Building Wells and Unity

Benjamin Demblowski

Brazil’s drought-stricken regions are experiencing new life through the hard work of World Challenge’s partner.

A lack of water affects everything in a community from basic health and sanitation to education and employment.

Clean water, as a basic human need, is foundational to building healthy communities. Meeting the physical need for water opens doors for people to receive what they thirst for most: living water.

Jacob’s Well was established to provide hope and practical help to farming towns ravaged by years of drought in northeastern Brazil.

While team members work alongside locals to build wells and help bring clean water to rural towns, these relationships open up opportunities to connect people to a church community and share the gospel. 

Clean Water and Teamwork

The Jacob’s Well team’s work is not only empowering locals with clean water sources but also encouraging a spirit of unity as they help farmers and small business owners develop good working relationships through farming co-ops.

Many of northeast Brazil’s rural towns are hovering around the poverty line, but reliable water sources and this cooperative work helps create economic stability and boost families’ income.

“While many missions organizations desire to ‘teach people how to fish’ rather than ‘hand out fish,’ in reality it’s much easier to hand out fish! And fundraising for relief activities like food distribution, building projects and Christian literature can be simpler as well,” pointed out Scott Douglas, a Jacob’s Well worker.

“The challenging work, however, is in training communities to run their own churches, build their own sustainable economic ventures, and solve their own everyday challenges through prayer, teamwork and ingenuity.”

The team also conducts home visits to offer people medical checkups and hygiene lessons. Even though the visits are free, grateful locals often give workers eggs, milk and even live chickens.

Their work is so successful, in fact, that requests for their lessons and trainers have been overwhelmingly pouring in.

In order to create sustainable, long-term mission work, the team has partnered with World Challenge. They want to expand their well-digging, farming lessons and community-unity activities by adopting more ways to train locals to spread these lessons to their neighbors.

Community in Action

Working together for the betterment of their own families and others brings a real sense of unity to people, but it won’t last without the permanent truth of Christ’s love and his sacrificial work to make believers into the church.

Godly community—one that sacrificially loves, celebrates and mourns with each member—is incredibly refreshing.

A member of Fortaleza’s local church, Marcus hasn’t been able to attend services lately. He was recently diagnosed with cancer, and the chemotherapy has made him extremely weak. Like many in this area, however, he must keep working in order to survive and be able to continue his treatments.

The church gathered when they heard the news and decided they wanted to bless Marcus and his business.

Regularly, a group of Jacob’s Well leaders and church members visit his stand to purchase food and hear how his treatments are going as well as pray for him. For Marcus and his family, this is a great encouragement. 

Praying for Brazil and Jacob’s Well

The leaders of Jacob’s Well feel strongly that God is calling them to more communities deeper inland. Please ask God to raise up new leaders and trainers who are moved by his Spirit and have a steadfast devotion to this good work.

Everyone needs good community to gather around them like Marcus with his church family, so pray that God will move in the communities to give them a gospel view of one another.

Thankfully, more rain has been falling in Brazil’s northeast region this spring, a much-needed blessing as the planting season approaches. God is good!