Summer 2024

Former NFL players see impact of safe water during Water Mission vision trip to Kenya

A group of Water Mission advocates, including former NFL players Benjamin Watson and Eric King, recently joined the Christian engineering nonprofit on a trip to its country program in Kenya. During their immersive week, Water Mission staff members guided their guests through communities at various stages of safe water projects. These “vision trips” offer Water Mission supporters an up-close look at the impact of safe water on local communities.

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My wife and I have been partnering with Water Mission for the past decade or so, and we always love to go and see the work firsthand,” said Watson, who spent 15 seasons as a tight end in the NFL. In addition to visiting local communities, Watson blessed Water Mission’s staff with a devotional and shared the Gospel with residents throughout Kenya.

This was the first trip with Water Mission for Eric King, who played defensive back in the NFL from 2005-2010. “I’ve been partnering with Water Mission for the last year, and this time, I chose to come to Kenya,” King said. “This is my first time in Africa. I came to get my feet on the African soil and see what Water Mission is doing and how the communities have embraced it.”

In addition to visiting communities impacted by safe water, it’s important to witness the devastating effects of the global water crisis — a problem that leaves 2 billion people around the world without access to safe water. During a stop in Kithasyo, the residents graciously welcomed their visitors with songs and dances. As the group sat in on the early project assessment process by the Water Mission staff, they learned that women and children walk up to 8 kilometers a day to collect dirty water, subjecting themselves to animal attacks and other dangers. But despite these hardships, the community is hopeful for the future as it awaits safe water. The Water Mission team will continue to assess the community’s needs as it develops a solution.

The next day, Watson, King and others visited a community that has enjoyed access to safe water since 2022 via a Water Mission project. Even with the safe water project complete, the team continued to share the Gospel with residents. The travelers observed as Water Mission staff led locals through Living Water activities, during which 61 people from the community gave their lives to Christ.


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The trip culminated with a visit to a community in which a safe water project is currently underway. The group spoke directly to members of the community to hear about their anticipation for the project and the impact they expect it to have.

“We stepped into the town and met with its leaders and representatives, and they were thrilled to have this [project] coming,” King said. “It’s going to change a lot of lives, so it’s great to see.”

Throughout the week, the group experienced Water Mission’s thorough process of installing a safe water project. Participants learned about how the organization assesses a community’s situation, involves its residents, and customizes a safe water solution to fit its unique needs.

“It’s just amazing to see some of the projects from start to finish,” King said after visiting several project sites. “The ones that are in the beginning, the end, and the middle phases. It’s just a joyous occasion, and I’m thankful to be here.”

Water Mission Kenya

(Photo courtesy of Water Mission)

The time in Kenya had a tremendous impact on the guests who made the trip. It can be difficult to witness the effects of the global water crisis, but the solutions that exist provide hope for the future.

“We’ve been in the country for about a week, and we’ve seen some tremendous work,” Watson said near the end of the trip. “We’ve seen safe water projects in different counties and also have spent some time with the staff, hearing from them directly.

“… I’m leaving here encouraged that God is doing a great work bringing water and Living Water to His people, especially here in Kenya.”

To learn more about Water Mission, and how you might be able to get involved, please visit

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