After they had walked down the slippery hill to the waterhole, the husband and wife worked to fill their vessels with water. When it rained a lot, Esmae placed one container of water on her head and carried another on her hip, while Kylan carried two on a pole across his shoulders. This way they wouldn’t have to make another trip. With their containers full, they headed back up the hill, treading slick ground.
Sometimes they slipped, but they found their footing and continued onward.
Never Able to Get Ahead
This illustration reflects a daily struggle for Kylan and Esmae, rain or shine, and a dilemma many people in Africa and Asia face. Water is not easily accessible, so they must walk great distances to fetch water for some of the family’s most vital needs. World Vision reports, “Every day, women and girls spend 200 million hours walking to collect water for their families.”1
It doesn’t matter if it is hot or cold, rainy or sunny: These villagers must make the daily trek, usually multiple times a day, to get the water needed for their family. For Kylan and Esmae, that meant waking up before the sun rose and heading out to fetch water. After that, they went to work all day, only to come home and fetch water again, regardless of how exhausted they were.
Every day, women and girls spend 200 million hours walking to collect water for their families.
People like Kylan and Esmae work hard to provide for their families, but their stress is only intensified when the water they fetch brings sickness to their family due to its impurity. For Kylan’s family, their main source of water was a water hole, and insects, frogs and bacteria often lived in the water. Despite the family’s attempts to filter the water using muslin or clothes, the water was still not pure. They had to use it nonetheless—it was all that was available to them.
Drinking or even bathing in water like Kylan and Esmae’s often leads to upset stomachs, fevers, skin diseases or other ailments. When someone falls ill from such waterborne diseases, they must spend their hard-earned money on treatment, and an endless cycle emerges: People spend hours fetching water so they can complete their daily tasks and get ahead in life. When it’s impure water, they end up getting sick and losing previous time and money. Over and over again, this cycle continues.
The Hope of Pure Water
However, the cycle can be stopped. For Kylan and Esmae’s village, change came when their GFA pastor announced that he had requested a Jesus Well for their village. One of the villagers volunteered to donate his land for the well, and in just a few months, the Jesus Well was installed.
Finally, the villagers had good, clean water available to them, and it wouldn’t be far from home! Having a Jesus Well in the middle of the village allowed them to fetch water whenever they needed it. Drilled up to 600 feet deep, a Jesus Well can provide pure water for a village even in times of drought, and it is durable, lasting approximately 20 years, so a generation can grow up never knowing the struggle of impure water. 2
“We can’t thank enough God for the blessings that He has given to our village, and we are so happy to have a Jesus Well in our village.”
“The water from the Jesus Well [is] very tasty and very clean and good to drink,” Kylan said. He is very grateful that he and his family don’t get sick so often and don’t have to spend money on treatments due to waterborne illnesses. “We were very glad that our troubles and our problems from the [lack of] pure and clean water were solved by the church,” Kylan said. “We can’t thank enough God for the blessings that He has given to our village, and we are so happy to have a Jesus Well in our village.”
Now, Kylan and Esmae don’t have to wake up early to make the long walk to the waterhole before work. They don’t have to trek far distances on hot afternoons or rainy mornings to reach their water source. It is right there nearby, available whenever they need it. This easy access to clean water brought renewed happiness in the family as their overall health improved.
Others Still Need Clean Water
Although Kylan and Esmae’s village was blessed by a Jesus Well, UNICEF reports, “…over 134 million people still do not have access to improved drinking water. It is currently estimated that in South Asia between 68 to 84 percent of water sources are contaminated.” 3 It’s estimated that 829,000 people die every year from diarrhea due to contaminated drinking water.4 Hope fades for them because no matter what they do, it’s never enough, and they can’t break the cycle. But that cycle can be broken. With a Jesus Well, a whole village can experience clean water, not just for their lifetime, but for generations to come. With the well dug deep into the ground, the water remains pure and fresh. No longer will they be plagued by ailments brought on by contaminated water. That worry and fear will no longer consume them. Instead, they can know peace and finally have hope for a brighter future.
You can help bring families like Kylan and Esmae’s closer to God through a Jesus Well. God can transform entire families and villages as they see Him remove the burden of impure water and bless them with a basic need each day.