Peru (MNN/LWI) — The Candoshi people are by far the most distant group geographically and culturally that Living Water International has ever contacted. They're feared not only by their own people but by everyone else in the region — even government officials. The Candoshi have seen so much death that human life means very little to them.
Traditional missionaries would have never been gained entrance with the Candoshi. But as well drillers, Living Water International has been granted access.
Witch doctors rule by fear, keeping the people in bondage using the powers of what they call "gods." When LWI first visited the area and looked into the eyes of these people, they saw sadness, fear, and an emptiness that can't be described.
The Candoshi are people utterly without hope. Hepatitis B has decimated their population. Today, there are fewer than 3,000 in the Amazon. Even though progress has been made in controlling the epidemic, almost everyone LWI saw over the age of 19 has hepatitis, and they know it's a death sentence.
When LWI entered the region, they tried to be culturally sensitive. That was perceived as weakness. LWI was literally run out of one village. Later in the same trip, someone threatened to killed them because they wouldn't commit to drilling a well in a particular village.
Later, LWI returned and drilled nine wells. They are letting the Candoshi know that they serve a God who isn't intimidated.
Unable to determine if any of the Candoshi have come to Christ, LWI remains hopeful. Their prayer is that God will use the drilling projects not only to provide physical health but real hope — hope that can only come from Christ alone.