A remote village in Northern Kenya now has a new well and the water of life that only Christ can give, and lives are being transformed.
Last year, we shared the story of mission workers entering remote villages in Northern Kenya to share the gospel. Many people in these Samburu villages had limited or nonexistent interactions with Christians.
Their response to hearing the Bible preached was incredible, and soon a group of 50 women were gathering in the shade of a giant acacia tree to form their own church in a village named Swari. Gerald, a pastor and our partner in Kenya, gave them his Bible, the only one that the entire church had at that time.
While translation work on a Samburu Bible continues, the team wanted to do anything they could to help this community and budding church.
Gerald noted that one of the most pressing practical needs residents of Swari faced in the meantime was a lack of clean water. People often had to walk 5 kilometers or more to reach water, sometimes making this trip multiple times a day, weighted down by a heavy bucket of water one way.
The Journey to Build a Well
In 2016, a local church from a relatively nearby town — ‘only’ a day or two drive — started mission work in Swari. The church learned about the village’s great need for a secure and clean source of water, but the costs of digging a well in that area would be tremendously expensive thanks to its remote location and the rocky ground.
Later, the church connected with King’s Community Church in Aberdeen, Scotland. In early 2018, a team from the Scottish church visited and they agreed to partner with the local church to help Swari to get a well. Drilling equipment was sent out into this remote region of Northern Kenya, and they began boring a well in the dry, hard earth.
After drilling, they began pulling up water, but it tasted off. They discovered that the water was saline. Good technology was available for water treatment, but it was costly.
World Challenge was approached, and they contributed for the water treatment that could desalinate the water and make it safe to drink. By 2020, the long journey to clean water for Swari had finally been completed
Having the privilege of working alongside the Aberdeen church, the Muranga church and the new Swari church has been an enormous blessing. It is a great testimony to how unity is a reality in the Kingdom of God.
Water of Life Bubbling Up
Clean water is nothing less than miraculous for Swari, and it is already transforming lives for the Samburu locals.
The availability of affordable, clean water means improved health, especially for young children. Thanks to the water treatment system, there has already been a drastic reduction of waterborne diseases that were widespread in the community, according to the local health center’s reports.
Despite the harsh, arid weather conditions, the community now has the opportunity to try small kitchen gardens. A few families who have planted Moringa trees have reported tremendous success, which will offer locals nutrient rich fruit and leaves. These Moringa trees and gardens will offer the community a constant supply of vegetables and food that will reduce malnutrition.
The secondary benefits of clean water are just as important for the community. A new secondary school with boarding facilities has been built, and children are able to devote more time to schoolwork now that they aren’t being regularly sent out for water.
Violence and rape cases have been greatly reduced now that schoolgirls don’t have to walk several kilometers in bush to find water.
Thanks to the regular work with church teams, both local and international, many more villagers have come to Christ, and three village churches have been started by locals in the community.
“We have reason to be grateful. Despite of challenges, all this progress has been made,” our partner shared. “Swari is a good example of a holistic gospel, where the spiritual and physical needs of people are considered.”