Presbyterian missionaries first brought the gospel to Satawm Village in 1917, when the residents were sacrificing pigs to spirits in the surrounding mountain forests. Today, just about every one of Satawm’s 300 residents attends one of two village churches, either the Baptist or the Evangelical Methodist.
After an all-day drive across Chin State that brought us right to the border of India, we arrived in Satawm late last night. To our surprise, the entire village was waiting for us, lining the jeep trail that leads to their village, and we were welcomed with singing and dancing as we shook hands with everyone. Naturally, there are no hotels here, so Satawm’s citizens opened their homes to us. We slept on the floor (as they always do) under piles of blankets to keep warm.
Satawm Village was founded in 1860 by a gentleman named Ro Thawm Vunga, who shot an elephant nearby and shared its meat. (The village’s original name, Sai Satawm, means “flesh of elephant shared.”) The local elephants are long gone, but since its founding, Satawm’s women have been carrying water every day up steep mountain slopes. In more recent years, an earthquake practically dried up their original spring. Another water source, used since then, often produces insufficient and dirty water.
But that has now changed. Two years ago, the elders of Satawm located an excellent water source, but it was twelve miles away from their village. Through months of hard work by Satawm’s men and a loan from Heaven’s Family for purchasing concrete and 12 miles of PVC pipe, all 64 of Satawm’s humble homes now enjoy a private water faucet. Today our team visited many happy mothers here. Below are a few of their photos.