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Published on 02 September, 2010

Clean water transforms a community and an entire generation

Kenya (MNN) — In commemoration of their 20th
anniversary this year, Living Water International wanted to pay a visit to some
of their very first fresh water projects.

Living Water's Stan
Patyrak ventured to a community where they installed a well 16 years
ago, to check up on what changes clean water had brought to the community.

Patyrak said: "I had an opportunity to go into the Rift
Valley to a community called Larujat and just see one of the projects that was
installed in 1994. Water was flowing, and the community just had benefited for
years."

Though the clean water crisis still affects nearly a billion
people, Patyrak was amazed to find a whole generation of kids in Larujat who
could not imagine life without fresh water.

During his visit, Patyrak approached one boy to see how his
life had been transformed by the well Living Water installed years ago. "When we began to ask him what life was like before clean water–really not recognizing how old he was, but asking just this normal question
that we always ask, he looked very confused and began to tell us that he
had only heard stories of what life was like before clean water. The leaders of
the community and his parents would share what it was like when they use to have to
walk five kilometers and drink out of a river or a hole in the ground. But he
had never known that," said Patyrak.

Patyrak was also struck by how important the local church
was in this community. With each project Living Water undertakes, they always
join hands with a local church, "providing a cup of water in Jesus'
name." Through this partnership, Living Water wants to assure the
sustainability of each of their projects, while also localizing and
personalizing the work they do globally.

As Patyrak visited
this community years after such a partnership began, he realized the power of
such a partnership. He also realized clean water wasn't the only thing
transforming this community: Christ is.

Living Water is excited about these results, as they
seek to be the hands and feet of Christ wherever they go.

During the trip, Patyrak said he also saw how actions of a
few obedient Christ-followers can impact so many, as he thought of the people
who donated to this project.

"We can sometimes think that our actions happen within
a vacuum–they happen the day that we chose to donate money to a water well. What's amazing about this work is that here we are, so many years later, and
that act of obedience in 1994 changed an entire generation. It's made the
children in that community [unable] to understand how people could drink bad
water. It's improved the health of the local church," Patyrak said. "Our
actions today really do serve and have the opportunity to serve generations
from now."

Want to help impact a community for years to come? Click
here to learn more about Living Water's work and how to get involved today.

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