Clean Water, Clean Hands … Clean Hearts?

 In China, East Asia Insight, God at Work, Humanitarian Assistance

Article featured in 2013 East Asia Insight Q1

Shama Xier lives in a small village in a remote, underdeveloped part of Southwest China. Her family has lived there for many generations, raising livestock and planting small crops. As part of a minority group, Shama is proud of her colorful skirt, handmade vest and stately hat.

Three years ago, Shama’s village was chosen as the site of a family health project led by a group of foreigners. They gave the villagers holistic health training, helping families establish new hygiene practices to keep them from getting sick as often. The team also worked together with the villagers to provide clean water to the area. In addition, the team also discussed the need for spiritual healing and cleansing made possible by Jesus.

The project is over now, but the team has had a long-term effect on Shama and her family.

“Whenever I get water from the faucet in my courtyard, I am thankful that these ‘foreigners’ cared enough to come to my village to give us family health training,” she says. “They laughed with us, danced with us, cried with us, held our hands and just sat in the dirt with us. Even though the official project is finished, the lessons I learned do not stop and the friendships I enjoy continue to grow. I am always glad to see these teachers coming back to see us.”

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