Compassion That Doesn't Run Dry

Ariana perceived a reluctant look on her neighbor’s face. Had she pushed their generosity too far? But she needed clean water for herself and her children to drink. For Ariana, asking neighbors for drinking water was uncomfortable, especially during the dry season when she knew they also struggled to attain pure water. As a single mother, though, she didn’t have another option. Would she forever have to depend on others’ kindness? Was there Someone whose compassion could never be overextended?

Compassion That Doesn't Run Dry
Though neighbors sometimes provided bottles of drinking water to Ariana, she had to go to the river to do laundry or fetch water for other household chores.

Daily Dilemmas

Raising four boys had never been easy. When Ariana’s husband was alive, he had supplied their basic needs by working as a mason, and Ariana had cared for their boys and labored keeping the household—fetching water, cooking, cleaning and tending livestock. Meanwhile, she provided special care to their third son, Jalin, who has a disability that prevents him from walking, talking or sitting upright on his own.

Ariana’s husband passed away from a heart attack in 2021, leaving her without a partner to share the burdens of raising a family. Every morning, Ariana woke up to difficult choices and constant toil. Amidst this tragedy, Ariana found comfort in knowing the One who said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Compassion That Doesn't Run Dry
Ariana didn’t like having to leave Jalin, who has a disability, in the care of neighbors or relatives when she had to get water.

“Since the day of my husband departing, it was sad. At the same time, it was a pain for me,” Ariana says. “But because of Jesus’ love, which I know and I have experienced, that is the strength that I have to look after my children and to continue in this way. … even though there are problems and difficulties, everything I face with joy.”

Even as Ariana trusted in Christ to help her, the practical responsibilities were daunting. Without a running tap or a pure well, Ariana had no good options for providing one of life’s non-negotiable needs for her children. She usually asked neighbors for clean water to drink. Many showed compassion and generosity, but especially during dry seasons, some of them struggled to procure ample clean water, too. Sometimes they refused Ariana, or she sensed reluctance from them. Even when they did supply her drinking water, she couldn’t ask them to supply all her water needs.

Microbiologically contaminated drinking water can transmit diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio and is estimated to cause approximately 505,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year

Ariana also needed water for cooking, bathing, washing dishes, laundering clothes and watering plants and chickens. She had to go either to the impure stream behind her house, which usually dried up in the summer, or to a river farther away.

Ariana’s struggle for adequate clean water is one shared by many in her community and around the world. The World Health Organization reports that more than 2 billion people in the world depend on wells, springs, streams, rivers, ponds or lakes for water; but these sources require a round-trip trek of 30 minutes or more, or they yield impure water. This not only robs these families of time they could spend earning income or doing other productive work, but it also threatens their lives. “Microbiologically contaminated drinking water can transmit diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio and is estimated to cause approximately 505,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year,” WHO explains.1 Ariana believes using impure water may have contributed to Jalin’s disability.

Compassion That Doesn't Run Dry
Pastor Simon prayed that he would be able to provide a reliable source of clean water for families like Ariana’s.

As a single mother, Ariana faced even more challenges than most of the billions of people in need of easily accessible clean water. If she had to walk to the river farther away, she had to leave Jalin and her youngest son for hours. Ariana could not carry pails of water and carry Jalin, so she had to ask a neighbor or relative to care for her boys while she was gone. This, perhaps, distressed Ariana the most. While she was grateful for others’ help, it left her uneasy. Would someone else be able to adequately anticipate her sons’ needs and care for him? What if an emergency came up while Ariana was gone?

Abundant Help

Thankfully, both the Lord and Ariana’s pastor knew the heavy load she bore and wanted to lighten it. Having lived in the village for nearly 25 years himself, GFA pastor Simon had seen—and personally experienced—the lack of clean water that plagued Ariana and many other impoverished families in the village. He had seen how streams dried up in the dry season and how people struggled to provide water for their livestock or crops. He himself used to travel about 6 miles to get pure water.

Pastor Simon prayed he could do something to help his community experience Christ’s love through better access to this life-sustaining necessity. When he asked his ministry leader, his leader wholeheartedly supported him, and they came up with a solution to help 200 of the families in greatest need of reliable, adequate clean water supply.

Compassion That Doesn't Run Dry
Unlike typical Jesus Wells, the Jesus Well project in Ariana’s community pipes water from the surrounding hills into people’s homes.

Pastor Simon soon announced that the church would supply these families with running water in their own homes through the Jesus Wells ministry. While most Jesus Wells are actual wells, the best solution in this community was piping water from a stream high in the surrounding hills. When Ariana heard the exciting news, joy and amazement filled her as she thought of having a free source of water at home.

The next month, Ariana turned on a faucet, and a stream of water flowed out. Now, in her own home, she had ample clean water to cook, wash clothes, bathe and water her plants and chickens. Most important, she and her children had ample pure water to drink. Gone were the days when she had to approach neighbors’ homes asking for water or leave her sons to spend hours at the river doing laundry and fetching water.

Compassion That Doesn't Run Dry
Now Ariana and her children can enjoy clean water flowing from their own tap for all their daily needs.

“Through the Jesus Well, the water is now coming to my home easily accessible,” Ariana says. “That’s a real joy to me. The time that I spend to go and get water, that time delayed my other work in the house. All these things now I’m able to do without great pressure in my mind. … That is the great blessing, and I am so happy that this water is now coming to our home, and I don’t need to go out and ask help.”

“Thank you so much for giving us this gift of water, clean drinking water … which we suffered without for so many years,”

An Ever-Flowing Blessing

With more time on her hands, Ariana finds it easier to run her household. This mother no longer has to wonder every day how she will balance attaining her family’s needed water and providing supervision and care for all of her boys.

For Ariana and her children, along with approximately 200 other families, this not only means daily life can be more productive, but it also means they can enjoy improved health. Better access to clean water for drinking and personal hygiene both increases the hydration necessary for healthy musculoskeletal, digestive and cardiac system function,2 and it decreases the risk for disease, illness and death caused by waterborne pathogens.3

Compassion That Doesn't Run Dry
Because of the Jesus Well, Ariana has more time to care for her sons and her household.

Ariana thanks God for the donors who helped make the Jesus Well project in her village possible.

“Thank you so much for giving us this gift of water, clean drinking water … which we suffered without for so many years,” she says.

Through the clean water streaming from her faucet, she sees God’s love in a fresh way.

“The joy I felt is so vast, it is so big because God loves me so much, and that’s why we got this free gift,” Ariana explains. “Like He gave Jesus, He has given the free gift of water, which is a joy.”

“The joy I felt is so vast, it is so big because God loves me so much, and that’s why we got this free gift,”
Compassion That Doesn't Run Dry
Clean water can improve the families’ health and show them God’s compassion.

She no longer runs out of water, having to hope her neighbors’ generosity will endure enough to provide her some bottles of clean water or watch her children so she can fetch more. While people’s goodwill may fade, God promises to “give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Revelation 21:6 NKJV). Just as the water supply piped to Ariana’s home doesn’t run out, God’s compassion for her doesn’t run dry either.

By providing clean water through Jesus Wells, you can meet a vital need for families in poverty, improve the health of communities and show them Christ’s endless compassion.

Give the gift of clean water today

You can help change tragic outcomes caused by water scarcity and waterborne diseases. Help provide families and entire communities with clean, safe drinking water, and give them fresh hope.

  1. “Drinking-water.” World Health Organization. 13 September 2023. .
  2. “Increasing Access to Safe Drinking Water Across Different Settings.” American Heart Associationn. July 2023. .
  3. “A Health Crisis.” January 31, 2024. .

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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