As far as invocations go, the one at the start of Tuesday night’s Terrell City Council meeting, was, to say the least, a bit unconventional.

Somewhere between the Call to Order and the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Rick Carmona and City Manager Mike Sims took swigs of water drawn from a local pond. Only minutes before being imbibed, the water was visible from inside a clear five-gallon container. It was the color of diluted beer and particles of dirt or plant matter were suspended within it. As of Thursday, both men reportedly were still alive.

Carmona and Sims owe their health to an ingenious filter that converts untreated water like that found in ponds, streams, rivers and lakes into safe, clean drinking water. Carmona and Sims drank the water as part of a demonstration and presentation about the Bucket Ministry by local resident Walt Davis.

The Bucket Ministry, which was established in 2012, comprises ordinary people from different churches who are passionate about sharing the Gospel of Jesus through the gift of clean drinking water. Davis and his wife are members of First Baptist Church in Terrell. He serves as a board member of the Bucket Ministry and shared its vision and mission Tuesday as part of his invocation.

According to Davis, some of the first beneficiaries of the Bucket Ministry were 80 families that lived along the Amazon River.

“That was the first time that they had actually seen or experienced clean water,” Davis said. “Since 2014, we’ve been to 26 countries around the world, and we’ve dispersed over 17,000 filters to 17,000 families, which translates to about 160,000 – 170,000 people who for the first time in their lives had clean water and heard about the living word of Jesus Christ.”

Millions of people the world over have no access to clean water. Ingesting unsanitary water causes a host of medical conditions, including dysentery, cholera and typhoid. Children are especially at risk, and many needless die every day from drinking unsafe water, according to a Bucket Ministry pamphlet.

With the use of a microfiltration device developed through kidney dialysis treatment, bacteria and parasites can be removed from untreated water. The filters can be cleaned and reused time and again. They are easily adaptable to plastic buckets and just one can freely filter up to 1 million gallons and produce 20 years of clean drinking water.

People can sponsor a home, a bucket and a filter for as little as $50 as well as provide medicine for people who have become ill through unsafe water. Donations are tax deductible and can be made through www.thebucketministry.org or by mailing a donation to P.O. Box 238, Fate, TX 75132.

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