Need and opportunity pave the way for outreach in water-starved areas.

By July 6, 2004

International (MNN)–Concern over the plight of foreign workers is building in areas home to militant Muslims.

The threats against all connections with the West includes those associated with Christianity. That proves to make life interesting for those in missions.

Living Water International’s Jerry Wiles says their teams are careful whenever they go into an area hostile to foreign aid workers. As Christians, they’re even more of a target; however, Wiles says their teams are willing to face the risk to bring hope. “All over the world, it’s hazardous duty, whether it’s Central, South America, Africa, whether it’s in Asia or the Middle East. There are certain areas that are more volatile than others. Security is always an issue in what we do. We’ve lost people on the field.”

Wiles says the test of their commitment comes through need. In many of the areas where they work, the infrastructure has been obliterated. It follows that potable water is a precious and expensive commodity, which has to be conserved. In these same areas, water costs more than fuel. It is key to survivability in harsh conditions.

Wiles explains there’s more to it than that. “The 1.2 billion people without access to clean water basically is the same population groups that live on roughly a dollar a day, and they’ve had the least access to the Gospel. It really is the ‘last of the unreached people of the world’ will probably be ‘the hardest to reach’.”

Living Water’s ultimate goal is to provide water to 11.8 million people by 2010, in addition to providing the living water of Jesus Christ. “Ultimately, it’s the living water of the Lord Jesus that’s going to last for eternity.” says Wiles.

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