How a water system transformed Mari’s life

One year ago Mari spent her days trekking out to a water spring in the jungle that surrounds her Indonesian village. The path was well worn, familiar, and very long. The round-trip took the young girl over an hour to fetch a few gallons of water. When she returned, her grandmother would boil the water and cook with it. Most days Mari would need to walk to the spring two or even three times.

The majority of children in America can take ten steps to the sink and fill their cup as often as they’d like. In the next room over they can use the toilet and, of course, wash their hands. Before bed they take a warm shower and crawl under the blankets.

Clean water is fundamental to physical health and survival for humans, and so it was more important for Mari to collect water for her family than to attend school. However, in 2017 that all changed.

Under the direction of the church elders and village leaders, Mari’s community members built a complete clean water and sanitation system. The men dug the holes, mixed and spread the cement, and ran the pipes. The women cooked and supported the work while the children helped sift gravel and carry stones. With guidance from Kingdom Workers, Mari’s community constructed a system, built next to the Lutheran church, that benefits the entire community.

Simply building a system is not enough. In the Indonesian villages where we work, educational workshops are organized to help the community learn about washing hands, disease prevention, and taking care of their bodies.

“We don’t just build a toilet and shower system and hope they understand that it is going to be good for them. We need to educate them about the importance of having clean water in which to bathe themselves. If a lot of people go down to the river, they are washing in contaminated water,” said Coral Cady, Southeast Asia Program Manager.

The workshops are centered around the Word of God, and the local pastor has the opportunity to address everyone in attendance. Now the entire village visits the church to use the toilets and access the fresh, clean drinking water.

Mari and the other children don’t need to go out two or three times a day to get water in order to survive. Instead they have time to attend school, to study, to learn, and to thrive.

Mari’s before-story is remarkably common in Indonesia. With your continued support, Kingdom Workers intends to change that story and advance the gospel through meeting the physical and spiritual needs of these remote communities.

 

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