Down a winding dirt path in the thick of leafy green bushes and trees lives a small community in Benin. Humble mud huts and wood fences dot the land as barefoot children wander around, holding hands with younger siblings and calling out to one another in Fon. This is the village of Vongnigodo.

When GAiN provided a well for their community back in 2016, it caused a revolutionary shift in the daily rhythms of the people that continues to have a positive effect on their world today. Not only did access to safe water cleanse and restore the physical health of villagers– it gave them the gift of time.

Julien, Ghislain and Adolph are three members of Vongnigodo’s well committee who described to our team the ways in which the well has radically impacted their village.

“Before the water well, we had a lot of disease and stomach aches,” Julien explained. “Since the water well arrived, we are free from all these diseases. Before, we walked long distances, but with this water well, we save time. So it means that women don’t go far away before getting water.”

Ghislain, Julien and Adolph

He also shared that women would have to gather water three times a day, walking a kilometre and a half one way in order to reach a stagnant, muddy stream. Although this water is filthy, Vongnigodo would use it for everything, including drinking, bathing and washing their clothes. 

After expending most of their energy on filling up buckets, women would then be forced to trek back uphill with the heavy weight of the dirty water balanced atop their heads. Since women in this community also farm during the day, they must gather water in the early morning before joining the men in the field. 

Women [were] tired after they [collected] water,” Ghislain shared. “Because they [were] tired, they [didn’t] have capacity to do all the activities in the day.” 

Old water source

Relying on a distant and toxic water source strips people of their health and swallows up their capacity to focus on other priorities. Not only do household duties fall to the wayside for women, but spending intentional time with their children and spouses becomes next to impossible.  

However, with Vongnigodo’s well now in the centre of the village, the process of collecting water is delightfully simple. Women can come and go with ease, filling their buckets whenever needed without using up hours of their day. This direct access is not just a convenience– it is a deep sigh of relief.

“Thank you to GAiN! Because of this well, there is no more sickness! No more stomach aches and diarrhea,” the three committee members said. 

To maximize the restorative power of clean water, GAiN equipped 218 members of the village with Hygiene and Sanitation Training. The team also facilitated an interactive teaching on gender roles and domestic abuse with a group of 146 villagers to encourage empathy and understanding between men and women. The local church shared about the love of Jesus with the people of Vongnigodo and 293 people watched the JESUS Film. Within this group, 23 people made decisions to follow Jesus and 5 chose to receive further discipleship in their faith. 

Gathering for hygiene and sanitation training

Féliciènne Agbode, a woman who watched the JESUS Film, shared, “I am very happy with the path from which the Lord delivered me by giving me the grace…”.

As a way to encourage believers in the village to gather together and worship, the new church in Vongnigodo received a church building. Training was also given to a designated team of leaders in the church.

Pastor Bernadin Avloko said, “I am very happy with this training which particularly allows me to learn the best ways for [the] church” Another villager, Jacques Avosse, was also incredibly impacted by GAiN’s work in his community.

The village’s fruit and vegetable garden

Direct access to safe water has transformed this small community in Benin from the inside out. Diseases have vanished, relationships have more time to flourish and energy for other activities has increased.

Clean water isn’t just a necessity for life – it is the ticket to an entirely different way of experiencing the world. Where there is access to safe water, there are mothers, fathers, pastors, farmers, children and elderly folk who can enjoy a healthy and secure way of life together. This life of abundance and wholeness is what we desire to give to the world. 

Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today

On a recent trip to Tanzania, a LIFE team from GAiN Australia and GAiN Canada was reminded of how the simplest things in life can have the most game changing effect on our lives.

Guided by the GAiN Tanzania field staff, the team travelled to different villages in the country to witness the life-changing impact that the Water for Life Initiative (WFLI) is having on communities. During one day of their trip, they visited a primary school that was in the process of receiving a well. 

The team inspected the school’s cement pad and then walked to the water source that was used to make the concrete. The water source was no more than a swamp. To their dismay, the team watched as a student waded into the swamp, filled his plastic bottle and took a long drink from the filthy water.

Old water source

To see this boy drink such dirty, brown water was sobering for our team,” LIFE team member Michael Dudok shared. “It definitely made us even more excited to be providing them with a new well.”

While visiting with some of the teachers at the school, the team noticed a green soccer field surrounded by trees. After asking if the students ever played sports on the field, one of the teachers explained that “the students love soccer, but they don’t have a ball.”

