Whoever brings water, wins the hearts of the thirsty. This truth has motivated Wycliffe Associates to launch Operation Clean Water, one of the most aggressive global campaigns in the history of the organization.
Wycliffe Associates will be investing funds and volunteer help to impact millions of people with clean water in regions where sanitation and water supplies are extremely compromised. Two hundred million of these thirsty people also do not have the Word of God in their own language. They are spiritually thirsty and physically thirsty.
"Without clean water, many are forced to drink from dirty, toxic, and disease-ridden sources. This results in a variety of sicknesses and infections, some of which are fatal," said Wycliffe Associates President/CEO Bruce Smith. According to research, a child dies every l5 seconds from diarrhea-most of which is caused by poor sanitation and bad water.
A lack of drinking water has a remarkable impact on people groups, communities, and even Bible translation work. Missionaries and Bible translation teams cannot operate in areas where fresh water is not available. And many of these languages and the people who speak them are also located in areas where a community development project, like Operation Clean Water, will allow missionaries to gain favor with governments who grant visas.
"Currently, we have four couples who are training to go overseas and start installing clean water systems," said Bart Maley, Operation Clean Water program manager.
In the short term, Operation Clean Water will provide filtration systems to purify existing water, as well as educate people regarding the hazards of allowing human waste to pollute their water sources. Long-term goals include providing spring/ground water or rain water through catchment systems in communities that lack a water supply.
Wycliffe Associates will be raising $l70,000 to get this project started, said Smith. "What effect will this have? Lives will be saved, suffering will be eased, Bible translation work will accelerate, and translators will be able to remain in the field longer. These benefits will, in turn, pave the way for many to find faith in Christ."
During 2007, some 1,341 Wycliffe Associates volunteers served in 35 countries as part of the worldwide Bible translation team. Wycliffe Associates plans to send more than 1,700 volunteers to 41 different countries this year to build and renovate facilities, construct roads and airstrips, teach Vacation Bible School, help with language development and office work, oversee projects, use their computer skills, and much more.
From a Wycliffe Associates news release