Imagine you live in a small village with your family. Your home provides good shelter, but your village has no proper sanitation facilities, forcing you and everyone else nearby to use a nearby field as your bathroom. As difficult as this is on its own, harsh weather and heavy rains make it even more uncomfortable.
Sadly, this is a daily reality for roughly 1 billion people in South Asia who do not have access to proper sanitation facilities. This lack can be not only embarrassing and shameful, but it can also be dangerous.
A Village in Need
Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Zacchaeus and his family served the Lord in such a village. The village had no proper sanitation facilities and no knowledge of proper health and hygiene practices. They struggled daily because of this lack of toilets, which forced them to go to the bathroom among wildlife, in inclement weather conditions, and oftentimes in front of other people. The threat of illness was always lurking due to contamination and exposure to harsh weather. The villagers needed a solution.
A Clean Start for a Village
Pastor Zacchaeus knew the struggle of the villagers and prayed for toilets to be installed in the area. By the grace of God, in early Spring of the same year, the church began constructing 12 toilets for the residents. The villagers were overjoyed and watched the construction work eagerly.
Pastor Zacchaeus also began educating the villagers on proper hygiene practices, the importance of toilets and their use. As the work continued, the Lord worked in the hearts of many of the villagers and enabled them to experience the love and mercy of Jesus by seeing their needs provided for through these toilets.
Many of the villagers gratefully expressed what a blessing these toilets were.
“I am a married woman, and I have two grown-up children. All of us go in the open area for toilet,” said Umatilla. “Many times it was shameful to go in open area, but thank God for the [church] for providing sanitation facilities. Now our entire family will use it.”