Water. What would you do without it? You open your faucet and it gushes out in unlimited supply. Every single time.
Not for 5-year-old Amos. He knows how precious water is, and how hard life can be without it. Let me introduce you to him through his own words (with a little help from an interpreter)…
“My name is Amos Makooi. I live with my father and mother and four brothers and sisters. I like drawing, learning to read, and singing, especially praise songs at church. I’m in the Top Nursery Class at school…my parents are so proud of me! When I’m not in school, I look after my father’s sheep, goats and cows…he teaches me about taking care of the animals.”
Amos lives in Ngowsani, Kenya, a place stricken by severe drought since before he was born. He’d never seen a functioning faucet, nor felt cool, refreshing water splash on his face or slide down his parched throat. Hot, dry, dusty—that was all Amos knew.
Our little guide tells us more about his world:
“Where we live, it normally has a drought and we’re very far from a river. Sometimes, we sat hungry waiting for my mom to return with [muddy, unsafe river] water. It would take her all day to bring one jerry can [which holds 5 gallons of water and weighs 42 pounds when full—imagine walking miles in the hot sun each day with 5 jugs of milk] because it was so far away. It was hard to keep ourselves clean because the little water we had was for cooking only. We could go 2 months without bathing, and we always felt very dirty, with lice in our clothes and flies all over. It seemed like we were always sick. Sometimes I’d go with my father to bring the animals to find water…sometimes we’d walk 20 km [12.5 miles] or more searching for water. It was very dusty and we always had problems coughing and had problems with our eyes.”
Happily, our young friend has beaten the odds. More than 2,000 children under 5 years of age perish each day worldwide from dehydration due to diarrhea caused by water-borne diseases.
One day Heaven’s Family learned of the plight of Amos and other children in his community. Providing safe drinking water to little Jesus-followers like Amos is what the Safe Water Ministry is all about. Plans were made, funds were raised. When we told Amos’ drought-stricken community a well would be drilled in their village, the adults were elated, but Amos didn’t know what to think. Excited grownups painted a happy picture for the little boy, but he couldn’t imagine life with abundant clean water. Nevertheless, contagious excitement and wonder began to flood his 5-year-old thoughts.
A drill rig and workers appeared one day from afar, and what was once unimaginable became reality. Amos bubbled with joy as he shared his newfound experiences:
“Now that we have the new well, we have water very near and everyone is clean! We don’t have lice and everyone is feeling stronger! We get food quickly because the water is very near…. We can bathe daily and our clothes are clean, too! We don’t have to go far to bring the animals to get water, and they seem healthier also. When we got water…we learned many new things [like] how to grow vegetables for our family! It’s something new! No one here knew about growing vegetables before we got the water. Now my mom can have a business selling her vegetables to help our family. We are so happy that Heaven’s Family came to help us!”
Could I have said it better myself? For Amos, a simple water well has changed everything. Clean water in this village is a miracle that could not have happened without the love and compassion of ordinary people like you. Just as this well has changed everything for Amos and his community, so the love of Jesus’ followers brings transformation when it steps into the lives of the poor. What a difference we can make together!