South Asia (MNN/GFA) — Today on World Water Day, our friends at Gospel for Asia share the following report:
Millions across Asia are considered Dalits or “Untouchables,” those deemed inferior simply because of their caste. “Untouchables” are likely barred from using village water wells, placing these individuals and families in desperate and life-threatening situations.
Gospel for Asia plans to drill 5,000 water wells across India and South Asia over the course of 2014 for those struggling to find clean water. GFA is highlighting its “Jesus Wells” ministry today on World Water Day.
Jesus Wells are often the only water option for “Untouchables” and countless others. The wells not only provide critical access to drinking water, but they also ensure villagers have clean water essential for cooking and other necessary household chores.
“It is our heart to provide clean water to all people regardless of their background,” said Dr. K. P. Yohannan, founder and international director of Gospel for Asia. “Wherever we place our ‘Jesus Wells,’ all people can drink clean water freely.”
An adequate water supply is not only a challenge for Dalits. Millions of others across Asia struggle daily to find sufficient water resources. Traditional village wells often dry up because they were not drilled deep enough. Or they dry up during the hot, arid summer months, putting entire villages at risk. It’s also common for families to walk several miles just to find enough water for basic household needs.
To help address these challenges, Jesus Wells are drilled deep into the ground. They are strategically placed in villages accessible to the greatest number of people. In addition, local contractors are hired to drill numerous wells at a time, ensuring great cost savings.
In Andhra Pradesh, India, one GFA worker said the summer drought is a crisis point for his village. They have to wait more than six months for the rain to arrive again. In another village, a GFA worker said people travel at least four miles during the summer to the closest village to retrieve water.
The 5,000 wells GFA plans to dig this year will help address water scarcity for tens of thousands. As villagers receive this precious gift of water, they are able to experience the love of Christ, and they seek to learn more about Him.
Through the Jesus Wells project, hundreds of villages have already received clean water for all in the community. Village life has literally been transformed. By the end of 2014, GFA hopes many more villages will find respite from their thirst.
“I am so grateful for every village that can now have access to clean water for all,” said Yohannan. “It’s another opportunity for people to experience the love of Jesus and know His grace in their lives.”