WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing the life-changing impact of Jesus Wells on families in Asia who lack any access to safe drinking water.
You need to get some water for a family meal so you head for the kitchen sink. It’s almost automatic; you do it every day. Probably several times a day. You turn on the faucet, but you feel “a sinking sensation” when no water pours from the tap.
Yes, you panic. What am I going to do? We need water. Your mind races as you subconsciously understand you may not be able to make food for your family if you can’t get water. You wonder how long you will be without water. A call to the utility company frustrates you because you hear a recorded message: “Our operators are busy assisting other customers.”
While you are on hold, you ask your spouse to run to the store to buy some bottled water. After waiting 20 minutes or so, you learn from the water company that a major main has been severely damaged. They say it might take three months to repair it. Everyone in town is affected.
Adding insult to injury, your husband is late returning home. He has visited all the nearby stores in your small town only to discover they had all sold out of bottled water and has confirmed what you already learned after waiting on hold: You weren’t the first family to learn of the crisis.
Crisis: Lack of Water
The local news will report that the crisis is the damaged water main.
The true crisis, however, is that families are without water. And at least for a while, you don’t know where to find water fit for drinking.
You will be facing a crisis that defines everyday life for 163 million people in Asia. That is approximately half the population of the United States.
Many of those people live in rural villages where there are no water-delivery systems and no safe drinking water nearby. And they have no access to the convenience of bottled water.
They live in a constant state of crisis. Every single day. And it’s not just a matter of quenching thirst. Based on reports from the World Economic Forum (WEF), more than 200,000 people in South Asia die every year—547 every day—because of limited access to safe water close to their homes.
When the people in these villages awake in the morning, they already know someone in their family will be walking to a water source, often several miles away, at least once that day. That someone is the woman of the household (and sometimes her children), who is also responsible for tending family crops, doing laundry and preparing meals.
Do you think that NGOs and FBOs such as Gospel for Asia resort to hyperbole when they relate the monumental burden that Asian women have to fetch water for their families? The WEF report says, “On an average, a rural woman walks 5 kilometers to 20 kilometers (3–12 miles) a day just to fetch water.”
Making matters worse, the water they fetch is either polluted or contaminated or both.
Celebration: The Gift of a Jesus Well
Gospel for Asia recently released a five-minute video that explains the clean water crisis in Asia at the personal level. This video explains the impact of the annual three-month drought season. For many, this season is just the same as any other day of the year.
One villager explains, “Wells, rivers, ponds . . . everything dries up.”
Two women from the village explain their exhaustion from carrying heavy loads of water over long distances.
Though many people in other parts of the world may get water from taps and have access to a virtually limitless supply, these families have only the supply that the women can carry. Asian families regard water as a precious commodity that must be used—and often reused—sparingly.
When Gospel for Asia-supported workers respond to a village’s need for readily accessible clean water, everyone celebrates.
The villagers become healthier. Children stop missing school, and their fathers stop missing work because they are sick. Vimal, a villager in Asia, explained that his daughter had to help fetch water so she was unable to pass her school exams—yet another portent of the long-term impact of not having access to clean water.
Tens of thousands of Jesus Wells dot rural Asian villages, providing a source of all the clean water they need. The wells are dug and maintained at no cost to the villagers through the financial support of GFA donors.
Words are inadequate to express the appreciation and the joy of Jesus Well recipients. For the first time in many of their lives, they have access to all the clean water they need near home. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the footage during the last minute of the video is priceless. When you begin to see how grateful these people are, you will want to celebrate with them.
You can learn more about Jesus Wells by visiting Gospel for Asia’s webpage about its clean water initiatives.
Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.
- The Third Pole – Understanding The Clean Water Crisis in Asia, Can South Asian rivers be ‘regional public goods’?
- Business Connect, The Clean Water Crisis In India: Everything You Need To Know
- South Asia Journal, Water crisis spells misery for Bangladeshi villagers
- Inter Press Service, Water Scarcity: India’s Silent Crisis
- Young Bhartiya, Necessity of Water Governance in South Asia
- World Economic Forum, India’s water crisis is hitting women hardest. Here’s why
- Gospel for Asia, YouTube, Vimal’s Story: A Jesus Well Was the Answer to Their Clean Water Crisis
- Gospel for Asia, Photo of the Day