Cecilia’s Story: Fatigued from Carrying Jerry Cans

In many communities that lack clean and safe water, the elderly are some of the most affected.

Meet Poni Cecilia, an elderly woman from Ojipaku community in Uganda, who for years, relied on an open well (often contaminated) for water.
Sharing her struggles due to the lack of clean water, Cecilia said,

"There were days where I didn't think I would be able to finish a trip to the open well. The distance was unbearable and the jerry can started to get too heavy for me. By the time I got home from the well, my neck and back would ache so much but because I had to do other chores such as cleaning, cooking, and digging; I couldn't rest."

 

neverthirst - Cecelia Smiling

She continued,

"Slowly, I started to feel like my body was slowing down from the fatigue of walking a long distance to look for water and carrying heavy jerry cans on my head three or four times a day. I remember praying to God to see our suffering and rescue us, but it seemed like my prayers were not getting answered because years went by with our community not getting a borehole. I completely gave up!"

neverthirst - Cecelia walking with jerry can
But God had heard Cecilia's prayers and Cecilia's life was changed forever through a new borehole in her village! Our local pastor partner, Atanasio Biaja, explained the gravity of clean water being in their community after all these years.

"In our culture and communities, giving someone clean water is like giving them life. It is a gift that everyone is grateful for. Today, the people of Ojipaku have received life through their newly drilled borehole."

"As a spiritual leader, it was very difficult for me and my fellow pastors to do ministry in the community because it was like preaching to people who didn't have life. Talking to them about a God who loved and cared for them, and yet seemed not to give them the most essential resource to survive broke my heart.In many ways, they felt like God had let them down.”

—Pastor Biaja

With the new borehole, there's a new opportunity for the church to reach out to the people. Pastor Biaja says,

"A new window of opportunity is before us to preach the gospel because life has returned to the people. As a church, we are excited to be able to share about God's love as well as his provision. The borehole is a perfect example of the provision that the people have trusted God for, and the things that they continue to trust him for. It is also a symbol of hope not only for the community that has received it, but also for the surrounding communities that don't yet have clean and safe water. By seeing God's hand at work at Ojipaku community, they can be encouraged to hope in God for his provision for them.”

neverthirst - Cecelia and village with new clean water well
Cecilia (red and white dress) and Pastor Biaja (black blazer and blue shirt) smile and give thanks for the new clean water well in their village.
neverthirst - Cecelia with clean water well

For Cecilia, she’s overwhelmed with joy to have clean water. She exclaimed:

It was unbelievable to see that we were finally going to have a clean water source that would be easily accessible! "I could finally rest!"

"Every time I drink this water, I will remember the kind friends who supported us. I will also be reminded of how God has been good to me and everyone in my village. May God always guide your path and increase what you have so that you can continue to serve his people!”

A generous family funded this community’s clean water—and you can too. Explore our project page to see project sponsorship levels. If you fund a full project, you’ll receive a report at project completion with testimonies from community members and the local pastor!
Thank you for partnering with us to serve clean water and show God’s love to the unreached!

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