For over five years, God has used Set Free’s water wells to open doors for our pastor partners in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and India. Because of the support of our donors, the gift of clean water has paved the way for thousands of churches to be planted and millions of people to become disciples of Christ. That’s incredible! We are celebrating all that God has done through Set Free around the world. But we also know that it’s not enough. There are hundreds of millions of people still without clean water and over 2 billion who have never even heard of Jesus Christ. There’s a lot of work that’s still to do be done, but here is our water charity strategic plan to get there.
A Water Charity Strategic Plan
We recognize that millions and billions are overwhelming numbers. It can be tempting to get discouraged in the face of such overwhelming need. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s that mentality, and a little trial and error over the years, that’s leading Set Free to consolidate and focus our well drilling efforts. We may not be able to meet the needs of all 600 million+ people who are still waiting for clean water in the near future. But we can meet the needs of a district.
A Proven Plan
We know we can complete a district because we’ve done it. Last June, Set Free completed our work in Bomi County, Liberia. An assessment was completed of the entire county. Did villages have reliable access to safe water? Was there a church serving the community? Once we compiled the data, we made a plan. And little by little, we drilled wells and our pastor partners planted churches until the entire county was complete.
This focused approach was spurred on by our major funding partner in Liberia, The Last Well. They wanted more data on villages that were still waiting on clean water, so we completed the assessment to help us both. We didn’t know that doing this assigned task would have an added benefit. In completing Bomi country, we discovered having a concentrated effort in one district worked really, really well.
Instead of taking our crews, machinery, and supplies all around the country – we could stay in one area. This made us much more efficient in both travel time and fuel costs. The drill crews and pastor partners could work together to ensure that the village had the tools and training to maintain their wells. Our pastor partners also saw an added benefit. Word-of-mouth moves quickly in villages. When a village heard about Jesus because a crew came to drill a well for them, they were quick to tell others. Evangelism became easier for our pastor partners. They met less resistance within the villages AND now had a growing network of pastors to support each other because the church plants were closer together.
Being Good Stewards
Because of the success we experienced in Bomi and because we always seek to be the best stewards of the gifts we are given, Set Free is taking this systematic approach to all three countries next year. We are focusing on Lofa County in Liberia, Kambia District in Sierra Leone, and Prakasam District in India. The benefits of this concentrated plan are numerous, but it is not without its challenges. To bring clean water and the love of Christ to over 4 million people in 3 years, our pastor partners’ church planting and our well drilling is going to need to increase significantly. Here’s where we are headed:
Lofa County, Liberia
- Population of 277,000
- 3800 square miles
- High religious tensions between groups including ethnic Mandingos who are muslim and ethnic Lormas, Kisii, and Gbandi who are mixed religions
Kambia District, Sierra Leone
- Population of 343,000
- 1200 square miles
- 70% Muslim
- Highest death rate in the country
- Very limited access to medical care
Prakasam District, India
- Population of 3.5 million
- Slightly larger than the size of Connecticut
- One of 13 districts in the state of Andhra Pradesh
For the past two years, we’ve been sharing stories at our annual event of what happens Beyond the Well. We’ve told you of the children who can attend school again, the families who are no longer sick, and the countless people who now know that they are beloved children of God. Now, we are asking you to go Beyond the Well with us. What does this mean? Well, first it means that the price of our well cost next year is staying the same. For $3500, you can still give an entire village the gift of clean water. But the greatest life change happens in the months and years following our well drilling, and we want to intentionally support that as well. That’s why we’re asking you to go Beyond the Well to sponsor an entire village.
For $5000, you will change the physical circumstances of a village through the gift of clean water. But you will also change the spiritual ones by supporting the local church plant and discipleship for 2 years until the church is self-sufficient. This support will allow the local pastor to buy a bicycle to disciple the people. It will allow him to buy a travel lamp to light darkened rooms while he shares the stories of the Bible. Your gift will provide trainings for our pastor partners to grow in their own knowledge of the Bible.
Most importantly, it will allow our pastor partners to meet the needs they encounter in the village to best be the hands and feet of Christ. Maybe a village has an outbreak of malaria and needs medical supplies. Maybe a family is struggling to pay school fees, and the local church can help them out. Whatever the needs may, Village Sponsorship will help our pastors meet them. Whatever amount you can give, you can meet the needs. Give clean water today.