Water and the Gospel reaches oral learners

By December 27, 2007

USA (MNN) — 2007 was an incredible year for Living Water International. This year has been the best year ever, says LWI's President Jerry Wiles.

"We've been able to complete right at 850 water projects. Those would be new wells and rehab projects serving 1.2 million plus people. Since we were founded in 1990, we've completed more than 4,700 water projects serving close to eight million people."

However, there are still 1.1 billion people without clean safe drinking water, and many of them have never heard the Gospel.

Living Water International not only provides water, but they share the Gospel with those they serve. But now LWI will be focus on another outreach, says Wiles.

"One of the most exciting things that we're doing is developing partnerships and teaming up with a group of organizations to reach the oral learners of the world — reaching the illiterate, semi-illiterate and functionally illiterate — people that get their information either by necessity or by choice through oral communication."

According to Wiles, that number is about four-billion people. He says, "Every place where we have a well, we have a strategy of getting 'proclaimers' and creating listening groups. So they'll be hearing the Gospel in their language and also using the chronological Bible storying method." This will allow them to develop evangelism, discipleship and church planting initiatives.

Wiles says this work is a crying need. "Two-thirds of the world's population are oral learners or oral communicators. And ironically, an estimated 90-percent of the world's Christian workers presenting the Gospel use highly literate communications styles."

This new initiative isn't a distraction; it's helping them focus on what's most important, says Wiles. "Our vision is to reach the world with the water and the Word. So we're just going to become more intentional and more aggressive in the Word part of it."

Living Water International is asking for prayer and resources to help them effectively share these two life saving parts of their ministry with even more people in 2008.

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