In order to fully understand the work Water of Life is doing in India, you first must understand a little of the culture of India. Indian culture cannot be separated from Hindu culture, and the caste system is built into Hindu culture. Determined by birth, the Indian people are classified into four castes. These castes determine everything - where a person lives, where they worship, schools they can attend, who they can marry, who they can associate with, and what jobs they can hold. At the very bottom, beneath the very caste system itself, are the Untouchables. These persons are not even considered to be human, and if a person isn’t considered a person, they can’t be a part of a caste. Untouchables are not allowed to hold jobs, worship in the Hindu temples, and are destined to live a life of absolute poverty. What’s worse – the prevalent belief is these people deserve it. Because of reincarnation and their status within the system, they have not yet achieved a place worth giving respect and achieving happiness. Even the Untouchables themselves believe they aren’t worthy – until Water of Life enters their lives.
Untouchables have no hope to better themselves in this life. They have accepted their fate. This is Water of Life’s mission – to give hope to these who have none. When our pastors, led by Pastor Praveen and the Sylom Pastors League, tell them that there is one God who loves them, cares for them, and gave His life for them – everything changes. And it changes in a big way. Showing the love of Jesus, our Indian pastors reach villages with their own fresh water wells. India is thirsty and in need of both water and hope. The gift of fresh water has opened the door to proclaim the name of Christ. The love and hope of Christ is undeniable and spreading quickly.
- In 2012 - Pastor Praveen and the Sylom Pastors League baptized more than 15,000 Indians.
- In 2013 - 37,000 Indians were baptized
- In 2014 - 292,000 Indians were baptized
- In 2015 - 600,003 Indians were baptized
- Just Easter weekend in 2016, 898,657 followed Christ’s example and were baptized
Water of Life’s work in India is not without challenges. God’s love has always been a radical one that is not always a welcomed message in the world. Christians in India are regularly persecuted for their faith. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a volunteer, paramilitary organization operating within India, has called for the removal of all non-Hindus from India by 2020. Pastor Praveen, along with his network of pastors, face persecution, ostracization from their families, violent physical attacks, and death threats on a regular basis. Join us in praying for their safety, but we also act on the conviction that God calls us all to live into His radical love – not the promise of an easy journey.
Your donations will reach even more of the 1.25 billion people in India with fresh water and the hope that knowing Jesus brings. Thank you!
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. – Isaiah 35:5-6