USA/China (MNN) — The devastating earthquake in China is making a bad situation worse. That situation may allow a Christian water ministry into the country to help.
Living Water International's Jerry Wiles recently returned from a fact-finding mission to China to see firsthand the water issues. "We were briefed by the ministry of water resources and people dealing with agriculture things. The best we can determine is there are 300 million farmers in China that are without access to clean safe drinking water. And now with the earthquake, that's devastating."
According to Wiles, the government was very accommodating. If they do go into China, the program would be very different. "Most of the places we do primarily drilling water wells, repairing hand pumps, well rehab project, but this is going to be more dealing with rain water catchment, water treatment and filtration systems and immediate interventions."
Wiles says they are beginning to establish relationships with people not only in China, but also in the United States to help with this project. "It's pretty amazing. There are about 200,000 Chinese living in Houston. There are so many connections back there — the Chinese community in Houston that are connected really all over China. And the more we get to know the people and develop these friendships, that's going to be one of the key things to being effective."
While Living Water started looking into water issues in China before the earthquake, the disaster may help. "As a result of the earthquake, it just looks like those opportunities are going to be escalated. They had water issues before the earthquake, but now it's just magnified."
Because the need is urgent, Wiles is asking Christians to pray that they can begin helping. "If we can mobilize fairly quickly, we could probably save lots of lives. One of our tag lines is 'Saving Lives and Changing Destinies,' so that has dual meaning."