Cambodia (MNN) — If you are a Cambodian living along the border of Thailand, fetching water every day can be a dangerous journey. You might step on an unexploded land mine, or you could be kidnapped and sold into the sex trade.
"Life is difficult in some of these areas," said Tim Cleath, Lifewater International volunteer for over 20 years and team leader for a recent drilling survey trip to Cambodia. "Cambodia's gone through many difficult situations over the last 20 years.
"They've had…internal strife, which resulted in many people dying, and refugee situations–particularly along the border of Thailand."
Since the conflict ended, Cambodians are trying to get back on their feet. Lifewater is helping them overcome life-threatening challenges by establishing a local source of clean water. They're partnering with the Cambodian Hope Organization (CHO), a grassroots Christian organization, to build community centers and dig several fresh-water wells. Pray for Lifewater and CHO as they undertake this project.
"Right now, the communities often get water from ponds and surface water, which is easily contaminated," Cleath explained. "Clean water wells provide a local water source that people can go to and know that it's going to be reliable; the quality is going to be safe for all the different uses they need."
The community center in Cambodia will have two fresh-water wells and two latrines, providing sanitary disposal of community wastewater. Cleath said CHO wants to establish more community centers throughout Thailand as part of a new water ministry.
"People can see the love that's expressed when you help them work through these issues," said Cleath. "Really the Christian outreach here is a personal thing."
On the trip Cleath led, he said the team spoke with community members about their needs. Using this information, Lifewater was able to help CHO improve their water ministry. Ask God to give complete understanding of community needs to ministry workers.
"As we get to know what those needs are in those areas, they provide an open door for the Gospel to be presented," Cleath shared.
Pray for God to reveal the people in greatest need and how ministry workers can help them. Cleath encouraged believers not only to pray, but to get involved.
"Missions gives all opportunities for all people," he said. "I would like to be one to encourage people–whoever and whatever their skills are–that God can use them to help present the face of Christ in a real way."