It’s been a hot summer, and after a long day, nothing can beat the feeling of drinking a cold glass of water. And when we get that water straight from our kitchen sinks, we often don’t think about how privileged we are. Water is a very basic necessity, yet many people around the world don’t have access to safe water, and they face limitations because of this.

August is National Water Quality Month, and it is the perfect time to make some changes to how you think about water.

2.1 billion people live without clean water in their homes, and 1 in 9 people don’t have access to clean water at all.

More than 10 percent of the world’s population can’t drink water from their pipes, and this issue affects more than just health and sanitation. When clean water is unavailable, family dynamics are impacted. Since women are usually the ones in charge of collecting water, they have to spend extra time each day walking to a drinkable water source, which can sometimes be miles away. This means the women can’t work for pay, families can’t afford to send their children to school, and a cycle of poverty continues for generations.

This is a problem in many countries, states, and villages around the world. One of these states is Bihar, India.

Bringing Clean Water to Bihar, India

In Bihar, India, where there is a women empowerment measure of .379, ranking among the top ten worst in the world, women and children spend hours daily walking miles to gather just enough water to live off of.

But Jesus’ Economy is working to change that. Jesus’ Economy has funded the drilling of four water wells in Bihar, providing 7,100 people with access to clean, safe water. Every dollar donated to this program funds the building, upkeep, and safety of the wells.

However, it doesn’t end with clean water. Following the funding of the wells, Jesus’ Economy is also working to empower women through literacy programs, business training, offering microloans, and planting churches.

Lives are changed for the better when clean water becomes available around the world.

This month consider becoming part of the movement to provide the basic necessity of clean water to people all over the world, which will also help families lift themselves out of poverty. Clean water can change the world.

 

Church planter, Rahul, brings a blessing in the form of a water well to a village in Bihar, India.

Only the Wealthy Get Clean Water 

Hot summers proved to be a greater difficulty than most for this village because there was no water well available to the general public. The only water wells in the village were on private property belonging to the few wealthy people in the village. They wouldn’t let the poorer villagers come and use the wells without causing many problems.

So all the villagers who didn’t have private water wells had to walk hours for clean water, taking up most of their day just to get water. This “solution” wasn’t sustainable but they didn’t know what to do.

A Solution to the Problem of No Clean Water 

Rahul heard about the problems this village of 300 people was facing and arranged for them to apply for a water well to Transformation India Movement (TIM), Jesus’ Economy’s partner organization in Bihar, India. Shortly after applying, TIM granted their application and started the process of a water well.

They inaugurated the well in March with 50 people gathering to watch. During the inauguration, Rahul presented the gospel and explained the similarities between the clean water and Jesus, the Living Water.

Because of this, many people in the village heard the gospel for the first time and were eager to learn more about Jesus. This is exciting because the village is a new area that doesn’t have a church planter working with them yet. Now, Rahul can visit, tell them about the love of Jesus, and help provide a better life.

On March 5, 2018, a small village in Northern India celebrated the inauguration of a public water well. Jesus’ Economy church planter Veer heard of the village’s need and helped them bring clean water to their area.

Severe Problems Due to Lack of Essential Physical Needs

Of the 300 villagers, most of them are very poor and unable to drill a well on their own property. This leaves them with either using and drinking unclean water or walking miles a day just to get to clean water.

While this is a problem many villages face, for this particular village it was even more severe because most of the villagers work in agriculture; working the land for other people. Working in fields all day so they can earn a basic living doesn’t allow them the time they need to walk to get clean water. This means that children are the ones who are typically sent to retrieve the water.

The village tried to get the local government to bore a water well for them but they were unsuccessful.

Essential Physical and Spiritual Needs Met 

Veer found out about their lack of clean water and guided the villagers in an application to Transformation India Movement (TIM), Jesus’ Economy’s partner organization in Bihar, India, for a public water well. TIM saw their need and granted their water well application for a 180 foot deep water well.

Sixty people attended the inauguration of the well including a local member of government. The people of the village recognized the work of Veer and TIM and now see what the Lord can do to meet not only their essential physical needs but their essential spiritual needs. This has opened many new doors for Veer to spread the gospel to this village and explain to them how Jesus is the Living Water.

Sponsoring a church planter so this kind of work can continue is vital.

 Sponsor Veer's Efforts  

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re still wondering what to get your dad, consider finding a cause he would believe in and make a contribution in his name. Jesus’ Economy has a few different programs to eradicate poverty in Bihar, India, so take a look and think about supporting one for Father’s Day.

In Bihar, more than a million people are living in poverty because they do not have access to clean water or the ability to buy or grow food. The economy is poor, and there are simply not enough jobs. And when families have limited food and water, education gets pushed back, and the families remain stuck in a cycle of poverty.

