How the Bible brought clean water to Mozambique


The more you study community development, the more you realize that solutions to problems usually can be found within the community. You can”t SEE them, but they”re there.

What I”m talking about are ideas … values … principles. Even beyond cement and supplies to construct clean-water wells, schools or other infrastructure, the most important thing FH gives to families locked in extreme poverty is the very idea that they don”t have to stay in poverty, because God wants more for them.

“Hope” might sound like a cliche, but it could just be the most underestimated weapon we have against the monster of global poverty.

FH staff use God”s Word to prove there is hope in Christ for the poorest of the poor. In rural Mozambique, the story of Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem”s walls compelled community leaders to mobilize their own people to action.

“God is opening the eyes of the leaders so that they can see God-given resources and potential around them,” our field staff report.

The story of Jesus washing his disciples” feet encouraged these leaders to serve their communities with humility.

While ideas and values may be invisible, the fruit of them is not. 

In Tambarare, there used to be only one clean-water well slots games for about 3,000 people. Women and girls would leave home at 3 a.m., walk a long distance, wait in a long line, then wait some more for the well to drip … drip… drip … until the 10-gallon jerry can was full.

This lifestyle caused a lot of problems including girls missing school, kids wearing filthy clothes (no water to wash them), and physical injury as a result of lugging 80 pounds of water several miles — barefoot.

The alternative wasn”t much better: Like many, 11-year-old Mureche (above) chose to fetch water from the river instead of waiting in a long line. The river — still 3 miles away — promised disease. People and animals bathed in it, clothes and dishes were washed in it, and families drank from it.  

Mureche often was late to or absent from school because of this chore and because the water made her sick.

However, once leaders in Tambarare absorbed the Biblical values described above, clean-water wells (like the one above) began to spring up in the center of town. Community leaders and families with newfound hope learned this was one problem they could solve with a little help from FH.

Obvious fruit can be seen in Mureche and her peers. She is healthy and back in school. In her village, less time is spent collecting water, leaving more time for earning money or caring for children. Because the water is clean, less money is spent on treating disease.

“They also said that not only having water around their vicinity makes them happy,” our field staff report, “but they also learned how to solve their problems by themselves.”

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