Providing Clean Water: Charity GFA World
Despite the vast amounts of water covering the earth’s surface, 1.1 billion people in the world lack access to clean water.1 Those without such access frequently suffer from waterborne diseases and other health issues, which can lead to death. Responding to this pressing need for clean water, charity GFA World provides families and communities with clean water through Jesus Wells and BioSand water filters. These clean water initiatives have helped more than 38 million people in need in places such as Asia live healthier lives, and GFA World has recently expanded their ministry into Africa.
For example, 34-year-old Keeva constantly battled stomachaches, caused by the dirty water she was forced to drink.2 Her neighbors also battled various related ailments. Their only water source was contaminated. Fortunately, a local GFA pastor compassionately responded to their need by providing 200 families, including Keeva’s, with BioSand water filters, which filter out 98 percent of impurities. With this pure drinking water, Keeva no longer suffers from stomachaches.
Such clean water charity initiatives can also save lives.
People in developing regions such as Asia and Africa are often forced to drink water contaminated with feces, arsenic and other harmful elements. As it is the only water available, they have no choice. This unsafe water leads to disease, including cholera, typhoid, polio, dysentery and diarrhea. According to the World Water Council, “Water-related diseases are the most common cause of illness and death among the poor of developing countries.”3 They estimate that every year 1.8 million people die from diarrheal diseases alone, and 90 percent of those deaths are children under the age of 5.4
Many of these illnesses and deaths would be preventable, if these individuals and communities had access to clean water.
One particular village where GFA World serves was inundated by disease caused by unsanitary drinking water.5 Severe sickness, as well as disagreements over the old water pump, was common. GFA pastor Mabon learned of their troubles and installed a Jesus Well. The well brought not only an abundance of fresh, clean drinking water—and, with it, health—but peace to supplant the previous unrest.
The lack of access to clean water affects various aspects of life, including time.
Many people in regions such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa must walk 30 minutes or more to collect water for their daily needs.6 This task typically falls to women and girls, and the burden steals precious time and energy from these ladies. Access to readily available clean water, however, empowers water-gatherers to focus attention elsewhere, such as in gaining an education or generating income. It enables them to look beyond their urgent need for water and invest in the future.
Children, whose growing bodies contain proportionately more water than adults and have higher metabolisms, are especially vulnerable to the effects of contaminated water.7
This water can cause diarrhea, which depletes the body’s fluids. In developing areas such as Africa and South Asia, diarrhea claims the lives of approximately 1.5 million children every year.8 Sickness can also keep children from attending school and thus gaining skills they need to unlock greater opportunities for their futures.
Ragnar’s children, for example, regularly struggled in their studies because of the water-borne sicknesses they battled.9 Their only drinking water was unsafe, which can cause vomiting, stomachaches, headaches and confusion. These ailments affect a child’s ability to learn in addition to their overall wellbeing. Ragnar wanted his children to excel, but their lack of clean water hindered their health and their chances for success.
Then Ragnar encountered GFA missionary Dabid, who learned of the caring father’s distress and took action. Once a Jesus Well was installed in Ragnar’s village, his family and their entire community had ample access to clean water. Ragnar’s children were no longer shackled by the detrimental effects of contaminated water. Their health, and the prospects for their futures, have been enriched.
GFA World, a charity which helps provide clean water, has been serving the “least of these” in areas such as Asia and Africa since 1979. Clean water initiatives are just one avenue through which GFA national missionaries tangibly show Christ’s love to those in need and help transform communities.
1 “Water Supply & Sanitation.” World Water Council. https://www.worldwatercouncil.org/en/water-supply-sanitation. Accessed August 11, 2021.
2 “Filtering Out Sickness.” GFA World. https://gospelforasia-reports.org/2020/03/filtering-out-sickness/. March 9, 2020.
3 “Water Supply & Sanitation.” World Water Council. https://www.worldwatercouncil.org/en/water-supply-sanitation. Accessed August 11, 2021.
4 “Water Supply & Sanitation.” World Water Council. https://www.worldwatercouncil.org/en/water-supply-sanitation. Accessed August 11, 2021.
5 “Fighting the Water Crisis: Jesus Well Provides Villagers Relief.” GFA World. https://gospelforasia-reports.org/2021/02/jesus-well-provides-villagers-relief-sickness-body-spirit/. February 8, 2021.
6 “Water Inequality.” National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.org/article/water-inequality/. Accessed August 12, 2021.
7 Holt, Palmer “Dying of Thirst: The Global Water Crisis” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/dying-of-thirst-global-water-crisis/#original . March 1, 2019.
8 Holt, Palmer “Dying of Thirst: The Global Water Crisis” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/dying-of-thirst-global-water-crisis/#original . March 1, 2019.
9 “A Family’s Fight Against Contaminated Water.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/a-familys-fight-against-contaminated-water-wfr21-03/. February 2021.