If your dad is a hard worker who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, donate to fund the drilling of a water well

A large contributor to the poverty in Bihar is a lack of clean water. Some women and children spend many hours each day walking miles to collect drinking water. This takes up so much time that women cannot work and children cannot go school. Our clean water program raises funds to drill wells in Bihar. Each well can provide safe water for 2,000 people, and so far we have completed seven wells.

If your dad supports gender equality, donate to empower women

When families have access to safe water, women have more time to work and provide for their families. Our empowering women program is going to train 40 women to run successful tailoring businesses and sell their products on the western market. These women already have skills in tailoring, but need an opportunity to learn business skills.

If your dad is a great teacher, donate to plant churches

We are working to bring hope through the alleviation of physical and spiritual poverty. Our church planting program funds church planters in various villages in Bihar to set up home churches, and also to go into the villages and share the gospel. At this point, we are funding four church planters, all of whom are additionally starting Bible studies and literacy training as they go. Thousands of people in Bihar are hearing the gospel for the first time, and each church planter brings the gospel to thousands more.

The dads in our lives have taught us how to make the world a better place. This Father’s Day, celebrate these dads by supporting people in Bihar the same way they have supported us.

Bore Well March 2018

In one of the Northern India villages where Santhosh, one of our four church planters, works, the need for clean water became so great that Santhosh took action to help the villagers bore a water well.

Limited Access to Drinking Water 

In this village, there are no public water wells for the 300 people living there. The only wells in the village belong to the few wealthy people who won’t let any lower caste people come and get water. The poorer members of the village were essentially living at the mercy of the privileged for clean water. Their only other option was to walk miles a day to the nearest public water well, which can take hours.

The villagers turned to the government for help, requesting a public well be dug in the village but the government denied their request. This is where Santhosh came in, he told the villagers how to apply for a well through Transformation India Movement, Jesus’ Economy’s partner organization in Bihar, India.

Full Access to the Living Water 

After applying for their well, the village’s need was met and a 110 foot deep water well was dug. They inaugurated the well in March 2018 with a presentation of the gospel, explaining how Jesus is the Living Water. Fifty villagers attended the inauguration and heard the message.

Because of the well and Santhosh, this village has access to clean water and is praising God for it. Many villagers are eager to know more about Jesus after receiving the tangible gifts from his followers. This is a great new opportunity for our sponsored church planter, Santhosh, to share the gospel with everyone there.

In follow up, Santosh will visit this village regularly, as part of his village church ministry. He will hold church services, distribute Bibles, and help to meet some of the needs of the villagers while he is there.

Jesus’ Economy’s church planters visit dozens of villages every year on a salary of only $7,500 USD per year. They travel by bicycle and public transportation, often relying on the kindness of strangers to have their needs met. If you are passionate about supporting the work of church planting, you can donate to our church planters.

 Support Santhosh's Ministry  

Mother’s Day is coming up in a couple weeks, and while you can buy her something special from our Fair Trade Shop, consider making a donation in her name to one of our programs to end poverty in Bihar, India.

In Bihar, more than a million people are living in poverty because they do not have access to clean water or the ability to buy or grow food. The economy is poor, and there are simply not enough jobs. And when families have limited food and water, education gets pushed back, and the families remain stuck in a cycle of poverty.

But Jesus’ Economy is doing something to stop that, and this Mother’s Day, you can donate to eradicate poverty.

Provide Clean Water in Bihar, India: Meet Basic Needs

A large contributor to the poverty in Bihar is a lack of clean water. Some women and children spend many hours each day walking miles to collect drinking water. This takes up so much time that women cannot work and children cannot go school. Our clean water program raises funds to drill wells in Bihar. Each well can provide safe water for 2,000 people, and so far we have completed four wells.

Create Jobs in Bihar, India: Empower Women

When families have access to safe water, women have more time to work and provide for their families. Our empowering women program is going to train 40 women to run successful tailoring businesses and sell their products on the western market. These women already have skills in tailoring, but need an opportunity to learn business skills.

Plant Churches in Bihar, India: Spread the Gospel

We are working to bring hope through the alleviation of physical and spiritual poverty. Our church planting program funds church planters in various villages in Bihar to set up home churches, and also to go into the villages and share the gospel. At this point, we are funding four church planters, all of whom are additionally starting Bible studies and literacy training as they go. Thousands of people in Bihar are hearing the gospel for the first time, and each church planter brings the gospel to thousands more.

The moms in our lives have shaped us and taught us how to take care of the world. On Mother’s Day, celebrate these moms by giving back and fighting to end poverty.

When we fill our glasses with clear, cold water from our kitchen sinks, or even twist open a water bottle, we often don’t think about how privileged we are.

2.1 billion people live without clean water in their homes, and 1 in 9 people don’t have access to clean water at all.

