By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
INDIA (ANS) -- On my recent visit to India to witness the plight of the 300 million Dalits ("Untouchables") who are now getting to hear about Jesus Christ, I saw what are called the Jesus Wells, and they are changing many lives-forever.
The Jesus Wells are located near Gospel for Asia-churches or Bible
A Jesus Well that has brought
Jesus Wells are provided for the Dalit people by caring people who support the ministry of Gospel for Asia, and they can make a difference today by providing a Jesus Well for an entire community-with water free to high-caste and low-caste villagers alike-for only $1,000.
For the Dalits of India and South Asia, who are often not allowed to draw water from the public well, Jesus Wells make an enormous difference in their lives.
In a recent interview with K.P. Yohannan at his headquarters in the Indian state of Kerela, the Indian-born founder of Gospel for Asia spoke of the Jesus Wells that are springing up all over South Asia.
K.P. Yohannan duirng his interview with Dan Wooding
"I don't think people in the West can even begin to understand that there are people, like the Untouchables in India or Nepal, who have to walk eight, nine, or ten miles with a water pot to draw water from some pond. And often it's a dirty pond, because they are not allowed to draw water from the public well where the upper castes are also drawing water," he said.
"When our missionaries and pastors began to understand this, we felt that one of the best things we could do was to drill a Jesus Well. It is a tube well, and we have drilled hundreds of them now.
"Today, thousands of these Untouchables, and all kinds of poor people, come and draw their water. We provide some of the best drinking water in the community. And we put a plaque beside each well that has a Bible verse from John's Gospel, where Jesus said, 'I give you living water, and all that drink of this water will never thirst again.'
Again, a Jesus Well is a means to meet a tremendous need for clean water, without which people are suffering, but it is also the means to share with them about Christ."
While I was in India, I discovered the joy of some local Christians when they received their own well as a gift from the Lord! I was also told about the "amazement" of their "enemies" when the believers invited them to draw water freely from the Jesus Well!
Within a month, I was told, the hostile attitude of the other villagers began to change. They became friendlier and started to interact with the believers as they drew water for themselves and their cattle. Most of all, the Jesus Well opened the door for Prabhulal, the local GFA minister, and the other believers to build relationships and share the Gospel with those who formerly refused to listen.
Since Gospel for Asia started the Jesus Well project, they have been able to drill hundreds of wells for desperately poor Dalit and slum communities, often ravaged by drought.
"In every village where a Jesus Well is provided, the impact is the same: The gift of clean water greatly improves people's health, contributes to the development of their communities and opens their hearts to the love of God," said a GFA spokesperson. "Because the wells are placed near our Gospel for Asia churches and Bridge of Hope centers, missionaries are readily available to share the Gospel with those who come to draw the life-giving water.
"There are still however, thousands of villages where a well is needed, and Gospel for Asia is committed to drilling hundreds every year."
If you would like to help and fund the drilling of a Jesus Well for the Untouchables of India, you can get more information at www.gfa.org/wells.
|Dan Wooding is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 42 books, the latest of which is his autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, go to www.fromtabloidtotruth.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.|