On the ninth of April of this past year, I had the pleasure of traveling with an IAS colleague, Rune Cederholm, IAS Program Manager, to the small village of Edilola, in the Oromiya region of southern Ethiopia near the border with Kenya.
The young Ethiopian girl whose life is now changed because of clean water.
It was a long and tiresome drive, with our goal being to inspect a new IAS project in the region that would eventually involve the drilling of some 24 wells in this rural part of Ethiopia. The first two wells for this venture were in the final stages of completion, and our goal was to catch the work in progress as well as meet with the local government representatives in order to discuss the remaining wells yet to be drilled.
As we eventually met up with the IAS drilling team after our long journey, Rune describes best what happened next:
“As we visited the village of Edilola, our IAS Ethiopia drilling team just happened to strike water at a depth of thirty-five meters (115 feet). It was a very special feeling to see the water cascading up at such high pressure, knowing that this will have such life-changing effects on the people living nearby.”
As Rune celebrated with IAS staff and local villagers, the water from the new well erupting from the earth, he noticed something interesting.
“I saw a young girl sitting some distance away, obviously deep in thought about something. Through my Ethiopian colleague, I asked the girl what she was thinking about. And she replied, ‘Perhaps this means my parents will now allow me to start school. My mom has to walk to the river to get water, and it takes her about four hours every day, so I have to stay home and take care of my younger siblings. Now it will take her only five minutes to get water. Now my parents cannot refuse to allow me to go to school! I have a future!’”
“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:14 NIV
For those of us living where access to clean water means turning a handle or knob in our home, it is almost unfathomable to comprehend the life-changing consequences one well can have for not only hundreds of lives, but also multiple generations.
Rune Cederholm (far right) and the IAS team celebrate hitting water in the village of Edilola, Ethiopia.
Clean water means health. Health means growing up to have a family of your own. Clean water means education. Education means sustenance for your family and for future generations. In a nutshell, clean water means life. Clean water provided today gives hope for the future.
But without your assistance, our ability to bring life- changing resources like clean water could not happen. You see, this young girl’s village is more than 700 kilometers (430 miles), over difficult terrain, from Ethiopia’s capital. Few travel to this region. Fewer still come with the life-changing resources of clean water.
Thank you for your participation in changing the lives of those you will never meet. Today, through your support of IAS, a little girl woke up healthy and happy, ready to go to school. Let’s see what God has in store for her!
President, IAS America
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Andy Warhol once said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” I’ve found that sentiment to hold true in my life. Certainly there have been times when twists and turns took me by surprise or God’s providence opened a door that I didn’t see in front of me. [...] Read story