May Linda be the Last

29 Nov

Villagers by new well enjoying safe water
“We now say, thank you! We are so grateful for you!”

May Linda be the Last

Ending common diseases for poor villagers in rural Malawi

Dear Family,

Linda had already become weak and pale by the time her mother reached her…would she make it to the hospital?

She didn’t.

“Cholera,” we were told. When we then asked if their community had access to safe water, they replied, “We have never used clean water in our entire lives.”

Baluwa, the village of which I speak, is located in the impoverished East African country of Malawi. That’s where our compassionate ministry partner is working to make disciples and teach sustainable farming principles (through the help of our Farming God’s Way sister ministry) to help them grow enough food to eat and sell.

But not having clean water was a huge problem. In fact, they didn’t have much water at all.

The people were dependent on dirty, shallow streams for their drinking water and household needs. And in the dry season water was even more scarce. To find water during those times, the people had to dig shallow pits by hand in the ground along dry stream beds. That water was also dirty and unfit to drink. Waterborne diseases, including cholera, dysentery and schistosomiasis (aka, bilharzia), killed many.

One of them was Linda. When we asked about Linda, who passed away only recently, her bereaved mother began to sob. Tearfully, she told us it was her son who first became sick, “opening bowels” and vomiting after drinking bad water. She took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with cholera. During that time her daughter Linda, just 8 years old, fell to the same symptoms at home…

Picture of villagers collecting water from hand-dug wells
At left, water collection used to be hard work, requiring digging and taking hours waiting for dirty water to rise in the hole and then the time to haul it home; at right, Linda’s family standing in front of their mud-brick home after her death (the hand on the face is meant to show their sadness)

We were too late for Linda, sadly, but not for the many other children of Baluwa. Your gifts to the Safe Water Ministry have made it possible to drill a deep well in the community. Now, praise God, the people are enjoying safe, clean drinking water for the first time in their lives!

You have changed everything for them! Now, with plenty of clean, safe water, moms can spend much more time with their families and grow crops to feed them. Their children can go to school instead of spending hours fetching water from dangerous, hand-dug holes. May Linda be the last to die from cholera ever again in Baluwa.

Thank you so much for your cheerful obedience to Jesus’ command to love others as you love yourself through your gifts to the Safe Water Ministry.

Picture of children drinking water, one muddy water and the other purified water.
At left, it is hard for us to imagine that kids like this young boy are drinking mud, but, this is what hand-dug well water looks like; at right, clean, beautiful, sparkling water splashing through this little girl’s hands! Plenty of clean water to drink flowing from the new well!

GOOD NEWS TRAVELS FAST! The well in Baluwa is now making a huge impact outside their community, as people (who have been still drinking disease-laden mud, essentially) have begun to travel from far away to taste and draw the clean water of Baluwa—water that followers of Jesus like you made possible. May all of us continue, joyfully, to show the love of Jesus through the life-giving gift of clean water, creating more opportunities for others to come to know Jesus, who is Living Water.

Serving Together,

Diane Scott
Director, Safe Water Ministry

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