Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation – Isaiah 12:3
It’s that time of the year again when we raise awareness about clean water, something that is not accessible in some parts of the world. It is hard to imagine living in a community where there is no clean water for drinking, cooking or washing yet this is the reality for many living in South Asia. People are getting sick from drinking dirty water.
Women and children are forced to walk hours a day to distant water sources, such as filthy ponds or lakes, and even then the water may be contaminated. Sometimes they know this will bring death and sickness to their families, but they have no other choice – Gospel for Asia
I read two very touching stories. The first was about Salil who watched his family get sick from the contaminated water from the pond which was their only resource. He was forced to sell sand at the risk of getting caught and punished because he needed the money to take care of his family. His meagre income was spent on medicine for them. However, no matter how hard he worked, it didn’t change the fact that the water was still contaminated and his family was still sick. The other story is about a husband and wife who were banned from drinking water from the community well because she was accused of performing witchcraft which took the life of another villager.
When I read these stories, I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for. I have clean water at my fingertips. I can drink boiled, filtered or bottled water. I can tap water for cooking and a washing machine for my clothes. I don’t have to travel for miles to filthy ponds and lakes to draw water that may be contaminated. I don’t have to worry about getting sick from the water I drink. For many of us, clean water is a convenience, an amenity while for so many, it is a treasure.
Both of these stories had a happy ending. While Salil was struggling to care for his family, God was working to change things for the village through a nearby pastor named Dayakara who was making regular visits to his village. As he befriend the villagers, Dayakara learned of their water crisis. Not wasting any time, he and other Gospel for Asia supported workers decided that they were going to help the villagers. They drilled a well in the centre of the village where everyone would have access.
Imagine Salil’s surprise when he went home for one of his visits and found his wife and children well. What happened? He learned about the well and was overjoyed, but didn’t know who was responsible for it. One day Salil met Pastor Dayakara and as they talked, Salil realized that this was the man and fellow laborers who were responsible for the bringing the well to his village. Marvelling at their kindness and compassion , Salil was curious about this God who could pour such love in people’s hearts.
For Madhura and Jaival it was a nightmare not being able to access water from the village hand pumps. They were banned from doing so by their neighbors and friends because they believed that Madhura’s witchcraft had killed one of the villagers. For five years the couple had two terrible choices–drink the water and die or don’t drink the water and die. Then, one day, Pastor Jaanai met them and they were able to pour their hearts out to him. Burdened to get clean water for the suffering of the villagers , Pastor Jaanai and his congregation fasted and prayed. Pastor Jaanai told Madhur and Jaival his hopes to get a Jesus Well in their village. In the village there were 750 people and there were only three hand pumps which were old and damaged. Only one pump supplied water but it was not enough for so many people.
Madhura and Jaival began praying in their hearts to this God of love whom the Pastor had shared with them would help them. Perhaps He would give them what their neighbors had refused to give them. After many months of earnest prayer, the day that they had all dreamed of, came. A Jesus Well of their own was drilled and was overflowing with the cleanest water they had ever seen. God had answered their prayers. The couple and their community could use the well. They could wash their clothes, cook their dinners and refresh themselves with the clean water.
Through the Jesus Wells, God had brought joy and healing to two communities. He had brought a community together. Although their neighbors had been unkind to Madhura and Jaival, God didn’t exclude them from receiving His blessings. God’s grace is for everyone. When Madhura and Jaival saw that the Lord had answered their prayers and had accepted them while others had rejected them, they wanted to receive Him into their hearts and lives. They wanted the Living Water to dwell with and within them.
Jesus Wells Open the Door for God’s Love – Gospel for Asia
Through the new well in Salil’s village, Salil and his fellow villagers came to understand the love of Jesus Christ. One of the villagers, Baldev has a remarkable testimony. Like Salil, he had family to support but had gotten sick from the contaminated water from the pond. He couldn’t work and as a result, his family suffered. However, when he began to use the water from the Jesus Well, his sickness went away. He experienced the same miraculous healing as Salil’s family. So, it was no surprise that when Salil shared the good news about Jesus with Baldev that he and his family accepted the Lord in their lives. Now, they have regular prayer meetings in their home, led by Salil.
It’s amazing how God could use something so basic as water to transform the lives of so many. That’s the God we serve! If it’s your desire to see many more people come to the saving knowledge of the true Living Water, help Gospel for Asia’s Clean Water Ministry.
When I read these two stories, I thought about my favorite story in the Bible–Jesus and the Samaritan woman. She went to the well to draw water as usual but on that particular day, she discovered the Living Water who promised her and us, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life” (John 4:14). Salil, Madhura, Jaival and their communities drank that water and now their lives are just overflowing with joy. Praise God!
Thank You, Heavenly Father for bringing hope, joy, healing and salvation to many through Gospel for Asia’s Clean Water Ministry and forever quenching their thirst with the Living Water Who is Christ, Your beloved Son.
Source: Gospel for Asia