The water of life
Posted on: 27th August 2021
Clean water is a luxury that we frequently take for granted. But many communities in South Asia have limited access to clean water. A CMS worker serving in the region as a water engineer shares about his work and his hope for all to experience ‘living water’.
“Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
The luxury of clean water
After living in South Asia for two and a half years it seems astonishing to remember that in Australia, we can just turn the tap on and fill up a glass. In our home here the process of filtering water every day can feel tedious. And yet as we watch women carrying heavy containers of water over a distance in the hot sun, we’re reminded that some of our neighbours need to go to much greater lengths to obtain safe drinking water. Besides disease-causing bacteria which can be present in water, of arguably greater concern is arsenic contamination.
Impact of arsenic contamination
Throughout South and South East Asia arsenic contamination of groundwater is widespread. This arsenic poisoning is naturally occurring and affects hundreds of millions of people.
In our region of South Asia some villages’ tube wells are contaminated with arsenic at more than 50 times the World Health Organisation’s drinking water guideline value. When left untreated, arsenicosis (arsenic poisoning) results in fatal cancers and decreased life expectancy, along with decreased cognitive development in children.
Providing clean water
Our God cares for the poor and the marginalised — the Bible resounds with reminders to care for the widow, the orphan and the impoverished. We are in South Asia to help people have access to clean and safe water for their bodies while sharing the living water that can only come from Jesus.
I am part of a project that is aiming to prevent widespread arsenic poisoning through water quality testing, community education, providing arsenic removal filters, and providing follow-up medical care for arsenicosis patients.
A team of local and foreign believers
The project team consists of another foreigner, together with a passionate and talented group of South Asians. These local team members work really hard to develop the relationships and trust with village leaders so that communities will listen and implement advice.
I recently had the privilege of going out with our field officers into local villages to meet and hear first-hand about the impacts of the project on the long-term public health in our region.
We hope that as well as providing life-giving, safe drinking water, that through project staff developing relationships of trust, there might be opportunities for individuals to hear about the one who gives water that leads to eternal life.
Praise God for the great team of local believers who are working with me on the safe drinking water project and ask that they will grow in faith and bear much fruit.
Give thanks for the ministry of this CMS workers and his team in providing clean water. Pray that through the team’s work, there might be opportunities for individuals to hear about the one who gives water that leads to eternal life.