Learn how water filters are helping us to earn the right to share the Gospel.
All of Samaritan’s Purse’s work worldwide is ultimately aimed at earning invitations to share our faith in Christ with those we serve. We want to meet people’s short-term physical needs, but even importantly, we want to meet their lifelong spiritual needs.
We praise God for how often He has provided “Gospel opportunities” in many communities around the world—including remote villages in Nepal. There, where our partner organization is providing villagers with safe drinking water, vocational training and much more, we’ve seen dozens of grateful people commit their lives to Christ.
One of the most exciting examples is in Lagara, where almost all of the village’s 37 families are considered to be “untouchables”—members of the Hindu religion’s lowest caste or class. They have so little status in Nepal that even their regional and national governments often ignored their needs. The only source of drinking water was a muddy creek, they had no electricity, and no other basic services.
“We used to beg the government for help but no one would listen due to our low caste,” recalls village leader Jogendar Sadai.
Then Samaritan’s Purse and its Christian partner organization arrived. We began in Lagara by providing “Community Leadership Training” that helped the villagers gain confidence in themselves and in their ability to achieve meaningful change.
Next, we used donations from generous Canadians to pay for construction of a community water well, and installation of life-saving BioSand Filters that transform dirty water into drinkable water in seconds.
Cows and other livestock are producing manure that can be converted to valuable cooking fuel. Samaritan’s Purse has begun installing special bio-gas latrines and cookstoves in villages in Nepal. The latrines enable families to mix their human waste with livestock manure to create methane gas that can be stored underground and made available, with the simple twist of a valve, for cooking. The methane is less harmful on families’ lungs and eyes. Here is a brief video explaining how the system works:
Then we partnered with the Nepalese government to build latrines featuring “bio-gas” toilets that capture human excrement, mix it with livestock excrement, and produce methane gas that villagers use to cook. Lagara’s residents no longer need to buy or cut firewood before preparing their meals.
“I also don’t have to breath the smoke (from wood-burning fires) while cooking anymore,” said Niru Lama, “and I don’t have to go into the forest for firewood.” Married with three young children, Niru says entering the forest during the early-summer monsoon season has always been dangerous due to the risk of potentially deadly snake bites.
When Lagara’s grateful residents asked why we’ve been coming to their aid, we told them about the Jesus who sacrificed His life for each of us, and who called us to love one another. Many villagers wanted to know more about Jesus, so area pastor Prakash Thapa, representing our Christian partner organization, began teaching them.
When we first started serving the people of Lagara in 2013, none of its 37 families were Christ followers. Today, 12 families—or almost one third of the entire community—have made faith commitments. The person who made the most recent commitment (only two days before staff from Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s visited Lagara) is Sunita, a married mother of three children.
Sunita, who moved to Lagara only a few weeks earlier, said she was immediately impressed with the warmth and friendliness of the village’s Christians. Their willingness to pray for her during a serious illness, and the fact she quickly recovered after their prayers, convinced her to commit her life to Christ. Now, she is excited to start worshipping in a small church that local believers just finished building.
“We are praying that this whole community will come to Christ and be transformed not only physically but spiritually,” pastor Prakash says. “Remember us in your prayers.”
Also remember and pray for the people in hundreds of other villages around the world in which Samaritan’s Purse and our ministry partners are sharing the Gospel while being Jesus’ Good Samaritan. Pray that those we serve would see Christ through our words and actions, and commit their lives to Him.