Did you know that today 750 million people around the world have no access to clean water?
Just last night I gave my six year old son water to drink. It was cold, clean water. What a blessing and privilege it is to be able to drink clean water. I cannot imagine what it would be like not to have access to clean water. Yet, almost half the people in South Asia live with that sobering reality. Mothers are forced to give their children dirty water to drink. Can you believe that every minute a child dies from a water related disease? And to make matters worse the people living in rural areas have to deal with open defecation and the lack of sanitation. 65% of them have no access to a toilet. Yet, here in North America, the majority of us have access to more than one toilet in our homes.
We have clean water at our disposal to wash clothes, cook, bathe, etc. I have seen images of women going to rivers to wash their clothes. In rural India, women and girls are largely responsible for collecting the water and household sanitation so they spend most of their time fetching water, walking for hours. This prevents many girls from going to school and exposes them to increased violence as they travel rural areas in search of water. They are malnourished due to regular contact with contaminated water.
I grew up in Guyana so I know what it’s like not to have running water in the home and having to fetch water. However, unlike the women and girls in India, my family and I didn’t have to walk for hours everyday. We had a pipe in our yard and that’s where we drew our water from. And not having running water in the home didn’t happen too often and didn’t prevent me from going to school. Compared to the people of South Asia, I lived a privileged life even though I wasn’t convinced of that during those times when we had no electricity or running water for hours.
In South Asia, living without clean water carries health and safety risks. In story, Water From the Rocks, the villagers used water from a pond for their crops and their cattle and to wash their clothes. They even used it to bathe but unfortunately this caused itching and swelling. Seeing this motivated Pastor Dayal to ask his leaders if they would be able to drill a Jesus Well in Nirdhar’s village. Thanks to the generous donations toward Jesus Wells through Gospel for Asia, they could.
The villagers were incredulous, and one of them, could hardly believe that a well could be built in the hilly area where they lived. He feared that there might be hindrances too but nothing is impossible for the mighty God whom they served. God knew what they needed even before they prayed in faith, asking Him to provide the water they so desperately needed.
Despite their skepticism, the local team the pastor hired to drill the well, went ahead with the project until they finally hit water. God had come through for the villagers. They had their well. That meant clean water for cooking, drinking, washing and bathing. Today fresh water flows abundantly in the Jesus Well, relieving the itching and swelling the villagers had experienced from the water in the pond.
We never thought a well would be drilled in our village. But the true need of this village was met by Gospel for Asia. We are truly thankful for it – Nirdhar
Jesus delivered Nirdhar from evil spirits and an entire village from thirst and so much more. We have a Lord and Savior who loves us and wants to provide for our basic needs. What affects us affects Him. He takes a personal interest in our lives. What a comforting thought. Through Jesus Wells, Gospel for Asia can share the unfailing love of the One who gave His precious life for them.
On World Water Day and everyday, let us give thanks to God for the clean water we are blessed to have at our disposal and to purpose in our hearts to never take this essential source of life and sustenance for granted. Think about the men, women and children who still don’t have clean water and how you can help them by donating to Jesus Wells. You can find out more about Gospel for Asia’s Clean Water ministry here.
Clean water has so many benefits. It means that a mother doesn’t have to worry about her child getting sick. It means that a woman doesn’t have to travel for hours with her daughter to fetch contaminated water and it means that a girl doesn’t have to miss school. Clean water means changed lives.