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.
One man’s anguish—and a difficult journey
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. The laborers dug about deep into the earth to ensure water would be available even during the driest seasons. Next came the heavy-duty handpump and then the plaque with John 4:13–14 inscribed on its stone, letting all the villagers know this well was given in the name of Jesus!
That was the beginning of a transformation for Salil's family and their entire village.
Salil’s shock—and relief
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.” —Salil
Like many other villages that receive Jesus Wells, this community was blessed knowing it would be there for generations. Each Jesus Well is under the local GFA-supported pastor's care. Believers also take ownership of the well by keeping up with any maintenance and making sure the area surrounding it is clean and tidy.
To this day the villagers in this community no longer suffer from the diseases that marred their society and ruined their ability to provide for their families. They now have safe water to drink, wash their clothes in and cook their food in.
Join GFA in the Battle for Clean Water
The need for clean water in Asia is a desperate one. It is difficult to imagine the huge water crisis that many suffer on a daily basis, like Salil and the people of his village. By God's grace, in 2017, Gospel for Asia was able to provide 4,673 Jesus Wells in Asian communities. But this is only a drop in the bucket compared to the vital need of today.
Will you join us in bringing more clean water to those who are suffering in Asia? Will you bring a change that is vast and needed? Give pure water and impact a village today!