17th November 2020
Every day Eunice woke up early with the same worry pressed on her heart—would she find water today for her children?
From her home in a remote village in Kenya, she walked two hours each way to the nearest water source and could only bring home what she was able to carry. Sometimes, during severe droughts, Eunice was forced to walk to the nearest city, which is an entire day’s journey, and purchase a single jerry can of water.
“The body gets wasted. We get home very tired,” Eunice said. “Even if you plan to return the next morning to get water, you won’t make it because your legs will be so painful.”
Water was carefully rationed, with half used for cooking and drinking and half used for her six children to bathe before going to school.
Eunice didn’t have any answers to her never-ending struggle of water scarcity. “I never expected the water situation to change,” she said. “I had to persevere in hardship for my children.”
Samaritan’s Purse is working in Jesus’ Name to provide water in impoverished communities throughout Kenya. Our teams excavated a water pan, or pond, in Eunice’s village so that she and other women would not have to walk far to get water.
Eunice now has more time at home with her children, more time on her farm, and, because the water pan is near, she can irrigate a small home garden. Eunice also explained that livestock in the village is healthier and living longer because water and vegetation are now more readily available.
“When I heard Samaritan’s Purse was coming, I was so excited,” Eunice said. “They worked hard to see that our water situation improved. We are grateful. They have done so many things that relieved our burden. The entire community is happy.”
We not only provided a closer water source, but also provided household water filters to ensure that the water is clean and safe for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing clothes. Children in the village are no longer missing school due to waterborne illnesses caused by dirty water.
Eunice heard the Gospel through Samaritan’s Purse staff, and she said the Bible teachings they shared “touched my heart.” As a result, Eunice committed her life to Jesus Christ and is learning more about God.
She received a Bible from Samaritan’s Purse, but because Eunice is illiterate, she enjoys listening as her children read the Scriptures to her.
Eunice said one of the most important things she learned from Samaritan’s Purse is about living in love. “I’ve learned God is love. We should love one another and love our community.”
Bible distributions and community-wide Jesus film showings accompany our water and hygiene programming, and through these efforts many beneficiaries are hearing the Good News and coming to faith in Jesus.
Karembo lives in another village a few miles from Eunice and also received a household water filter from Samaritan’s Purse. She later became a Christian after seeing the Jesus film through one of our events.
“I didn’t have peace before I was born-again,” she said. “I now have peace because of the love of Christ.”
Before receiving Jesus, Karembo felt so beaten up by life that she was ready to quit. Her husband left her alone with three children. She borrowed money from neighbors in order to provide for her family. Relentless nightmares often kept her up at night.
And, on top of all that, it was not uncommon for her children to get sick from drinking dirty water and then miss school. Karembo didn’t always have money for doctor and hospital visits or medication.
“I would sit down and think about myself and sometimes shed tears,” Karembo said.
But lately, her life has taken an unexpected turn for the better. She said Jesus has freed her from the nightmares she was so desperate to get rid of. Now that she is a Christian, “love has come back for her kids and other people” and that’s because of “Christ dwelling in my life.”
“I have peace because of the love of Christ.”
The water filter in her home has made a significant impact. “I am encouraged because the kids are healthy and are going to school,” Karembo said. “My children are not suffering.”
Karembo and her children are also now attending a church near her home. “I used to stay alone,” she said. “Since coming to church, I have fellowship. I feel good having company.”