Water for Refugees
A settlement for refugees in Asia, founded more than 50 years ago, is now a well-established community with a school, a hostel, and a clinic. The main source of income for the 700 residents is selling souvenirs. Edward* and his oldest brother Howard grew up there.
Edward began following Christ about 10 years ago. He left the settlement and became involved in a church movement in a city. A few months ago, his brother died tragically after falling from a cliff.
Howard’s death gave Edward the opportunity to return to the community he grew up in, a desire God had been stirring in his heart for years. He and his wife moved in with his widowed mother, and Edward became a leader in the small, local church.
Shortly after moving back, God stirred Edward’s heart again. He began to see that for the church to build relationships and show Christ’s love, they needed to meet the needs of their community. Edward and every resident knew water shortages were a major challenge during the dry season. This was an immediate need Edward knew the church could address.
Several years ago, a landslide damaged the water system located about an hour outside the camp. The community repaired what they could and worked diligently to maintain the pipes, but soil erosion and sedimentation of sand, pebbles, fish, and frogs damaged the water passage. The system, which flows from a natural spring in the foothills of a steep mountain, needed a complete overhaul.
Edward asked his church in the city for advice on renovations. Through several connections in the church and conversations with local leaders, including the camp chief, they put together a proposal which was funded by CAMA and the Canadian Alliance. They would need to move forward quickly before the coming rainy season.
The chief and local leaders asked households to donate to the water project and provide night watch for the materials carried up the mountain, a challenging task during the rainy season due to slippery paths and leeches. After numerous rain delays, renovations began on a new water tank. Local workers drilled into the rocky wall to lay support for the 250 meters (nearly three football fields) of pipeline.
Today the project is complete and a water problem removed. Through community development, the relationship of the church with local leaders has strengthened, and 700 refugees have seen a physical demonstration of Christ’s love. Through His church, God is transforming lives, and through this transformation, communities are restored.