280 years. That is how long the residents of Van Hniam village, deep in the mountains of rural Myanmar, lived without running water. Villagers had to hike 3 miles round trip to fetch the water that has always sustained them. But now, thanks to gifts to Heaven’s Family’s Mutual Fund and Village Development Fund, they enjoy the blessings of running water in their village, accessible from 18 outdoor water faucets, that flows from a large, concrete reservoir high in the mountains.
Accessible water will result in prosperity, as the villagers are now able to grow more cash crops. For that reason, the $3,500 that was required for the water project was offered to Van Hniam village, not as a grant, but as a loan. All the math proves they will have no trouble paying off their loan in 16 months, and they’ll be gratified, knowing that this project was accomplished because of their own hard work. Once our money is returned, we’ll be able to provide a loan for a similar project in another village.
According to information passed down from the villager’s ancestors, Van Hniam village was established in 1730. Those ancestors named their village Van Hniam, which means “low heaven,” in thanks to their pagan gods after a tribal war victory. Christian missionaries from India arrived in 1936, and the entire village converted to Christ upon hearing the gospel for the first time.
I’m looking forward to visiting them later this year to preach the gospel again in their single church, and to drink some pure, mountain water from a village faucet!