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Hope through safe water

Hundreds of millions of people around the world have no access to the clean drinking water you and I are privileged to have in Australia and New Zealand.

Som Phann is one of those people. He remembers when he and his family in rural Cambodia had no choice but to gather all their drinking water from a filthy pond near their home.

“The pond was popular in our village—among people and animals,” he said, recalling the brown, murky water. “Many animals bathed in the pond.”

Stomach pain and intestinal problems were common for him, his wife, and their four children. Once, Som’s intestinal problems were so intense that his family had to rush him to a hospital for treatment, which cost almost $300—roughly three months wages for them.

This is a scenario that plays out all over the world as families in developing nations struggle to survive with contaminated water. Where you were born shouldn’t dictate whether you or your family routinely get sick from drinking the only water available to you. I’ve been to many countries where this is a tragic reality.

In places like Cambodia, Niger, and Philippines, families must spend much of their meager earnings on bottled water, on firewood to boil polluted water, or on medication to battle almost routine bouts of diarrhoea, which can be life-threatening for young children.

I thank the Lord for donations from people like you, who have enabled Samaritan’s Purse to go to Som’s village to offer to build and install BioSand Filters in their homes. Our offer was eagerly accepted after our staff explained the potentially deadly dangers posed by unfiltered water.

“We love our filter; it’s awesome,” Som told us gratefully. Not only does his family have safe water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, they’ve also received health and hygiene training. Through this, they are taught to take such steps as never drinking unfiltered water, washing their hands regularly, and keeping farm animals from areas where water is stored or food is prepared, to prevent illness.

Part of our work with families receiving BioSand Filters involves follow-up visits to ensure that each filter is being used correctly—and that filter recipients are following our health and hygiene guidelines. During one of these visits with Som’s family, a Samaritan’s Purse employee told him about the living water offered by Jesus Christ: “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14, ESV).

Som welcomed the salvation offered by God through His Son, and gave his life to Christ. Now, I praise God that whenever Som speaks in his village about the value of clean water, he also proclaims the love of Christ.

You can save lives physically and help share the message of eternal life by partnering with Samaritan’s Purse to provide families with safe water. Please join us in this vital mission.