You can take the opportunity this World Water Day to change that.

More than 10 percent of the world’s population can’t drink water from their pipes, and this issue affects more than just health and sanitation. When clean water is unavailable, family dynamics are impacted. Since women are usually the ones in charge of collecting water, they have to spend extra time each day walking to a drinkable water source, which can sometimes be miles away. This means the women can’t work for pay, families can’t afford to send their children to school, and a cycle of poverty continues for generations.

This is a problem in many countries, states, and villages around the world. One of these states is Bihar, India.

Bringing Clean Water to Bihar, India

In Bihar, India, where there is a women empowerment measure of .379, ranking among the top ten worst in the world, women and children spend hours daily walking miles to gather just enough water to live off of.

But Jesus’ Economy is working to change that. Jesus’ Economy has funded the drilling of four water wells in Bihar, providing 7,100 people with access to clean, safe water. Every dollar donated to this program funds the building, upkeep, and safety of the wells.

However, it doesn’t end with clean water. Following the funding of the wells, Jesus’ Economy is also working to empower women through literacy programs, business training, offering microloans, and planting churches.

Today consider becoming part of the movement to provide the basic necessity of clean water to people all over the world, which will also help families lift themselves out of poverty. Clean water can change the world.

For her birthday in 2017, Jesus' Economy volunteer, Rachel Thompson, took on an ambitious task: to raise $500, half the value of a water well in Bihar, India.


When the donations came pouring in and Rachel's campaign surpassed its goal, she went one step further. During the Christmas season of the same year, she asked friends and family to donate in order to raise the full $1,000 value of a water well, providing thousands of people with clean water. We interviewed Rachel about her campaign journey and the stories of God's faithfulness she saw along the way.

Q: Rachel, tell us a bit about yourself, your family, and your involvement with Jesus' Economy.

My husband and I both work in church ministry in Ithaca, New York. We have two beautiful young children. I've volunteered with Jesus' Economy for several years. I started out throwing house parties for products and more recently have served as the executive assistant. I enjoy being part of a driven and talented team.

Q: Why did the idea of a birthday campaign appeal to you?

There is such a disparity of wealth and resources in our world. When I think about accumulating more stuff, it just strikes me as ridiculous. Especially after moving all of that stuff recently! Fundraising through Jesus' Economy is really attractive and easy. I think people are looking for meaningful gifts to give their loved ones. I thought I could leverage that to shine some light in the world. Many of us want to help people in need, and are looking for the way to do so. While I was thrilled about the generosity of my friends and family during this campaign, I wasn't surprised. Good people are looking for ways to help others, and organizations like Jesus' Economy are offering streamlined ways to do so.

Q: Why did you choose to raise money for clean water in Bihar?

Especially since becoming a parent, I have refocused my priorities. The most important thing to me is that my family's needs are met. When my husband comes home to a peaceful sanctuary, my kids know love, they have food to eat, and a warm bed to sleep in, I can also thrive. My heart aches for parents who do not have access to basic needs like clean water for their children. I don't understand how people can be dying from water-borne illnesses in 2017. We live in such an interconnected world, and organizations like Jesus' Economy are connecting Western prosperity with third world needs. Jesus' Economy's Renew Bihar project is promoting a holistic approach to empowering the impoverished. I love that the church planters we partner with in the area will have the opportunity to share the love of Christ, the Living Water, through this well.

Q: Please share with us some stories from your campaign. How did you see God working through your efforts?

It was really beautiful to witness God inspiring the people who donated to this campaign. Donors included people from all walks of life—farmers, missionaries, teachers, nurses, stay-at-home moms, ivy league grads and PhDs, teenagers, and children. A student from our youth group made a large donation. There was one story in particular that was really special. My sweet friend and fellow pastor's wife shared the well project with her children [and invited them to participate]. She recounted the story below.

"'So you know Mrs Thompson? For her birthday sometime in the summer, she was asking people to donate money to build a well in India instead of giving her presents. She was hoping to raise money for half the well which costs $500, but she ended up raising more than that. So for Christmas, she decided to ask more people to donate money instead of giving her Christmas gifts to see if she could get enough to build a whole well. She has raised [at the time], $911. She only has $89 left to getting a full well built. You don’t have to, but would you like to give some money to help her get her well built?' James had a lot of questions about the well. We talked about how not every child has access to running water like we do. I did emphasize that giving was optional and the amount was optional. No sibling had to know what the other gave. Adam and Sophia gave generously but what touched me most was James (who is 7). He jumped up and ran upstairs for his piggy bank. He had $2 in it and he took out a dollar and gave it to me for 'Mrs Thompson’s well.'"

 

If you would like to start a campaign for clean water, empowering women, church planting or another aspect of the vision of Jesus' Economy to create jobs and churches in the developing world, start here.

