Emmanuel is 13 years old. He lives at home with his parents and four siblings, and he attends grade 2 at the local school.
Sounds pretty normal, right? Well, I wish Emmanuel’s life were normal.
Even though Emmanuel is enrolled in school, that doesn’t mean he’s actually on time for school. Most days, Emmanuel is late for class because he’s busy fetching water. And again, after school, he is out collecting water.
That still doesn’t sound so bad, right? But let me add some more context.
If you were to visit Kayonza, Rwanda, you might see Emmanuel, along with other young children, running around the dusty streets and trying to scoop whatever water they can out of the open-sewer street gutters. When it rains, they work extra hard to collect the water that gathers in the big potholes of the dirt roads before it disappears.
Emmanuel then takes the filthy water that he’s worked so hard to collect back home so his mom can use it to wash their dishes, do their laundry, and give everyone baths. He collects this water for household chores because it’s the only water his family can find so close to their home.
Emmanuel then treks over a mile to a free-flowing spring to collect drinking water for his family. Unfortunately, this spring is almost always crowded with people from surrounding communities who are also very desperate for water. Because of the mob of people and animals seeking fresh water, the spring is often contaminated.
And sometimes, Emmanuel hikes the entire mile only to find that the spring has run dry. He then walks back home empty-handed, with no drinking water for his family.
Emmanuel lives in a very poverty-stricken region of Rwanda. If you’ve ever heard the saying “dirt poor,” then you have a pretty good description of his community in Kayonza. Like most of the local men, Emmanuel’s father is a day laborer who builds with mud bricks. His mother is a peasant farmer. The entire community is very poor, marginalized and largely forgotten. One of their most urgent needs is clean water.
Emmanuel’s mom and dad are among the many parents in this region who are earnestly praying for a well to be drilled in their community so they can access clean and safe water for drinking and household chores. They’re tired of watching their children suffer.
Many of the people in Emmanuel’s community, including his own family, often fall sick from various illnesses. Some of the diseases known to plague them are cholera, skin diseases, and kwashiorkor caused by worms and parasites in the water. (Kwashiorkor can also be caused by malnutrition and lack of protein, but here it is more common because of the contaminated water. One of the easily recognized symptoms of this disease is a large, distended stomach.)
Can you help provide safe water for Emmanuel, his family, his community, and the surrounding region? The Safe Water Ministry of Heaven’s Family can drill a deep well in Kayonza and install a pump, water storage system, and a kiosk for about $35,650.
This well will provide clean water for all 1,850 people in Emmanuel’s community, in addition to villagers in the surrounding region. In other words, for about $19 per person, we could give Kayonza reliable, year-round, safe drinking water!
Not only will this be a life-changing answer to the prayers of the suffering saints, but as hundreds of villagers travel to access the clean water, they too will be learning about the Living Water during the daily discipleship-based Bible studies hosted where the well is to be drilled. Please help if you can.