Piya was just one widow among the 2.4 billion people in the world who lack access to adequate sanitation. The only time Piya and her children were able to venture out to use the outdoors for their toilet purposes was early in the morning before sunrise or after the sun set. They didn’t feel comfortable going out in broad daylight—there wasn’t much privacy.
Sometimes people would pass by the woody area they used, and Piya and her children would try to hide themselves from their view. It was humiliating.
Then there were days when it rained.
“During the rainy season it was difficult to go to the open area for nature’s call,” Piya’s daughter, Manik, recalls. “I would wait for the rain to stop, then go out. Sometimes, when the rain did not stop for a long day, it was hard to face.”
Accident That Changed Their Lives
After Piya’s husband died from a head injury after colliding with a cargo truck, Piya and her children struggled. The truck company provided grievance pay, and Piya was able to build a small home on a bit of land that she owned in the village, but she still couldn’t afford to build a proper bathroom for her family’s needs.
Church and Pastor Show Love and Compassion
Her pastor, a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor named Zacchaeus, saw the embarrassment Piya and her children endured while living without a toilet, so he began to pray for their need. He encouraged them to also pray for God to provide for them. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus sought to actively help this faithful family who served and loved the Lord.
Zacchaeus sent a request to his leaders for a toilet for the family. When Piya and her children found out about this act of kindness, they were filled with much hope and joy. After more than two years with no proper sanitation, the family finally had a private place they could use—no matter the time of day or the weather.
“Being a boy, I adjusted to going out in the open area for toilet purposes,” Piya’s son said. “but I was concerned for my mother and sister. For lack of money we could not construct a toilet, but thank God for our church who understood our need and helped us by providing one.”
An Open Door to Love
Not only have Piya and her family been blessed with this practical and useful gift, but now the villagers also have a clear and beautiful picture of the love of Christ and how He cares for even the smallest of our needs. Some of them have been so touched that they have begun to attend church services.
World Toilet Day
World Toilet Day, Nov. 19, is a day set aside to remember and bring aid to the billions of people who suffer and lack proper sanitation. The World Health Organization reports that poor sanitation is believed to be the main cause in nearly 280,000 deaths annually. Open defecation produces life-threatening diseases, but millions of people have no proper place to use as their restroom.
“Sanitation is at the core of human dignity,” said a Gospel for Asia-supported field leader. “Its impact affects everybody, irrespective of one’s ethnic, political, religious or geographical background. It is our collective responsibility as citizens to take the needed measures to ensure that we live in a clean safe and healthy environment.”
Simple toilets are saving the lives of many people, and Gospel for Asia plans to provide hundreds of sanitation facilities to give women back their dignity.