April 25 2011 by Caroline Anderson, Baptist Press

    For most Americans, having clean water simply means walking into the kitchen. For a village in India, having clean water meant walking more than a mile, round trip.  

    One woman from North Carolina and her Sunday School class decided to shorten the walking distance for a village in India.  

    Katie Justice heard about the need for water in this village of more than 200 people after members of her church, Flemings Baptist Church in Lenoir, took a mission trip to work with her nephew Cal Hardison.* Hardison and his wife, Maggie, work with national pastors in the area.  

    Justice learned from the mission trip debrief that the only usable well in the village had not been properly maintained and the water was too dirty to drink. The United Nations estimates most villages in India do not have clean drinking water, with one in six people in the world denied access to clean, fresh water. The Hardisons said village women going for water would bring back as much as they could carry in containers, often weighing as much as 41 pounds — while carrying their babies at the same time. This water provided for their families daily needs — drinking, cooking and cleaning.  

    The U.N. suggests every person needs five to 13 gallons of water a day.  

    Contributed photo

    No longer without clean water, a national pastor in India stands by a newly built well. Members of a Sunday School from Flemings Baptist Church in Lenoir, contributed the money to build the well.


    Justice and several friends from her Sunday School class decided to send $1,000 to build several wells in this village, to eliminate the mile-long walks.  

    “After church one Sunday night, we were talking about the church budget not having a designated amount to send,” Justice said. “It seemed to us that we three, in fact, could be the ones to provide money for one or more wells.  

    “Providing wells was a way to put our desire to show the love of our Savior Jesus to those in need,” Justice said.   

    The well project also provided inroads for national pastors in the area to share the gospel. One of the wells was built on the property of a national partner.  

    “It (the well) has created several opportunities for him and his wife to re-share the gospel and to share more stories from the Bible as the people come to his house to pump water,” Maggie Hardison said.  

    Before, the national partner didn’t have much success in sharing the gospel. Hardison said the well strengthened his credibility in the community.  

    “When he put in the well, many neighbors walked by and asked if they were going to be able to use it,” she said.  

    There are two hand-pump wells in the village, one located in a government-owned school and another privately owned. The government school would not allow usage during school hours.  

    The man who owned the private well wouldn’t allow anyone outside his family to use the pump. Villagers also were banned from using a well located on a mosque compound.  

    “He told them, yes, that it would be available to anyone in the community,“ Hardison said.  

    There are 10 known believers in the village, Hardison said. The majority of the village professes to be Hindu. Some of the villagers are Muslim. “People understand that the Christians are willing to help anyone in the community, despite religion or caste (class status),” Hardison said.  

    A second well will be dug soon for the community.  

    *Name changed.

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    4/25/2011 7:57:00 AM by Caroline Anderson, Baptist Press | with 0 comments




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