Clean water and new hope in Kenya create ripple-effect transformation

By January 30, 2012

Kenya (MNN) — Kenya
is a beautiful mix of cities and countryside, mountains and desert, remarkable
potential amidst desperate poverty.

Despite the veneer of development, there are still many
rural parts of the country that struggle to find a regular source of clean
water.

The World Health Organization estimates that 115 people die
every hour from diseases linked to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, and
contaminated water.

Those conditions set the
stage for the newest family to join the work of The Mission Society in Kenya.  

Nick and Heidi Griffiths,
and their son, Gilly, are responding to the needs of clean water and medical
attention in the poverty-stricken areas of the country. Nick is a civil
engineer and plans to provide fresh drinking water via wells and water
filtration systems.

He's looking at work in
three areas: the Kibera slums, Lake Baringo with the Il Chamus tribe, and in
the Samburu area where The Mission Society already has established work. Nick says what excites him most is that "not
only are they bringing people fresh, clean drinking water, but they're also bringing
the living water of Jesus Christ."

At Lake Baringo, there were
many exciting opportunities with the Il Chamus. The village has no electricity, no running water, and no
sanitation facilities. Villagers get
their water directly from Lake Baringo via buckets.

Nick explains that their visit was a culmination of two
years of hard work by church planters. "This is a recently reached group
that is being ministered to by some of the local pastors. They're very excited
about having a church built in that community. Our hope is that
we'll take water from Lake Baringo, filter it, and give them a clean source of
water." 

The team is following a
model already in use in Samburu. Nick goes on to share that a carefully placed
water filtration system will provide touch points between the Church and the
community. "Adjacent to the tank, they set a
pastor's house, so when people come to get the clean water, they have an
opportunity  to meet the pastor, be
ministered to, and get the living water of Jesus Christ."

A hydrologist in the United States, Nick sees the value of
clean water and how the transformation access makes throughout a community. "By
being able to provide clean water, you can strengthen the entire community. In
fact, in the area where The Mission Society has already put in a filter in
Samburu, the health of the general population has increased substantially just
since a filter was put in two years ago."

Nick is not going onto the ministry field
alone. His wife, Heidi has a degree in health sciences and will be joining
the fight against waterborne disease. "She'll be coming alongside with
Community Health Evangelism and setting up medical clinics and things like that."

Their work will create
opportunities for sharing the Gospel and engaging in discipleship. "We
will be coming alongside existing pastors that are in Kenya already working with the local
people, talking where we can about Jesus, and showing His love."

The Griffiths are on deputation and making preparations to
be in place in Kenya by this time next year. 
There's more about their ministry here.

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