watch out! Those tricky missionaries are at it again, drilling wells for people who have limited access to clean water in India...
Prabhulal received this dire threat from angry villagers when he first started his church-planting work in rural Rajasthan. And things didn't exactly improve when the first villagers received Christ as their Savior. They were hated, branded as low castes and treated as dirt.
The believers were not even allowed to draw water from the public well. This was an enormous hardship for the Christians, especially the women, during the hot summer months. They had to walk long distances to get water and carry the heavy pots home on their heads.
In spite of the animosity and opposition, however, their numbers grew. Some 75 to 80 people gathered for worship each Sunday, and sometimes there was not even enough room for everyone inside the building.
Imagine the joy of the Christians when they received their own well as a gift from the Lord and from the Body of Christ! And just try to picture the amazement of their "enemies" when the believers invited them to draw water freely from the Jesus Well!
Within a month, the hostile attitude of the villagers began to change. They became friendlier and started to interact with the believers as they drew water for themselves and their cattle. Most of all, the Jesus Well opened the door for Prabhulal and the other believers to build relationships and share the Gospel with those who formerly refused to listen.
You see, each Jesus Well has an inscription that encourages those who draw water to ask our missionaries for an explanation. The inscription reads:
Jesus Christ says: "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst" (John 4:13-14).
Since we started the Jesus Well project, we have been able to drill 50 wells for desperately poor Dalit and slum communities, often ravaged by drought.
And in all of these villages, the ongoing impact of these wells is the same: The gift of clean water greatly improves people's health, contributes to the development of their communities and opens their hearts to the love of God. And because we place the wells near our churches and Bridge of Hope centers, our missionaries are readily available to share the Gospel with those who come.