Dedicate Your Birthday 

Millions of people around the world do not have resources to meet their basic needs. These people are living in poverty. Many of them do not have access to clean water, or the ability to buy or grow food. Many of them live in villages or cities with suffering economies, and there are simply no jobs. When people have limited food and water, education gets pushed back. In places like this, families are held captive to cycles of poverty.

Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and we are reminded of our brothers and sisters suffering in poverty around the world. It is discouraging to think of how many people poverty impacts, and of how the pain carries on to future generations.

The good news is this: we are doing something about it, and you can, too.

What You Can Do to Alleviate Poverty

Taking action against poverty is one of the ways we as Christians are called to love. In 1 John, John reminded the church of the importance of putting faith in action.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18 ESV).

There are many ways you can bring hope to impoverished people. You can give your time and prayers, donate money to a program you’re passionate about, or even start your own. Poverty is all over the world—in other continents, and in your own city.

If you’re looking for a place to start, Jesus’ Economy has some great programs you can get involved in as we work to renew Bihar, India.

Provide Clean Water in Bihar, India; Meet Basic Needs

Bihar, India is a state with more than a million people living in extreme poverty. A large cause of the problem is a lack of clean water. Some women and children spend many hours each day walking miles to collect drinking water. This takes up so much time that women cannot work and children cannot go school. Our clean water program raises funds to drill wells in Bihar. Each well can provide safe water for 2,000 people, and so far we have completed four wells.

Create Jobs in Bihar, India; Empower Women

When families have access to safe water, women have more time to work and provide for their families. Our empowering women program is going to train 40 women to run successful tailoring businesses and sell their products on the western market. These women already have skills in tailoring, but need an opportunity to learn business skills. This program is currently 47 percent funded.

Plant Churches in Bihar, India; Spread the Gospel

We are working to bring hope through the alleviation of physical and spiritual poverty. Our church planting program funds church planters in various villages in Bihar to set up home churches, and also to go into the villages and share the gospel. At this point, we are funding four church planters, all of whom are additionally starting Bible studies and literacy training as they go. Thousands of people in Bihar are hearing the gospel for the first time, and each church planter brings the gospel to thousands more.

Advik was first sponsored in September 2016, and has started five Bible studies and one house church. Another church planter, Santhosh, recently held a spiritual awakening seminar with 250 people from 16 different villages in attendance. We are so excited about how God is moving in Bihar, India.

God wants us to Fight Against Poverty

Eradicating poverty is not only important, it is the gospel. We love because God loves us. And one way we can show that love is through working to alleviate poverty.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16 ESV).

We are called to use what we have to bless others. And it’s not always about money. If you have a little time to give, consider volunteering for an organization that works to alleviate poverty. If you have an extra coat, consider donating it. One small action can be a huge blessing to someone else. Don’t be afraid to do small things and big things to fight poverty. Just remember this: nothing will change if you do nothing at all.

You can alleviate poverty and bring hope to people in so many ways, and we encourage you to be praying about where you can start.

Jesus' Economy is transforming lives and empowering women in Bihar, India. In a state where millions live in extreme poverty, it can seem impossible to have hope. But the people of Bihar are strong and resilient and we are coming alongside them as they lift their families and community out of poverty. 

Bihar, India has a population of nearly 104 Million. More than 54 Million of those people live in extreme poverty. Most of their food sources are dependent on the weather, which during monsoon season often means few crops. 

These families do not have enough money to provide for themselves on a basic level, and this makes for very poor living conditions.

Bihar has a women empowerment measure of .379, ranking among the top 10 worst in the world. In this state, a large percentage of the women are illiterate and jobless, and have no means to help themselves. But with our church planters providing literacy training, they have a chance at a new life. 

Many women and children spend their days walking miles to collect drinkable water. By the time they've gathered this necessity, there isn't much time left in the day for work or an education, and the cycle of poverty continues. 

To help meet the basic need of clean and safe water, Jesus' Economy has funded the drilling of four water wells. Now thousands of people have access to good water; women are able to work, and children are able to go to school. 

We have also funded four church planters. These pastors are actively sharing the gospel with hundreds of people throughout the new home churches and bringing peace to these people and their villages.

With the physical and spiritual needs being met, Jesus' Economy is now focused on long-term sustainability. Forty women in Bihar will be trained to run their own businesses so they can lift their families out of poverty. 

As part of the empowering women program, women learn the trade of creating high-quality, handmade clothing, as well as business skills and employer (fair trade) ethics.

The women will become successful businesswomen, thus able to support their families financially, and the cycle of poverty will be disrupted. Their incomes will allow for physical sustenance, and also for the opportunity for their children to go to school regularly. 

 The women of Bihar, India are immeasurably strong and full of hope for a better future.

Donate to the Empowering Women Program and help end poverty in Bihar.