Wed April 19, 2017 – Gospel for Asia
GFA-supported workers provide disease-prevention systems and lessons
to improve health, offer hope in World Water Day effort
WILLS POINT, Texas—Fresh water sources are freeing impoverished families in Asia from sickness and disease. GFA (Gospel for Asia)-supported workers dedicated new Jesus Wells in series of villages and communities to mark World Water Day, the annual World Health Organization global focus on the almost 2 billion people at risk from disease and often incapacitated by sickness because of having to use unclean water.
Costing just $1,400 each and drilled down as far as 200 meters to ensure a year-round supply, the hand-pumped wells provide clean water to groups who previously had to rely on contaminated sources or walk a long way to fetch more usable water. With families often forced to use water from dirty ponds where animals and people alike bathe for cooking and washing, illness is commonplace. Many suffer from cholera, dysentery and typhoid.
Grateful recipients of the latest Jesus Wells to become operational were taught about the importance of using clean water and the need to conserve supplies during the dedication ceremonies. “My children and family used to take baths in the ponds, which were very dirty, and they used to be sick all the time,” said one father. “But thank God for the new Jesus Well.”
The World Water Day initiative also saw GFA-supported teams distributing sand-and-gravel water filters to individual families, and offering free medical checkups and treatment. The small filters costs cost only $30 each and can last for up to 20 years, filtering up to 25 liters of water an hour.
Providing access to clean water is a long-term focus of GFA, whose founder and director, K.P. Yohannan, said, “In helping bring clean water to people we hope to be able to improve their physical health and well-being, while also demonstrating Jesus’ love for them.”
One World Water Day filter distribution took place in a community where families live so far below the poverty line that children are unable to attend school and many residents have been sickened by their polluted water source. GFA-supported workers demonstrated how to use the Bio-Sand water filters before handing one to each family.
“We belong to a poor family background and we cannot afford to buy a filter,” said one recipient. “Thank you for providing us with a filter, it will help us to get pure drinking water.”
The importance of safe drinking water was emphasized in another location, where the visitors gave advice on using clean water for bathing, drinking, and washing clothes, and also offered free medical check-ups. Among those helped was an 18-year-old woman who had been abandoned by her husband because of her ill-health.
“I got married at the age of 14 and I have been sick since three years, due to which my husband left me,” she said. “But I am happy today to have received free treatment.”
“Clean water is simply essential for a full and healthy life,” said Yohannan. “It’s amazing how providing a fresh source can make such a big difference. We hope that those we assist understand that we do all this because of the love of Jesus.”
PHOTO CUTLINE: Women collect fresh water from the new Jesus Well drilled in their village by GFA-supported workers and dedicated on World Water Day, to help reduce sickness and disease, and demonstrate God’s care.