The wonders we are witnessing in Rajasthan, India, are an incredible reminder of the first-century birth of our faith: the Spirit is at work, people are coming to faith, we see healing miracles and a growing Church—all in a place where only 0.01% of people are Christian.
Unfortunately, another first-century resemblance is that at times our church-workers, ministers and disciples of Jesus have come under attack for their faith. That’s where you come in. When our Indian church partners first demonstrate God’s love by offering safe, clean drinking water in Jesus’ name, persecution “melts away,” people are invited into homes, and doors are opened for the gospel.
Our staff and partners are faithful and courageous, and they deserve our support. Please help them offer safe drinking water to open doors for the gospel.
Watch the video and read on to see why the stories we are witnessing through our work in India are so remarkable.
Born deaf and mute in Mota Para Village, Patrus began walking to the church in Todi Village when he was 12. The people there loved him. Then, one day during worship he shouted out "Alleluia!" then, "Praise the Lord!" For the first time he could hear!
Delighted, his parents enrolled him in school. He proudly grabbed pen and paper to show us he could write his name. Sadly, a cruel teacher had taught him to write a Hindi word meaning "weak minded." But to the Christians in Mota Para and Todi, Patrus is a miracle. They know good things can come from their villages, just as they did from Nazareth.
The tumor on Waloo’s neck grew and grew. He was told it was cancer, got very sick and was bed-ridden for two years. His aunt told him about the healing ministry at her church. Waloo began attending faithfully, was prayed for in Jesus’ name, and his tumor miraculously disappeared. Where a large lump once threatened his life, Waloo points to a stretch mark that looks like a scar. To the outsider it is a mystery, but for Waloo it’s very matter-of-fact: “Jesus healed me.” Today Waloo makes a living selling ice cream from his bicycle-mounted ice chest. His career, he says, gives him a chance to talk to children about Jesus.
Romila said she was possessed by demons. Many may question whether or not that really happens, but for Romila it was her plain and simple reality: she saw evil spirits around her, and they took control of her thoughts and actions. Then she was invited into the church in Todi Village. She was prayed for in Jesus’ name, and she says she has been completely set free. Every Sunday you will find her in the front row at the Bethel Prayer House in Todi Village praying, singing, worshiping and inviting her friends into the same peace.
Pastor Promod is the grandson of one of the first Indian Christians in Rajasthan. His life is like the apostle Paul’s—he’s a traveler, an encourager, a church planter, a minister and a selfless risk-taker. He announces the good news of Jesus. Sometimes he’s well received and sometimes not, but he always rejoices in truth, always gives, trusts, serves, protects, hopes and perseveres. It was his prayer that led to the prayer ministry in Todi Village and the first church in the region. When people like him are willing to risk their safety—and even their lives—for the gospel, they deserve our partnership.
Living Water International is shaped by our Christian identity. Safe drinking water is good news, but it’s not the best news we have to offer. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is. Through it we are invited into right relationship with God, with each other and into our place in the kingdom Jesus announced.
Whenever possible, Living Water seeks to partner with the Church in the countries where we serve. Working through local churches allows us to partner with other members of the Body of Christ who have an informed perspective, ongoing presence and a commission from God to love their neighbors. Bringing Living Water’s experience and expertise to the table lifts up the local church as an agent of change, through physical signs of the kingdom as well as an invitation to the spiritual life of the family of believers.
Where the local church is not well established—in Rajasthan, for example, but many other places too—Living Water has found that offering safe drinking water opens doors for the gospel. Deeper relationships built through ongoing hygiene and sanitation efforts and the development of a plan for sustainability give us an extended opportunity to share our faith as we both demonstrate and proclaim the gospel.
In most places where we work the local population is non-literate, so Living Water’s “Orality Training Workshop: An Introduction to Contextual Bible Storying” is a useful tool for helping others share the gospel message through stories and questions. In other contexts, Bible distribution is appropriate. We’ve used tools like the Jesus film to give a platform to the local Church. But one thing we always find is that when we offer water we offer, life—and after that people want to hear more about living water and eternal life.
Safe drinking water is good news, but it’s not the best news we have to offer