India (MNN) – Over 10 million people in Delhi, India’s capital city, were without water after protesters sabotaged a main water canal. Yet, it’s not just people in the city who were facing a water crisis. In the countryside of India, millions people living in rural villages struggle without water every day.
India’s Water Needs
Donna Glass with India Partners explains, “What happens in rural areas, especially with the changing weather patterns, sometimes the droughts they have dry up the water sources; and then you have these severe rains.The ground cannot absorb the water.”
The lack of water affects crops, irrigation, hygiene and health, drinking water, and food preparation. Many villages are facing life with no water, and for those able to find water, it’s too dirty to drink.
Sometimes local officials will put in simple bored wells operated by a hand pump. “That’s fine for first thing in the morning. But it doesn’t go deep enough. So the first people who can get to the well in the morning are the ones who get water for their families,” says Glass.
Other times, villagers will go to open wells and pull up buckets of water to carry home.
Either way, these people have to rise as early as 3:00AM to get water for their families, and the water they do find is nearly always too dirty to be used. But it’s all they have.
Thankfully, God has put both the accessibility and sanity of the water available to India’s people on India Partners’ heart.
India Partners Difference
“We have gone in and surveyed different remote villages to find the villages that are in greatest need of water. People are traveling anywhere from three to four kilometers each way to gather water,” explains Glass.
The journey for water isn’t easy. For some the only place to get water is from a river. The trek down to a river involves lots of climbing on steep slopes. It’s a strenuous journey–so strenuous, in fact, that the men have to gather the water. But if the men are spending their time gathering water to survive, then no one is working to bring in an income to pay for food and other needs.
When India Partners finds these villages facing great need, it brings with it more than just an opportunity for clean water. It brings in a health and hygiene program that is biblically based, taking participants all the way from creation to the fall, to Christ’s death and resurrection, to when Christ returns for His people.
Glass elaborates on the program, saying, “We take them through how not having water kind of destroys our personal health. We get angry. It destroys our relationships with each other and with God. So by having clean water readily available, it helps to restore our body so that we can then focus outside of our body and then thank God for the water He’s brought to us.”
For many, this is their first introduction not only to clean water, but to the Living Water of Christ. “As the well is put in, we tell them, ‘This isn’t from us. This is from God. God provided this well for you because He wants you to be healthy, to have good water so that you can be open to actually receiving the Living Water. It’s just an amazing transformation,” says Glass.
When India Partners leaves a village with accessible water, it also sends people back into the village to plant a church and disciple new believers.
“There might be one or two people who heard [the Gospel] during the health and hygiene training that gave their hearts to Christ. So that church will start with those one or two people as this pastor has come in…and then they work together,” explained Glass.
“That’s what we go in and what do: we build these foundations, not just for water, but for their lives [in Christ],” affirms Glass.
How You Can Help
- Pray: Pray for hearts to be opened to Christ, for God to provide clean water, and for the funds for wells to come in.
- Donate: Without funds, it’s hard to provide clean water and the Gospel to people who desperately need both. Click here to donate!
- Go: India Partners is in the process of planning a trip to India’s rural villages later this year. Stay connected for updates. In the meantime, check out other trips India Partners is offering here!