Water means life. Water can also mean death. In Kenya, mothers and children leave early every morning and walk for miles to fetch water.
What do they find? Fecal-polluted, bacteria-infested, disease-causing brown water. Over 17 million Kenyans still lack access to safe water, and more than 3,100 children die every year from diarrhea. Yes, clean water means life physically. It can also mean new life spiritually, as one ANM partner has discovered.
Timothy Kinyua is the leader of Cornerstone Evangelistic Ministries, which his father began in 1977. He established it to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to help alleviate poverty in Kenya. What pricked his heart when he went to share God’s word was the crying of sick children. Even worse was the silence of children who were too sick to cry.
His team began clean-water projects and started digging wells. The people’s health improved, deaths decreased, and conflicts among communities fighting for the limited source of water ceased. Yet the wells did so much more.
The nomadic tribes no longer needed to move families and livestock to be near water, so many settled permanently in villages. They planted gardens and ate better, giving them better health. Living in villages blessed them physically and socially, and even enriched their spiritual lives.
“Those communities that were hostile to our sharing the gospel, now welcome us,” Timothy says. “People no longer have to trek hours and miles to find water, so they are free to attend church services.”
To date Cornerstone has evangelized 16 unreached people groups in seven Kenyan counties, and planted nearly 500 churches. A mother from a small village told Timothy, “Without the provision of water in our village, my children and I would not know Jesus. This means everything to us!” Wells have brought new spiritual life to thousands.
ANM donors have been instrumental in providing Timothy with wells, pipes, and storage tanks. The investment has paid unimaginable benefits.
Drought is ongoing in several counties where Timothy and Cornerstone work. The Kenyan newscast below will give you a vivid visual of the land and its people: