GFA’s clean water ministry is delivering safe, disease-free water to families across Asia through Jesus Wells.
Finding water that will not cause death in the family is a challenge many people in Asia face.
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.
But the Lord is using Jesus Wells profoundly. The water is freely offered to all, regardless of their religious or social background. Providing safe water is a practical way to show people how much God loves and cares for them, and Jesus Wells can open the door for people to see the love and mercy of Christ.
In one northeastern region of South Asia, just beneath the Himalaya Mountains, a river flows, and heavy monsoon rains often cause flooding.
It’s difficult to imagine that the residents of this lush land would lack clean drinking water. But it’s true.
This is where Salil lives with his wife and three children. Like most of his fellow villagers, Salil makes his living as a laborer. Until recently, all of the villagers drank, bathed in and washed their clothes in water from a local pond. Whenever the river flooded, the pond would fill with sand. When that would happen, they’d have to dig to find the water they needed.
But that pond water was contaminated. The villagers suffered from typhoid, jaundice and a variety of horrible skin diseases. They lived daily with nausea, high fevers, diarrhea and general weakness. Their chronic illnesses made it difficult for them to work. So they languished in grinding poverty.
It seemed the very water they depended on for life was cursed.
Salil watched his family members get sick. He was soon spending most of his meager income on medicine. There wasn’t enough left over to meet their basic needs. Salil needed to make more money, so he traveled to the river valley to collect and sell one thing there was plenty of—sand.
Lacking the government permits he needed, Salil worried he might be caught and punished. But he knew he had to provide for his ailing family, so he took the risk.
Whenever he could, Salil returned home to take care of his wife and children. But no matter how hard he worked, how much money he made or how often he came home, he couldn’t change the hard facts: Their water was still contaminated, and they were still sick.
Unbeknownst to Salil, a nearby pastor named Dayakara had also begun making regular visits to his village. As Dayakara befriended the villagers, he became aware of their water crisis. So he and other GFA-supported workers decided to help. They began drilling a well, right in the center of the village where everyone could access it.
That was the beginning of a transformation for Salil’s family and their entire village.
When Salil came home for one of his visits, he was astonished to find his wife and children no longer sick. How had this happened?
He learned there was a new well in the community, and his wife and children were using it for their daily water needs. He was overjoyed, but he had no idea who was responsible for this wonderful innovation.
One day Salil met GFA-supported Pastor Dayakara. As they talked, Salil realized it was this man and his fellow laborers who had brought the well to his people. Salil marveled at their kindness and compassion. He decided he wanted to know this God who could put such love in men’s hearts.
“Our family is blessed both physically and spiritually. We are free from problems and sickness. We also met the Living God in due time. It is because of the people who have spent their money to drill Jesus Well in my place. I have never seen them, but I’m always praying for them. Thank you very much.” —Salil
Through the generosity of the Christians who provided their new well, Salil and his fellow villagers came to understand the love of Jesus Christ. Others in their village began having similar experiences.
Baldev was one of them. A young man with a family to support, Baldev had also gotten sick from the contaminated pond water. He couldn’t work, and like so many others, he and his family suffered. But when he began using water from the new well, his sickness went away. Salil shared the wonderful news of Jesus’ love with him—the news he had recently come to know—and Baldev and his family embraced the Lord in their lives. Now they host regular prayer meetings in their home, led by Salil.
This is how a village can be transformed—and the people can discover the promise of Revelation 22:17: “And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
Almost all rivers are dry right now. [But] the real drought will come in the summer days... We have to wait almost six and a half months for the rain to come.—GFA-supported worker, Daniel
Although other water well projects can cost several times as much, GFA is able to support the drilling of a well for only $1500*. Each Jesus Well serves an average of 300 people for about 20 years, and the wells are drilled up to 600 feet deep, providing pure water in even the worst droughts. Local labor and materials are used to drill the wells, which keep the costs low.
A Jesus Well provides clean water for an entire village for only $1500. This life-giving water helps rescue people from disease, poverty and death.
Jesus Wells can literally save lives—while showing people the love of God.
Salil's TestimonyOur family is blessed both physically and spiritually. We are free from problems and sickness. We also met the Living God in due time. It is because of the people who have spent their money to drill a Jesus Well in my place. I have never seen them, but I’m always praying for them. Thank you very much.—Salil, villager in Asia
*This price reflects an increase in the cost of labor and supplies in Asia. We continue to seek affordable pricing while treating local workers with fairness and integrity. Each dollar given toward Jesus Wells makes a significant impact.
**Statistics via World Health Organization, 2016 Drinking Water Fact Sheet
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When clean water is available to these families, they are protected from dangerous illnesses and can live healthier lives. BioSand water filters also provide opportunities for GFA-supported workers to build stronger relationships with those in their community.