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Wrapping children in prayer: Water

By Laura Reinhardt and Chris Huber
Feb 27, 2014
©2011 Abby Metty/World Vision
A girl washes her hands with a system her mother devised outside their family's latrine after they received sanitation and hygiene training from World Vision as part of it's southern Africa WASH initiative.
©2014 Charles Kabena/World Vision
A sponsored child of Malawi smiles as she washes her hands with clean water from a water point installed by World Vision.
©2013 Laura Reinhardt/World Vision
Thanks to the "miracle borehole" boys like Edson, 6, won't have to drink dirty water and face water-borne illnesses.

Six-year-old Edson wanders through the garden, picks a stem off a green onion — one of his favorite vegetables — and chews it eagerly. Two years ago, he couldn’t have done this.

Back then, in his village in the Twachiyanda region of southern Zambia, Edson and many other children were malnourished. The village lacked access to clean water, so the dirty water they drank often caused sickness, even death. Additionally, many girls spent so much time transporting water that they missed part of the school day.

But since clean water came gushing out of a borehole in November 2012, life has dramatically changed for Edson’s community. People are healthier. They eat nutritiously because they have the water to sustain vegetable gardens. Girls also spend less time carrying water and more time at school. And families earn enough from surplus crop harvests to buy school supplies, kitchen essentials, and clothing.

While Edson’s village has been transformed, the struggle to find clean water continues for countless children elsewhere. Please pray with us on their behalf.

Suggested prayer points

Pray for improved health.

More than 1,600 children die every day from diarrhea caused by unsafe water. Children also get sick because without access to clean water, germs aren’t washed away after using the bathroom. But in Twachiyanda, children like 4-year-old Munsanje get sick much less frequently now with access to clean water. World Vision also teaches children hygiene techniques, such as hand washing.

Heavenly Father, You are good and merciful. Comfort children who suffer from frequent disease due to bad water. Preserve their lives when they are sick. Lead their communities to discover clean water sources close to them.

Pray for girls to spend more time in school.

Women and girls are responsible for collecting water in 71 percent of households throughout sub-Saharan Africa. To complete this chore, girls like 18-year-old Caroline in Twachiyanda used to walk three to six miles round trip to a dirty pond, often missing important class time. Now they have more time in school, and Caroline says her grades have improved.

Lord, just as You have given girls like Caroline in Twachiyanda more time in class and to study, allow other girls to also access clean water close to home. 

Pray for better nutrition.

About 50 percent of childhood malnutrition is related to water, sanitation, or hygiene issues. Today, the Twachiyanda borehole provides enough water for Edson’s community to grow a wealth of vegetables. Once malnourished, Edson and Munsanje now have ready access to nutritious foods. Yet millions of children don’t.

Lord God, thank You for transforming Edson and Munsanje’s food supply. Equip other communities to access water sources  so they can improve their crops and raise up strong children.

Pray for economic growth.

Every $1 spent on improving water supply and sanitation produces an economic gain of at least $5, and as much as $28. For instance, a new well is helping Francisco Nunez grow his fish-breeding business in the Dominican Republic. He now earns enough to support his family.   

Father, we are amazed by the ways You bless us through nature. You remind us that the answer to our prayers is often right around us. Bless families that struggle economically to access clean water, so they may better support their loved ones.  

Pray more people will encounter Jesus.

“I was once a person of little faith,” says Memory Handenda, a mother in the Twachiyanda community. “But after my prayers, and this water came out, then I became a person of a lot of faith. We believed that, indeed, God exists.” World Vision rejoices with Memory, but many people still live without faith and hope.

Jesus, thank you for strengthening Memory’s faith by answering her prayers. Show all of us that faith doesn’t come from answered prayers but rather from the “confidence in what we hope for” (Hebrews 11:1). Work in hearts to reveal the living water we can receive from You.

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… Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
Isaiah 35:6