, make four trips over a period of three years to Haiti (not all team members go on every trip). Training: 1) A group of 4-6 team members will attend five days of training in Mississippi (partnership development/project management/system sustainability/evaluation & assurance; health/hygiene/spiritual education; water system installation/operation/maintenance) provided by the Living Waters Synod. 2) Another group of 2-4 will go to four days of solar setup training in Arkansas (leadership/partnering/surveying; installation/equipping partners) provided by the Synod of the Sun. Haiti travel detail: Trip #1 to Haiti is for the traveling team to evaluate potential projects and establish a relationship with a resident partner team in Haiti. Trip #2 is to oversee installation of the water purification system and provide community health and hygiene education. Trips #3 and #4 are for follow-up, troubleshooting and evaluation.

Haitian partner team: Living Waters for the World, a project of the Living Waters Synod, has already identified potential partner teams in Haiti. We will work with a resident Haitian team that is expected to provide: 1) infrastructure to support and sustain the project; 2) facilities to house the equipment, i.e., a 3-room structure; 3) workers to install the equipment with supervision of the trained US partners.

Covenant: The BHCC traveling team and resident Haiti team will sign a covenant spelling out each party’s duties and expectations.

BHCC financial responsibility: We will provide funding for training and travel expenses, some of which can be raised from the community, some from Bower Hill members and some from the Mission budget and designated mission funds. This money does not need to be raised up front, but spread out over the three years of the project. What is necessary is the commitment to raise the money in a timely enough fashion for the project to proceed. The total funding we will need to provide is estimated to be about $8,000/year.

bottom of page