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April-May 2018

Soccer and the Gospel

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brown on green, A Regular column about finances


Meeting Unmet Needs

The Samburu people of remote north-central Kenya have a desperate need for clean water. The area in which they live is called Barsalinga and receives only three to eight inches of rain a year. To put that in perspective, Nashville, Tennessee, receives 48 inches of rain per year.

The Samburu are a primitive, nomadic people who live much like Abraham of the Old Testament. The nearest major source of water is a 3.5-hour walk to the Ewaso Nyiro (Black River), but even this source is unreliable. The responsibility to get water often falls on the women, who frequently dig in the dry riverbed to find it. Even when they obtain water from the river, it is unclean and disease-ridden.

The Samburu cannot live closer to the river due to the threat of larger animals and malaria. In recent years, over 600 of the Samburu people have received the living water of Jesus Christ, but they need a reliable water source to sustain them physically. In 2017, Free Will Baptist

International Missions applied for and received a grant of $30,000 from Free Will Baptist Foundation to dig two wells in this region. The wells are expensive to dig. The logistics of getting the equipment necessary to dig a well to this remote part of Africa is costly. This region also requires a deep well. In Tennessee, a well rarely has to be dug beyond 75 feet to find a reliable source of water. In the Barsalinga region, the depth to sustainable water is generally 150 to 225 feet. The cost of pipe alone contributes to the expense of digging wells.

International Missions, through the work of Eddy and Amanda Simmons, has already been reaching these people and giving them the Living Water. However, the Gospels of both Matthew and Mark refer to giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name as something we all should do. Meeting physical needs is often the doorway to meeting spiritual needs.

The Foundation has been blessed over the last four decades. Total assets have gone from zero to nearly $80 million. Due to this growth, a grant program has been established to help Free Will Baptist ministries fund projects like the Living Waters Project to help the Samburu people. This year $500,000 will be awarded to several ministries as grants to meet unmet needs.

About the Columnist: David Brown is director of Free Will Baptist Foundation. To learn more about the grants program, call 877-336-7575 or email

©2018 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists