India (MNN) — Approximately 780 million people worldwide lack access to clean water, and around 20% of them live in India.
India Partners President John Sparks is in the field right now, laying a foundation to bring clean water to unreached villages. He and a team of national and U.S. believers are meeting with leaders of isolated villages, assessing clean water needs and Gospel presence.
Along with clean water, India Partners will also be bringing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) training to each village.
“When you bring in water, you’re also bringing in the Living Water,” notes Sparks. “Every step of the [WASH] lesson includes different parts of the Gospel.”
This trip isn’t just about identifying needs, though. Sparks and his team also visited some of the villages that received wells and WASH training last year.
“It has increased their quality of life as well as given them clean water,” Sparks reports.
Life before clean water
Before they received wells from India Partners, some of the villagers were boiling their water, a process which consumed most of their day. Water was collected from a source usually located about two kilometers (1.2 miles) outside the village. Then, wood was collected from whatever source was available, be it trees or brush.
Villagers who lacked resources or time to boil their water simply drank it as-is. This resulted in an abundance of water-borne diseases; children missed school because they were sick, and some even died.
Life after clean water
Thanks to the WASH training and wells installed last year by India Partners, remote villagers have a much greater quality of life.
“All the time that is saved in not having to boil [their] water changes their life,” observes Sparks.
“It improves their ability to cook their food and do some other chores, earn some more money, help their children with school, or whatever it may be.”
Can you help India Partners bring this type of change to even more villages?
A family Sparks and his team spoke with while surveying villages on this trip lost two children to illnesses caused by drinking dirty water. Their third and remaining child is currently in poor condition.
“All of these things combined just leave [villagers] with a quality of life that is horrible, but there’s nothing they can do,” says Sparks.
“They live on the edge of society; they’re impoverished, some of them are internally displaced.”
Once they finish surveying villages, India Partners and their cohorts will decide which ones need Jesus and clean water the most. Then, WASH training will begin, and wells will be dug.
For now, the India Partners team needs your prayers as they finish up their trip. Please pray for good health and traveling mercies.