In the Gunung Kidul region, tens of thousands of people go without clean water every day. Many die because of the disease-causing microorganisms that contaminate their drinking water. Even worse, these people are predominantly Muslim, which means that they die without the knowledge of the true Living Water—Jesus.
The members of Woodburn Baptist Church in Woodburn, Kentucky, felt God calling them to bring clean water to this region by establishing the Gunung Kidul Water Project. Their goal is to bring clean water to all households in this region, and, with that, the hope of Jesus, the Living Water.
Woodburn partnered with International Mission Board personnel and Pure Water, Pure LoveSM to accomplish this God-given mission. In March 2013, they sent a team from their church to two villages in the Purwodadi area with enough water filters for 265 families, giving one thousand people access to clean drinking water.
While there, Woodburn’s missions team, led by Jack Wright, visited the homes of water filter recipients, telling them how “Jesus is the ultimate water source leading to salvation,” Wright said. Steve Cherry, another team member, said that meeting the physical needs of the people opened up opportunities to share the gospel. The team was able to show the villagers grace, a concept foreign to their Islamic culture, by giving the villages something that they truly needed without expecting them to earn it, explained Tess Turner, a member of the team.
The impact of the water filters did not end after the team left. The missionaries in the area use routine checkups on the filters as an opportunity to visit the homes of the people in Purwodadi. They hope that through these water filters they may lead people to Christ, train them in the gospel, and equip them to plant churches throughout Gunung Kidul. The goal of Woodburn is to reach all of Gunung Kidul with water filters and, more importantly, establish 20 church plants by 2020.
Pure Water, Pure Love and its donors are crucial partners in this mission. The donations by churches and Christian organizations across the nation enabled PWPL to grant Woodburn the money to purchase 265 water filters. Through each small donation, the Living Water of Jesus satisfies the thirst of people.
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