By Dennis Hardin
On my last trip to South Asia, my wife Cindy and I, alongside our national partners, trained 448 pastors and church leaders in the Inductive Bible Study method. Each of those trained persons will now train 32 others in this method. This totals 14,336 that soon will be trained. That’s multiplying leaders exponentially. We also baptized 664 people during our 12-day trip, and 20 new churches were planted during the month of July alone.
Then, we checked the progress of the Jesus Well Project …
When Mercy, Inc., a partner ministry of One Mission Society, began ministry in South Asia, we came alongside an existing indigenous ministry to start microcredit programs and to assist with flood relief. These projects were successful, but it came to our attention that a greater need was for clean, arsenic-free water. So, together, in 2010 we started the Jesus Well Project.
Our purpose was twofold: First, we wanted to provide water that was safe to drink, and second, we wanted to open the doors to evangelism in this region. Mercy, Inc. provides the funds needed to drill and maintain the wells in the country, and the national ministry partners do the evangelism through their partnership with Every Community for Christ, a direct ministry of One Mission Society.
Let me tell you the story of Shelfali and her village.
Shefali is a housewife. She lives in a village with her husband Sham, who is a day laborer. They have one son and one daughter, ages 1 and 6, respectively.
They live in areas with high levels of arsenic. For years, they did not have access to safe drinking water … until the Jesus Well Project reached out to this village. By installing arsenic-free tube wells, the people now have pure, safe drinking water, thus helping these villagers to protect themselves from arsenic poisoning.
Arsenic effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness in hands and feet and partial paralysis. Arsenic also has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney and nasal passages.
Today, Shefali, her family and many other villagers have access to clean water for drinking, cooking food, bathing, washing clothes and cleaning utensils. Shefali says that this well keeps them safe from arsenic, as well as other waterborne diseases that can harm the villagers, especially their children.
She is thankful to the Lord and also to the donors for their generous giving to help these people who, otherwise, have no access to clean water. This faithful giving has opened doors to share the love of Jesus among the beneficiaries. We extend our hands to help individuals, their families and communities overcome and improve their lives. This includes Shefali’s family.
- 692 arsenic- and bacterial-free tube wells have been provided.
- 244,000 people have been reached and provided with safe water.
- 118,000 have come to know Christ.
- 10,910 people have been baptized.
Because of strong national leadership, the Jesus Well Project has gone beyond our expectations. We knew going in that the well project would work, and we had high hopes for effective evangelism, but the number of people that have been reached and the responses to Christ have been even better than we had hoped. We look forward to drilling more wells and reaching even greater numbers for the cause of Christ by meeting the physical needs of the people of South Asia.
Dennis Hardin is President of Mercy, Inc., a partner ministry of One Mission Society