Clean water transforms an ancient Peruvian people group

By April 3, 2008

Peru (MNN) — Living Water
Tommy Head has been working with the Cadoshi tribe in the
Amazon region of Peru.

Head says when he first arrived,
his intent was to teach Bible, leadership training and development. However, many members of the tribe were
succumbing to waterborne diseases and poor hygiene. "They live now just like they lived 500
years ago in these villages that we go to and work in. We're really working in
civilizations that have been untouched. These people haven't changed the way they make their houses. They're
just hunter-gatherers, and they live the way they've always lived and the way
their ancestors have always lived." 

That means that the average life
expectancy in the jungles is 47 years–22 years less than the national
average. The infant mortality rate is
more than 50 percent. In fact, most tribes don't even name a child until he or
she reaches age two, fearful that they may grow too close to a child that may
not live.

Two years ago, the team drilled 22 wells, adding to
existing projects, not counting the
numerous rehabs the team has seen through. How does drilling wells and bringing access to clean
drinking water to the tribe translate to ministry? While
clean water is important, it is not the most important aspect of their ministry. Head
says, "If I had to state in one word what the Indians of the Amazon lack most,
it would be HOPE."

Head explains, "We
understand now that it is more important to spend a week or so in these
villages and not work all day. Work half days, go hunting with them, and create
a friendship with them and some sort of foundation with them that we can use
as a platform to share Christ."

The team also works with a local Evangelist, Jorge Alvarez, who shares Christ
in a way that transcends cultural barriers. Discipleship and evangelism ministry continues through Peruvian National
co-workers who are well-trained, and they are more than able to carry on the

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