Bangladesh (MNN) — According to the World Health Organization, about 2 billion people drink unsafe, contaminated water that could be filled with diseases, bacteria, and other viruses that cause health problems and sometimes death.
World Mission’s Zoe Waters says unclean water is the number one killer in developing countries, surpassing the number of deaths from hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes combined. However, in the name of Jesus, Zoe Waters provides clean water filters and digs wells for those in need of clean drinking water.
“We recognize that water is such a huge issue,” World Mission’s Greg Kelley says. “Every twenty seconds, a child dies of a water-borne illness. We recognize it as a tremendous opportunity to practically show the love of Jesus.”
Zoe Waters has produced 163 water projects in nine countries. Recently, they kicked off their first project in their tenth country: Bangladesh.
A New Project
While some countries Zoe Waters works in don’t have access to water, Bangladesh has plenty. They have rivers, streams, and the monsoon season.
However, “Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world,” Kelley says.
About 163 million people live in Bangladesh, which is 56,977 square miles – that’s about the size of the state of Iowa, which is home to only three million people. And due to the Rohingya crises, hundreds of thousands of more people have entered the country.
Because of the high population now and over the years, water has been contaminated and is causing illnesses throughout the nation.
“So, it’s not so much an issue of access to the water. The issue is that the water is just filled with bacteria, and E. coli, and cholera, typhoid, all kinds of bacteria and viruses, and so forth that literally are killing people,” Kelley explains.
Zoe Waters is working with national partners to provide water filters for those in impoverished Bangladesh villages. Kelley says their partners are going from house to house to give filters and sharing solar-powered audio Bibles – Treasures – with villages.
Opening Hearts to the Gospel
Providing villagers with life-giving water has proved to be an effective way to share the Gospel and show the love of Jesus.
World Mission has worked in Bangladesh for years, distributing Treasures. Their ultimate goal has been to plant churches. With their new water project, they are excited to see how God is opening doors to ministry.
Bangladesh is a high-priority nation to evangelize in for World Mission. Of the 163 million people in Bangladesh, only one percent is Christian.
“Our focus, as an organization, is targeting areas that have oral learners and unreached people groups, and Bangladesh is 83 percent Muslim, 16 percent Hindu. And so, there’s very few people in Bangladesh that have even heard the Gospel for the first time,” Kelley says. “As we’re trying to engage these areas that are very difficult to evangelize and make disciples, what we’ve recognized, as an organization, is the opportunity to express love in a very tangible way.”
As Zoe Waters provides for the people’s physical needs, they’ve seen hearts become more receptive to the Gospel.
“They don’t really open their heart until they know you care. And there’s no better way to show someone that you care about them than physically providing for them.”
Respond with Zoe Waters
You too can provide for villagers in Bangladesh and show them that you care. You can help Zoe Waters start water projects all around the world.
For just $25, water filters can save an entire family from water-borne diseases. Each one lasts up to 10 years. You can also give a Treasure, which shares the Truth of Jesus with about 150 people in their native language.
Finally, take time to learn about Bangladesh and pray God will use World Mission to help expand the Kingdom.
“Bangladesh is one of the very strategic locations in missions that the Body of Christ really, we need to allocate ourselves, our lives, our prayers, our understanding, and education, and obviously, our resources in places like Bangladesh. If we’re to complete the Great Commission, Bangladesh needs to become priority in the Body of Christ, and places like that.”