Unbeknownst to many, Cru Singapore partners Global Aid Network of Power to Change to build wells in rural areas in Asia. Named Water for Life, the project aims to help villages gain access to drinking water, especially during dry spells.
Helming this laborious operation singlehandedly is Victor Koh, an energetic 63 year-old man who is also an avid cross-country cyclist.
Issues of life
Just how bad is Asia’s water problem?
“There are many villages who will not have any water in the months when rainfall is low to non-existent. Some cope by storing rain water that runs off zinc roof into big tubs or buckets.
“Herein lies the problem: due to inappropriate storage conditions, this kind of water is not safe for consumption. Many villagers fall sick as a result.”
The solution is to drill deep into the ground and pump out clean ground water and store them in proper tanks.
Lacking finances for heavy-duty ground-digging equipment, many villages have no option but to keep consuming toxic water—or risk simply having none at all.
This is when Global Aid Network (GAiN) comes in.
Connector for help
What happens on Water for Life?
“We’ll usually do a thorough off-site research on potential areas prior to an on-site recce. I’ll usually go into the area for a couple of times before actual drilling starts.
“One of our criteria is to have a stable local church within a two-hour drive from the village, so that there’s a community that will assist those areas after we leave.
“Relationship-building is critical in helping any vulnerable communities in the long-run.
“There’s a lot of logistics-planning involved because the drill equipment are big and heavy. It takes careful planning together with the engineering firms that specialise in this area.”
It usually takes eight to ten months from start to finish.
Transforming lives one person at a time
Victor takes careful attention to details in order to be good stewards of the huge sums involved. Taking on a hands-on approach, he pores through engineering drawings, and thinks through the whole water pipe system, including the location of water tanks.
People in every village have also grown familiar to the man. And this has an evangelistic impact.
“I remember this 70 year-old lady from a village in the north-central part of Thailand whose daughter had a crisis. I encouraged her to pray to Jesus about her problem.
“Two weeks later, she told our Thai church partner, ‘Jesus heard my prayers! This Jesus is true!’ From 2016 to 2017, she experienced three more miracles, only after which she considers herself a Christian.
“Guess what, subsequently, she brought three more other villagers to Christ!
“In this missions work, you don’t expect immediate “results”. Our focus is still to see every at-risk community, as much as possible, has access to clean water.”
Conformed, Reformed, or Transformed?
Victor’s rested posture is a result of decades in ministry and pastoring. A former parachurch worker-turned pastor, he shares,
“I used to be focused on externals. These days I ask myself, ‘Is what I’m doing trying to cause people just to be conformed, reformed, or being transformed?
“Conform—is about following external norms. Reformed—refers to the change in behaviour and personal practices. Transform—will only take place through a regular encounter with the person of Jesus Christ in his/her life.
“We should be more interested to help others experience His grace and power themselves, instead of simply trying to quickly label someone a Christian.”
May this rested posture, gentle spirit and bright smile continue to bring waters of life in drought-hit villages of Asia.
You can be part of GAiN’s work! Contact us today for more info and how you can support them through missions partnership or donations at email@example.com.
When the tune of life starts to shift towards the minor key, will we notice God’s “small” blessings?
True or False: The credit for many organisations’ digital transformation in 2020 goes to COVID-19?
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