Many Types of Water Wells, But One Is Changing Lives

There are multiple types of water wells, including irrigation, shallow, geothermal, artesian and sand point.1 These wells are typically either dug, driven or drilled and vary in size and depth.2 While in ancient times, wells were commonly dug by hand, most modern wells are drilled with some sort of rotary drill bit that excavates down to the underground water aquifer.3

Common components of such wells include:

  • casing to maintain the open access into the earth while preventing debris from entering;
  • grout to seal spaces around the outside of the well and protect against contaminants’ intrusion;
  • a screen at the bottom to filter sand and gravel;
  • and a gravel pack to prevent sand from clogging the screen and to stabilize the well assembly.4
  • An essential component of the well’s mechanics is a water pump, which brings water upward to where it can be accessed by the well’s user.5

While there are many private wells, there are also public wells that provide water resources for entire communities.

Many people, however, lack any proper water source.

In developing regions of the world, many impoverished people can’t afford clean water on their own and frequently suffer from various diseases associated with drinking from contaminated water sources, such as cholera, typhoid, polio, dysentery and diarrhea. Worldwide, 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water.6

In addition to the danger of disease, water shortages also have negative effects on hygiene.

According to Borgen Magazine,

“Globally, 2.3 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation and over 800 children under age five die every day from illnesses related to poor sanitation and water quality. Providing easily accessible and clean water improves impoverished communities’ living conditions and allows families to rise out of poverty.”7

Organizations such as GFA World help these people in need by installing community wells that freely offer access to clean water.

So far, more than 38 million people have been helped by GFA World’s clean water initiatives, which include Jesus Wells. As a result of these types of water wells, lives and communities are being transformed.


For example, Ragnar’s four children continually battled sickness from the polluted water they drank.8

Their frequent sickness and poor health caused them to struggle in school and risked their very lives. They were at risk of becoming some of the estimated 85,700 children who die every year from diarrhea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.9 Ragnar longed to offer his children better health, but his options were few. They were among the nearly 700 million people in the developing world who lack potable water.10

Then Ragnar encountered GFA missionary Dabid, whose heart swelled with compassion when he learned of Ragnar’s plight. Soon, a Jesus Well was installed in Ragnar’s village. Now, the entire village has free access to clean, pure drinking water. They are no longer subject to diseases easily prevented with pure water. Their health, and their lives, have been greatly enriched by this Jesus Well.

Vimal’s village faced a similar water crisis.11

Residents walked nearly a mile, multiple times a day, to collect water for cooking, bathing and cleaning. Dependent on agriculture, many people in the village needed water for their livelihoods in addition to their survival. Yet every year, for four months, drought would come and exasperate their limited water supply. There simply wasn’t enough water to go around, and the water that was available was unsafe to drink. It caused stomachaches, sicknesses and even death.

In answer to much prayer, Vimal’s village received a Jesus Well. Dug deep below the surface, this Jesus Well provides Vimal’s village with clean water year-round, and it doesn’t make them sick. The health of the community has improved tremendously.

These are just two examples of how Jesus Wells are changing lives, and they will continue to impact lives for years to come.


Proper maintenance is essential for wells to remain in proper working order and continue supplying clean water.12 Jesus Wells, built to last, are locally maintained by a pastor and his congregation, who are part of the community the well serves. They are responsible for basic maintenance as well as keeping the area tidy and easily accessible. If major repairs are needed, GFA World provides for those repairs so the well will continue being a source of life for the community.

Jesus Wells also point people to the Living Water found only in Christ, impacting their lives for eternity. A plaque near every Jesus Well displays John 4:13–14:

“Jesus answered and said to her: ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Jesus Wells show the tangible love of Christ by compassionately meeting practical needs within the communities where GFA missionaries serve.

Learn more about Jesus Wells »

1 “Well Drilling Costs.” Central Valley Flood Protection Board. http://cvfpb.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/8b.-EIS-Attachment-Well-Drilling-Costs.pdf. Accessed November 9, 2021.
2 “Groundwater wells.” USGS. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/groundwater-wells?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects. Accessed November 9, 2021.
3 “Groundwater wells.” USGS. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/groundwater-wells?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects. Accessed November 9, 2021.
4 “Well System Components.” Wellowner.org. http://wellowner.org/resources/basics/well-system-components/. Accessed November 9, 2021.
5 “Basics of a Well Pump System.” World Water Reserve. https://worldwaterreserve.com/potable-water/well-water-pumping/how-does-a-well-pump-work/. Accessed November 8, 2021.
6 “Water Supply & Sanitation.” World Water Council. https://www.worldwatercouncil.org/en/water-supply-sanitation. Accessed August 11, 2021.
7 Beutel, Allie. “Water for Good: Sustainable Wells in the CAR.” Borgen Magazine. https://www.borgenmagazine.com/water-for-good-bringing-accessible-water-to-central-african-republic/. December 7, 2020.
8 “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.
9 “More children killed by unsafe water, than bullets, says UNICEF chief.” United Nations. https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/03/1035171. March 21, 2019.
10Sanitation and Hygiene in Asia.” Plan International. https://plan-international.org/asia/sanitation-hygiene-asia/ . Accessed January 14, 2021.
11 “Jesus Well Relieves Water Crisis.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/gfa-world-jesus-well-relieves-water-crisis/. March 2019.
12 Beutel, Allie. “Water for Good: Sustainable Wells in the CAR.” Borgen Magazine. https://www.borgenmagazine.com/water-for-good-bringing-accessible-water-to-central-african-republic/. December 7, 2020.