DERWENT, Alberta, 13 November, 12 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The photojournalist behind a documentary on a Christian organization that drills wells for the poorest of the poor in Guatamala says he is “grateful” after LifeSiteNews (LSN) financially supported his documentary.
Ken Fast, from Derwent Alberta, recently traveled to Guatamala where he filmed material for a forthcoming documentary on Wells of Hope, which he hopes will raise funds to drill more wells.
“I am hoping that the finished project, a photo essay book as well as a longer video, will be a valuable tool towards this end. Wells of Hope is giving the young the opportunity to live,” Fast says.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Fast earlier this month, and writing an article for LSN about his documentary and Wells of Hope’s amazing lifesaving work.
Steve Jalsevac, managing director of LSN, told me that while our organization is “rarely in a position to give donations to such organizations,” he could not turn down several months ago the Wells of Hope spokesperson who asked for financial support.
“What interested us most was that all the people involved in this developing world aid-project are solidly pro-life, and pro-family,” he said.
Wells of Hope, founded by Ontarian Ted van der Zalm in 2004, is a non-political organization run by people who have been inspired to put Gospel ideas into action.
Van der Zalm lets villagers know right from the beginning that it is the Gospel message that drives him and his organization. “We are here because we believe in God…And He calls us to give water to those who are thirsty,” van der Zalm tells community members before beginning plans for a new well.
Fast showed me some raw footage from the documentary that captures van der Zalm making the connection between being pro-life and providing drinking water to the poor.
“When people hear ‘pro-life’ they usually relate it to abortion. But pro-life is much more than just abortion: It’s also giving people the chance to live, giving children the chance to live…”
For van der Zalm, providing clean drinking water to the poor is “all about the culture of life”.
Jalsevac pointed out that providing clean reliable drinking water to the poor with no social or population-control agenda attached “seemed to be an excellent example of the type of organization that the Canadian and US bishops international aid organizations should be supporting.”
“Wells of Hope is helping Guatamelans in a big way,” he said.
Some critics have accused LifeSiteNews of opposing “social justice” after we broke stories revealing the official international development agencies of both Canadian and American bishops partnering with pro-contraception and pro-abortion organizations.
But for Jalsevac, nothing could be further from the truth. Supporting the Wells of Hope documentary project, he says, was a way to “put our money where our mouth, or rather writing is.”
“With that donation we wanted to affirm that we have always been in favour of specific developing world aid projects and that there are truly wonderful alternative groups that can be supported by bishops’ agencies. This was one of many such groups that do not oppose Church moral — and other — teachings and in fact accept how invaluable they are for the people of all nations.”
Jalsevac said he agrees with van der Zalm who says that Christians “have an obligation to nurture life, to take care of life to the best of our ability because that is the presence of Christ amongst us.”
To support Wells of Hope. Earmark donations to see Ken Fast’s documentary completed.
View a short YouTube video on Wells of Hope by Ken Fast.