College outreach installed water filters, shared living water


By Mark Ellis –

Grant Cushman shows water filter to local residents

Their spring break college mission trip to El Salvador used an innovative outreach strategy – installing water filters and sharing the gospel.

“We installed 101 water filters,” says Grant Cushman, a freshman at Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo, California. “We had the opportunity to share the gospel with 177 people,” Cushman reports. “Out of the 177 people, 52 received Christ!”

The trip to La Libertad was organized by Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), in partnership with Filter of Hope, whose mission is to “bring clean water and Christ’s love to those in desperate need of both.”

Cal Poly team that went to El Salvador, organized by CRU

Their first stop in La Libertad was a local church that had already canvassed neighborhoods to find out which homes wanted water filters.

After a time of prayer and worship in the morning, they would go out to visit homes. “We mostly went to houses of people that weren’t believers,” Cushman says. One key question they would ask is this: “How confident are you that you’re going to heaven on a scale of one to 10?”

Installing filters

“We never got 10s,” he says. “It was always unsure. Some said, ‘I don’t know; that’s up to God.’

“And we said, ‘No, you can be sure. God wants you to be sure in our salvation.”

At one house with a mother and son, they discovered the mother had a belief in God, but didn’t understand grace. In their conversation, they used the water filter as an illustration.

“Dirty water cannot make itself clean,” Cushman explained. “It needs a filter to make it clean. God is pure and clean and He can’t be in relationship with dirty water.

“We need Jesus, like the water filter, to make us clean, so we can be in relationship with God.”

Cushman prayed with the mother and son to accept Jesus. “Afterwards, we made sure they understood. We read passages from the Bible. Just seeing the genuine expression of joy on her face when she answered the last question, ‘Are you saved?’ and she confidently said yes. It was just really beautiful.”

Cushman himself grew up in a Christian home and prayed to receive Christ when he was five-years-old. His family attended the Church of the Open Door in Glendora, California, a church noted for its historic affiliation with Biola University and Dr. J Vernon McGee.

His team shared the gospel with one woman who lived behind her shop. “She had been running it while we were talking to her. And then we got to the point where we asked if she wanted to believe and put her faith in Jesus. And she said she really wanted to place her faith in Jesus for the first time.

“She shut down her shop to be able to sit and pray with us to receive Jesus into her life,” Cushman reports.

At the end of their time, the debriefing sessions were inspiring with the 49 who participated in the trip. “We heard many amazing stories, of how God is moving and working in El Salvador. We heard stories of God is faithfully delivering people from sickness or addiction, as well as many more miracles that have happened to people in El Salvador.

“God has his hand on his children in El Salvador. I don’t need to worry about the people there because I know God is doing a work in them. He’s gonna reach them, with or without me. But the beauty of our God is that He is a relational God and wants to invite us into the work that he is doing.”

God has given Cushman clarity about what is most important. “The whole purpose of my life is to is to follow God and to do what the Great Commission says, of sharing my faith and my belief with others so that others may have the opportunity to go to heaven.

“The thing that brings me true and unending joy is that I’m saved by a God who loves me, even though he shouldn’t love me. And even though I’m undeserving of grace, I receive grace. it’s beautiful to share that with people.”


To learn more about CRU’s work at Cal Poly, go here


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