The slum dweller approached the lavish home with one thing in mind. He didn’t need food, and he already had a job; when the woman opened the door, he asked for water.
“Go to some other place,” she reprimanded him. “Stop coming to our house again and again!”
But Aadesh was too desperate to back down. His family’s health was at risk and time was short. He stood on the doorstep, still waiting for water.
Distant Water Source Forces Community to Beg
In the slum Aadesh lived in, going to rich people’s homes and begging for water was everyday business. The closest public source of water was more than a mile’s walk away, and the journey almost guaranteed he would be late for work.
Even if Aadesh rose early to go to the community well, he had hundreds of neighbors contending for the same water. And because the well was only open to the public during certain hours, he might not even get any water if the line was too long.
Rather than risk losing their jobs for being late, most in the slum knocked on the doors of nearby wealthy townspeople for water.
“I was the sole breadwinner of my family,” Aadesh remembers, “and if I did not go to work, we had to go to bed with empty stomachs.”
After visiting sometimes several houses, someone would give in to Aadesh’s determined request. Muttering their complaints, they would bring out a pot of water—just enough to get the day started.
When the well reopened later in the day, Aadesh’s wife and other women would fight the area’s heat as they hiked to gather more water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Hard as they tried, though, they could only carry back a pot or two on each trip.
Without enough water for proper sanitation, ordinary life carried risks of parasites, bacterial diseases and even death.
With the closest water source more than a mile away, residents of the slum chose between being late for work or begging their neighbors for water.
Community’s Request for Water Source Denied
Desperate for a solution, the slum community asked local officials to install a local water facility, but their pleas were useless. Like the other 163 million people in South Asia with no clean water source, they struggled each day for life’s most basic essential.
That was the way life was, and the way it was always going to be—that is, until the day some people from the slum met a man named Maahir.
The slum dwellers had often opposed what Mahir, a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor, stood for, but after years of having everyone ignore their needs, they couldn’t resist his offer to hear their problems.
The pastor listened intently, and rather than dismissing them, he actually offered a solution. He knew people who would happily provide a well just for them!
Hecklers Protest New Jesus Well
It seemed impossible, but true to his word, Pastor Maahir brought a crew to the slum, and they drilled a Jesus Well where it was available to everyone.
Now, working people like Aadesh could quickly get clean water in the morning without being late to their jobs. And because the well was open all day and night, women could draw all the water they needed—whenever they needed it.
It was an end to their suffering, but not everyone was happy.
Some questioned Pastor Maahir’s motives, and they thought the well’s inauguration ceremony was the perfect time to have their say. As Pastor Maahir shared that the well was given out of care for the needy and a desire for all to see the love of Jesus, the protesters began to shout.
They yelled that they didn’t want the Jesus Well, but loud as they shouted, no one rallied behind them. After a few minutes, they gave up and left, warning that they weren’t finished with Pastor Maahir.
Even Hecklers Won Over by Jesus Well
Meanwhile, the rest of the community fully embraced the Jesus Well. Even Pastor Maahir comes every day from the nearby church to get water and talk to the many people using the well.
After receiving the Jesus Well and seeing how much Pastor Maahir truly cares for them, the community’s perspective of the church has completely changed. Instead of opposing the Good News, they now respect Maahir and eagerly listen as he shares how much Jesus loves them.
As for the protesters, they did return to the Jesus Well late at night—but to draw water, not cause problems. The well has the only non-salty water around and the protesters just couldn’t be seen by day, filling their own pots to the brim. Maahir prays that soon they will be just as eager to taste true, living water.