‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Jesus answered, ‘the water I give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’” John 4:13-15
Running water is something that most of us take for granted. Water is essential for life. Without water in our bodies, we cannot survive. However, many people do not have the luxury of opening a tap to access water. Swaziland is one of those places that does not have water.
Sifiso Dlamini, together with his wife Teyse, run a church in the village of Mkhaya which lies in the remote district of Lubombo near the town of Big Bend. It is 40 km from Manzini and about 100 km from the South African Golela border post.
Mkhaya is an area that is characterised by constant drought and unreliable rainfalls. Most of the rivers in the area are seasonal, an indication that there is no constant water supply. Water is sometimes supplied by commercial water tankers at a very high cost. The cost of this water is higher than the amount the families spend on meals; hence a larger percentage of the meagre household income is spent on accessing water for drinking. There are also rare ponds of stagnant water which are used by both humans and animals. Thus people are generally at the mercy
of nature since the cleanliness of such waters is not assured.
CityHill, through CityReach, is currently involved with the local Church in Swaziland, to bring not only living water through the gospel but also water for the local community. In January this year, through the generosity of Christian Broadcast Network (CBN), we were able to drill a borehole at one of the four local churches that we are partnering with in Swaziland.
It was an incredible privilege – albeit a nail-biting one – to watch the drilling of the borehole on Pastor Sifiso’s church property. The engineers had anticipated reaching water at 75 metres and completing the drilling in one day, but after nearly 15 hours of drilling, and with one last pipe extension left, they finally hit water at a depth of 106 metres!
The benefits of this borehole water project will improve the villagers’ health standards – the provision of clean water will help eradicate the high prevalence of waterborne diseases. The villagers are mostly subsistence farmers and water from the borehole will be a huge blessing to them. They will now be able to grow vegetables that can be used to subsidise their diet, which is predominantly meat and porridge, thus improving their diet.
The borehole water is also intended to be used in making blocks for building stronger houses rather than stick and mud homes. The borehole will significantly enhance the influence of the church in spreading the gospel and will also be a huge catalyst in uplifting the community.
We are overjoyed at being able to not only take the living water of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Swaziland but to supply them with a constant flow of water. What a privilege!
“Come, all you who are thirsty. Come to the waters.”