India (MNN) — Rather than struggling to survive in rural India, reports Living Water International, people are thriving.
Three years ago, LWI installed a new well in Sarnapur, one of India's rural northern villages. Last year, LWI says, a well was installed in central India to help a desperately-poor community escape corruption. Today, with the church at its center, Chennur has become both physically and culturally healthy.
LWI spoke with Anand, a 12-year-old who recalled life in Sarnapur before a well was installed in their village. He described the trek villagers took to the next community to obtain water. Along with Sarnapur, several communities shared the closest well, and families could only get small amounts of water at a time.
"When I was little, we had to walk from there," Anand said, in reference to the neighboring village. "Before this, we had to wait a long time for water."
When speaking to LWI, women described the influence local clean water has had on their village. New buildings have formed around the well, which was constructed in an open field, and the quality of village life has increased. The church has grown dramatically over the past three years, and because the well was provided in Jesus' name, members of the community were able to see that the church viewed them as neighbors instead of merely people of a different faith. The pastor now has an open invitation to visit families in the community, a rarity in areas with extreme religious tension.
Chennur, a despondent and impoverished community located in central India, has moved away from poverty, thanks to their new LWI well. Because villagers weren't able to afford their own land, they were often at the mercy of corrupt landlords.
"The landlords are cruel," said a leader of the Chennur church. "When a family's young women come of age, some landlords have the girls brought so that they can have their way with them."
In 2007, land was granted to the village; enough so that each family could have their own property. Money was also granted so that new homes could be built. Church leaders asked leaders of the predominately Hindu community for a plot of land. But with no source of water in the new location, church administration called LWI to help the people of Chennur escape the snare of corruption.
"When I visited the church site, I thought the people were crazy," said LWI's Director in central India. "They explained to me what was going on, and I began to get excited about what this new well could mean."
LWI dedicated Chennur's well in the spring of 2008, and in the past year, houses have been built across new village land; the church is at the center of this new community. Church members have helped the community end its cycle of poverty and oppression.
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