ARDF has initiated a focused campaign to bring safe drinking water to vulnerable communities this summer, and the impact is already beginning to show.
Two borehole wells have been completed in South Sudan already, and more are scheduled to be drilled when flooded roadways reopen at the end of the rainy season in December. Although these wells are urgently needed to mitigate a worsening humanitarian situation in Jonglei State, South Sudan, they are not merely a short-term solution.
Water = Economic Growth
According to the World Health Organization, “better access to clean water, sanitation services and water management creates tremendous opportunity for the poor and is a progressive strategy for economic growth…Investing in water management and services is absolutely essential for the eradication of poverty and is a necessary condition for enabling sustained economic growth.”
In Jonglei State, an influx of internally displaced peoples (IDPs) has severely increased the need for basic social services such as drinking water. Many IDPs must walk miles each day to fetch water for their families.
But thanks to an ARDF project, some communities–such as the village of Bajack–in Ayod county now have ready access to clean water: “The drilling of water boreholes in Ayod County has improved community access to safe drinking water, health conditions and enhanced Gospel proclamation. [It has] reduced women’s work loads and child labour as well. The initiative [is] a beacon of hope for this acutely poor and marginalized community,” said the Venerable David Wuor, Archdeacon of Ayod Archdeaconry, Diocese of Twic East, South Sudan.
Less time will be lost due to disease and the need to carry water. Children will be able to go to school, adults will be freed to pursue economically enriching activities, and over 85 people will be trained with new skills as they maintain the wells and teach about sanitation.
Water = Spiritual Growth
ARDF’s clean water projects are holistic and address community members on a spiritual as well as physical level. While no faith commitment is ever required of those who benefit from ARDF projects, they will have the opportunity to engage with the gospel through outreach programs focusing on evangelism as well as peace and reconciliation between tribal groups.
Unlike many charities–who otherwise do excellent work–ARDF ensures that each project includes a spiritual or evangelistic component, thus ensuring that we treat the poor as whole people, not just poverty statistics. Keeping this in mind, we support local churches as they serve their communities’ physical needs, we strengthen their witness to the gospel, and we encourage their evangelistic work.
We also ask our donors to give on the basis of the gospel: as Christians, we do not help the poor in order to earn God’s approval, feel better about ourselves, or even simply because it’s a command–although it is. Instead, we give because we have first received from the Lord ourselves.
In II Corinthians 8:8-9 Paul writes to the Corinthian church about giving to the famine-stricken community in Jerusalem: “I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
In response to God’s unconditional grace, will you consider helping to provide clean drinking water for your poor brothers and sisters in Christ in South Sudan?