Garjan watches groups of people from neighboring villages come on bikes to fill large vessels with water from the main well in his village. Instead of frustration that other people are taking his village’s resources, Garjan sees these people with compassion—and empathy. He wishes they didn’t have to face the same hardships he and his loved ones once faced for years.
Garjan has lived in this village for decades, and for most of those years there was no good source of water. During summertime, drought often dried up water sources, and during the rainy season, many sources of water became contaminated. In a place dependent on agriculture and rearing livestock, this threatened people’s health and livelihoods.
The residents faced an uphill battle to get ample clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes and watering their animals. Although there were a few wells in the village, they didn’t produce pure water, and they were far enough away to be inconvenient for many people. The villagers had to either drink impure water or spend precious time in search of clean water. As a result, many people contracted waterborne illnesses, or they became dehydrated because there wasn’t enough clean water to drink.
Garjan’s home wasn’t too far from a well, but it often got crowded. And because it was a pulley-operated well, Garjan often became exhausted drawing buckets of water for his flocks. Worse, it yielded dirty water. At one point, Garjan and his wife both contracted a waterborne illness and ended up in the hospital. The doctor told Garjan he needed to drink more clean water to recover, but Garjan couldn’t—the only water available was impure.
Due to the difficulties of getting enough water from the well, much less clean water, people bathed and washed clothes in a nearby pond—the same pond where their animals drank and bathed.
Ubika, another resident of the village, struggled to haul enough water for her large family. She exhausted herself making more than six trips to the well a day. Still, she couldn’t get enough water for all her family’s needs, so the family used the pond for bathing and washing clothes. Consequently, they often developed skin diseases and stomach problems.
One day, about 20 years ago, all this changed. GFA-supported workers in the region arranged for the village to receive a gift: a hand-pump well that would draw clean water from deep underground. This well would be one of the very first Jesus Wells.
Today, thousands of communities have similar wells provided by GFA-supported clean water initiatives. These Jesus Wells, which provide pure water for hundreds of people, gush out a message of love from the God who cares for their physical needs and offers Living Water: Each well bears a plaque inscribed with Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman in John 4:13–14.
The GFA-supported workers told the village residents this well belonged to the entire village.
“Thinking [back on] the difficulties we faced regarding drawing water from the well, when we first saw this Jesus Well and we drew water, I was very happy,” Garjan remembers. “Actually, I can say that I was the happiest person to draw water and get pure drinking water.”
Life began to change for Garjan, Ubika, their families and the entire village. With access to a continual source of pure, sweet-tasting water, they could draw enough for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, bathing and watering their cattle. The well was closer for many people to use, and it was easier to use because it was a hand pump.
“Now I don’t have to walk to and fro several times to the other well, and I don’t have to … engage in fetching water several hours in a day,” Ubika says. “I am glad that … I can use water from the Jesus Well, which is just in front of my house.”
With improved health and more time for productive work, the entire village gained a chance to thrive. The residents, grateful for the believers who helped make this gift of compassion possible, work together to maintain the well. Whenever it needs repair, they all pitch in money to hire someone to fix it.
“We would like to thank all those who contributed to install this Jesus Well . . . Because of their contribution and their help, we are able to have water for every family here in this village.”
That’s part of the reason why, after approximately 20 years, the well still serves hundreds of people, many of whom come several times per day. According to the villagers, it’s the purest tasting water around. As people come to use the well, which is located by the church, they often engage in conversation with Sameen, the local GFA-supported pastor.
“We would like to thank all those who contributed to install this Jesus Well,” says Pastor Sameen. “Because of their contribution and their help, we are able to have water for every family here in this village.”
Garjan thanks God for the Jesus Well and desires that the people who use it will experience the Lord’s grace.
“By seeing their needs and by seeing their struggles, the Lord has provided this Jesus Well,” he says. “Kindly pray that when they drink [the] water, they may understand this is water which is provided by God.”
*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.Previous Article Next Article