Bringing Water, Breakthroughs and Redemption
Desperate for More Than Water
People Are Thirsty
"Almost all rivers are dry right now," shared one Gospel for Asia worker, Daniel. But the water shortage in his village in South Asia was just beginning. "The real drought will come in the summer days...We have to wait almost six and a half months for the rain to come."
Not far away, Gospel for Asia Pastor Layak spoke of the water shortage his people faced. In the summer especially, the people here would bring water from the other villages," he says. "The nearest village is at least four miles away."
Another village also experienced a lack of available clean water.
The Gospel for Asia pastor there said, "We store water during the rainy season, and we are still using that. It is not fresh water, and this causes a lot of physical problems, and people get different kinds of diseases. They become sick after drinking that kind of water.
But the need in these parched areas run deeper than the physical.
Many times, when a pastor comes to a village, the people misunderstand his motivations.
Blinded by the notion that the pastor cares solely about increasing the size of his following, many can't see his genuine love for them. They don't understand the depth of his concern for their overall welfare.
Today, many of our brothers on the field face similar situations. While they work tirelessly to minister to the people, many villagers will reject them, not understanding that God's love is not just for eternity, but for the here and now—practical and tangible.
Jesus Well Changes Hearts
Rani Thankur hated Christians—most people in her village did. They refused to pay attention to the local pastor whenever he shared about Christ's love. Rani in particular made a point of insulting the believers when she saw them. But the pastor, Suraj, has a great burden for these people, and he continued to trust the Lord to move in their hearts.
Pastor Gives Jesus Well to Water-Needy Village
The people from this village would walk a long distance to draw water from a well, but the well sometimes ran out of water. When it did, the villages were forced to draw water from a small river nearby. During monsoon season, the river becomes dirty, unhygienic, and foul-smelling. Those who could afford firewood would boil the water to remove impurities, but the water would remain odorous. Those who couldn't afford firewood would drink the water as it was, endure the smell and expose themselves to the pathogens and parasites contaminating the water.
Pastor Suraj and the believers began praying for a Jesus Well, and the Lord provided!
Jesus Well Demonstrates Christ's Compassion to Many
Rani was too ashamed about her attitude toward the believers to draw water. However, one day while Rani was passing by the Jesus Well, Pastor Suraj invited her to draw water, and she sheepishly but gladly did.
Later on, Rani asked the pastor how he could possibly worship a "foreign god." Suraj talked with her and shared his testimony of how God changed his life. The Lord worked in her heart, and she eventually recognized God's love for her and responded to Him.
Her family reviled the decision. They told her to deny Christ, or else they wouldn't let her live with them anymore. But Rani stood firm. Now that she had come to know Christ, she wouldn't turn back, she told them. She also began sharing her story with others.
Rani isn't the only one who has been touched by the kindness and generosity shown through the Jesus Well: Many other villagers have left behind their hostility and are grateful toward Pastor Suraj for providing the Jesus Well.
Hearts Embrace Christ
The Lord has used Jesus Wells profoundly. The water is freely offered to all, regardless of their religious background. But his love, demonstrated so clearly through the Jesus Well, makes such an impression on the people's hearts that many choose to follow him.
"They can understand that we are doing this for them," shares another pastor whose ministry has been strengthened through a Jesus Well.
"After a long time of struggling for water, now they are getting it," he adds.
Pastors See Breakthrough
Jesus Wells provides the opportunity to minister to many people.
A Jesus Well was drilled in the village Pastor Layak described, where the people once had a negative attitude toward the pastor.
"The people are very happy," he shared, "and most of the people are very positive toward our pastor in this village nowadays," says Daniel.
Most water sources in that area provide salty water, but only fresh, sweet water comes out of the Jesus Well. "People are saying, 'This is just because of God's grace. With our God only this has happened,'" reports Pastor Layak.
The village where people were getting sick because of the stagnant water, also received a Jesus Well. The plaque by that well, like those placed by every Jesus Well, displays John 4:13-14:
"Jesus answered and said to her: 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
"Before, they did not know about Him—[asking] Who is Jesus?" shares the pastor. "Many people ask regarding this name that we have on that [plaque]...Then they come to know about Him, that He cares for the people's needs and for their lives."