World Water Day is Saturday, March 22, 2014. It is held annually on March 22nd to raise awareness of the importance of freshwater and the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Water is essential. People, animals, plants need it.
I live in a country where I have access to clean water. I can drink filtered water, bottled water or boiled water. When my five year old son is thirsty, I can give him filtered water from our fridge. I grew up in Guyana, South America and there were times when we had to draw water from the tap in the yard in order to bath but it had fluoride or chlorine to kill impurities. “The amount of chlorine is carefully measured to be the lowest possible amount needed to keep the water free of germs. In some places fluoride is also added. It has been found to help prevent tooth decay. Some natural water sources already contain fluoride so this step is not always included” (Water Purification, Guyana Water Incorporated).
Imagine living in a community where there is no clean water for you to drink, cook, wash or bath with. Your only two options are to die of thirst or to get sick or die from dirty water. These are the grim choices that men, women and children are forced to make in Asia. They don’t have the privilege we do of having clean tap water. As a result illnesses caused by dirty water kill more people each year than war and violence. One of nine people worldwide don’t have access to clean water and many of them live in South Asia.
Gospel for Asia has combated this problem of clean water by digging Jesus Wells and providing BioSand Water filters to people across South Asia who have no access to clean, fresh water. This simple act of providing wells for people who are starving for clean water that there is a Savior who loves them and wants them to be healthy and safe. Many are putting their trust and faith in Him.
It was this faith in Christ that brought upon Chandrabhan and his family intense persecution from their community. They were blocked from drawing water at the public well. This all began when Chandrabhan’s daughter decided that like her parents, she wanted to follow Christ much to her husband’s chagrin. Furious Nadir recruited religious fanatics to storm into his in-laws’ house to remove his infant son from his mother’s care. He had decided that he didn’t want his wife to return home with him after all. He just wanted their son.
The group of men who accompanied Nadir beat the family and demanded that they renounce Jesus Christ. Chandrabhan sustained a serious blow to the head as his son-in-law forcibly removed his son from the house. Nadir’s wife Laghuvi watched as the ambulance took her family away while the welfare of her son weighed heavily on her mind.
Chandrabhan came home with 12 stitches but his troubles were just beginning. When word spread in the village of what had happened, the victims became the villains. The villagers accused him and his wife of placing their religion above the well being of their daughter, Laghuvi who had filed for a divorce. Some wondered, “What is there in Jesus more than an son-in-law? Don’t they care about their daughter’s life?”
In spite of the persecution and their neighbors’ opinion that their actions were foolish and even cruel, Chandrabhan and his family continued to trust God. This led to friends cutting their ties, declaring, “If they don’t want to compromise with their daughter’s life, we will not have fellowship with them.” Through it all, the Friend who sticks closer than a brother was there for the family.
Not satisfied with isolating them, the community took their vendetta a step further by blocking them from the pubic well. If any family member approached, they were met with scolds. The closet place they could go to for water was at a school over half a mile away and they couldn’t draw enough for themselves and their livestock. This was their punishment for receiving the Living Water.
“And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him” (Psalm 37:40). In the midst of this turmoil, the Holy Spirit impressed upon Chandrabhan’s heart to ask his pastor about getting a well that would be open to everyone. After the pastor talked this over with his leaders, a year later, a well was drilled behind Chandrabhan’s house.
The Jesus Well turned things around for this family who had suffered for their faith. They were no longer condemned by their community but appreciated and respected. The family welcome their neighbors to the well and more than 30 families use it regularly. And at the Jesus Well, over buckets of water, some people have come to know about Christ and His unfailing love just by talking to the man they once saw as a villain.
In the wake of persecution, isolation, condemnation, Chandrabhan and his family reflected the love of Christ which dwelt in their hearts by wanting to share their well with others. They shared their faith with those who had not yet received the Living Water. The Jesus Well not only restored the family’s reputation but it changed lives forever.
Sadly, Laghuvi still hasn’t seen her son or her ex-husband but the Lord has come through for her by blessing her with a new husband who shares her faith. With Jesus at the center of her life, she will experience indescribable joy.
Do you want to see God transform lives in hostile villages as He did in Chandrabhan’s village? You can by providing a Jesus Well to an entire community for $1,000. You can donate to Jesus Wells. People are thirsty. In the village of Chaitaly, a woman whose illness of 12 years baffled doctors, the local well was running low and the people were dying from dehydration and waterborne illnesses. They were desperately searching for a fresh source of water and rationing the little they could find. Read how the Lord brought healing to Chaitaly and miraculously provided clean water for these villagers. You can demonstrate the love of Christ through the Jesus Well so that not only will people draw water from the well but they will draw near to the One who provides it.
A Jesus Well provides pure water for an entire village full of thirsty people for only $1000. With clean water, the health of the people improves significantly. Through the provision of clean water, villagers are open to hearing about the God who loves them and provides for their needs.
Join Gospel for Asia in this wise investment of drilling a well for only $1000. Help the people of Asia who are living without clean water and dying from water related diseases. Help save children under five in the world from deaths caused by diarrhea. Save the women around the globe who spend millions of hours a day collecting water. You can make a difference. With your help, Gospel for Asia can continue to deliver clean, disease free water to families across South Asia. Help open people’s eyes to a God who has not forsaken them but is revealing His love, power and provision through Jesus Wells.
Sources: www.gfa.org/water; http://www.gfa.org/news/articles/her-husband-kidnapped-their-son; http://www.gfa.org/news/articles/a-village-starving-for-water; http://www.gwiguyana.com/?q=node/31