Lutheran Health Alliance Director Jason Paltzer recently traveled to SE Asia to visit our local ministry teams of teachers and church members where the Lord is truly opening doors to strengthen his children and spread the gospel. In one community, a new water pump was installed and a storage tank was built that makes it easier and safer for the community to collect water. One fifth-grade girl commented, “Now I have more time for my studies.” Close access to water is foundational for other community development initiatives such as early child education to take root.
At the worship service, where the pump and storage tank were dedicated, six non-church member families participated and joined in thanking God for the blessing of water facilitated by Kingdom Workers. It was a true blessing to see community members working alongside the congregation to make this vision a reality. Kingdom Workers participated in what God was already doing in this community and connected people with the resources to improve their livelihood.
Kingdom Workers is also supporting the construction of a slow sand filter tank in this community, which will purify the water at the distribution point for safe consumption. This solution was provided for the people of just one village. Plans have been made to support two to three additional communities with access to water for drinking and irrigation over the next couple of months.
During this visit, the team also conducted follow-up surveys of the ten families that received a household water filtration system last May. Over the course of the past three months, this pilot project reduced diarrheal illnesses by 75% from an average of four episodes per month to one. Families also reported that they are drinking more water because it tastes better and is often colder after going through the filter. Dehydration is extremely common and giving families the opportunity to drink clean water for $25 will not only reduce cases of diarrhea, but also increase overall productivity.
Join us in praying that God continue to bless the efforts of the local leadership teams in these communities and work through them to bring his gift of salvation to those who do not know him.
Spring 2016 :: Coral Cady, Kingdom Workers Field Manager: South East Asia
A remote village in the mountains of Southeast Asia was struggling with issues relating to clean water. People were suffering from diarrhea. Women and children were hauling buckets several hours a day from the village to the water source and back. Boiling the water to purify it was contributing to respiratory diseases. Due to this never ending cycle of critical activity, time was not given to homework and other important tasks.
One of the village leaders said, “If only we had more water, we could grow gardens. We could plant vegetables and fruit that would help our children become healthier and have greater success in school.”
Things are different now in many ways. Recently, a group of Southeast Asian pastors gathered with Kingdom Workers Field Manager, Coral Cady and discussed the progress of this project. After the installation of a hydraulic land pump, storage tanks and a bio-sand filter, there is greater hope. Water has had a huge impact and been a great blessing to these people. As the story unfolded, several photos were shared. There were tears, cheers and prayers of thanks being offered to God!
The installation of a bio-sand filter is now ensuring clean drinking water. No longer do the women have to boil water before drinking. Not only has the number of cases of diarrhea drastically decreased, but also it has provided an opening for Kingdom Workers to educate them about respiratory health. Indoor cooking over wood fires is the number one reason why women, who cook the meals, are dying of respiratory diseases.
Instead of hauling and boiling water for many hours each day, there is now time for other activities. Children have time to do school work, play, and help with other chores. Because water is more accessible, the villagers are able to plant gardens and grow healthy foods they can eat and sell.
Church members feel blessed to share something special with their neighbors. Water has brought this community together; bringing harmony that has not been possible before. Because of the water, people are able to put aside old problems and focus on how to use this water to make a difference. Members of the congregation are inviting others in the community to attend services to access an even greater hope found in the true and living Water from Jesus Christ!
It is amazing to see the impact that water is having on God’s people.