A team member immediately went back to their vehicle and brought out three soccer balls for the students to use. Seconds later, a flock of schoolboys surrounded him with buzzing excitement, all of them eager to take a kick at the new ball. Several members of the LIFE team headed out to the field with the boys and proceeded to play soccer with them for the rest of the afternoon.

“This simple gift demonstrated God’s love for them, and that couldn’t have been more evident from the joy on their faces,” said Monique Lieuwen, team member and Project Manager for WFLI.

Finishing up the well

The following day, the GAiN Tanzania team and the LIFE team returned to finish installing the pump in the school’s well. No longer will these students have to drink from the swamp – they are now free to enjoy an endless supply of pure, crystal-clear water.

With a huge smile on his face, the teacher approached the team and pointed to a cluster of students that were playing a soccer game on the field.

“They haven’t stopped playing since you brought the ball,” he shared.

Clean water and new soccer balls have certainly changed the game for this school in Tanzania. As the students kick off their matches on the field and quench their thirst with safe, accessible water, they are not just embracing newfound resources– they are embracing the promise of a better tomorrow, filled with possibilities and potential.

Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today

LIFE Team women (back row) with female students in Kibiti, Tanzania

There is a desperate need around the world for women to be educated about their menstrual cycles and equipped with feminine hygiene products.

According to the World Bank, an estimated 500 million women and girls globally don’t have access to the facilities they need to manage their periods. Many of these women also lack any kind of knowledge about their cycle and what is happening to their bodies during this time.

While on a LIFE Team trip to see GAiN’s water strategy first-hand in Tanzania, there was a unique opportunity for GAiN’s Water for Life Initiative (WFLI) to respond to this need. In addition to the usual tasks of building a well pad and engaging with villages and the local church, the team decided to give away menstrual hygiene packages and educate girls on their cycles. This form of distribution and training is the first of its kind that GAiN has ever done.

“We went to a secondary school in Kibiti, Tanzania where GAiN is currently working on providing a well,” said Monique Lieuwen, Project Manager for WFLI. A lot of the kids walk over an hour to get to school.”

Monique explained how she and, Jess, Community Health Project Manager for WFLI, as well as two other female LIFE team members and GAiN Tanzania staff members Neema and Oliva all arrived at the school and met with the principal, who directed them to a private classroom. There they met with a group of 26 female students who were approximately ages 14-18. Each girl received a menstrual hygiene package, which came in different sizes and consisted of five reusable pads, one pair of underwear and a set of instructions. These pads were sewn by volunteers from Australia and are made from towels and flannel with a snap underneath to keep it secure. 

“At first, the girls were a little shy and nervous, but they opened right up,” Monique shared. “It was awesome. They were so engaged and excited, they had never received anything like this before. It wasn’t just a distribution– it was education.”

Neema and Oliva taught the girls how to use the reusable pads and keep track of their cycle. In return, the girls shared about their experience in dealing with their periods. Instead of pads, they would use cloth and then refold it to keep using it over and over. The lack of proper hygiene products is made worse by the shame culture surrounding a woman’s cycle. Many girls are forced to stay home or stay away from school to reduce the risk of anyone finding out that they are on their period.

Neema (left) and Oliva (right)

“When we gave them a pack, they hid it under their head coverings,” Monique recalled. “They didn’t want anyone to see them.” 

Because of the embarrassment of being on their period, girls miss one week of education out of every month and sometimes drop out of school entirely. Mothers also succumb to shame and refuse to teach their daughters about menstruation, creating a generational pattern of silence and secrecy.

In an attempt to break some of the stigma and mystery associated with periods, Jess, Neema and Oliva crafted a simple menstrual training for the girls. The team not only discussed the physical function of a period, but explained that this shared female experience is a way to support one another socially. They also encouraged the students to talk with one another about their periods and look out for one another as a way to reduce feelings of shame and isolation.

Training the girls on how to use reusable pads

“One girl said, ‘thank you for the education,’” Monique shared. “That meant a lot, because it’s so much more than saying ‘thank you for the pads.’ Education is so much better and is what will have a lasting impact on these girls and their culture.”

These menstrual packages and training sessions are part of a trial project that will hopefully continue as long as there is funding and volunteer capacity to sew reusable pads. For now, we are thankful for the opportunity to have facilitated our first distribution and training with these teenage girls, and hope that it has gifted them with a measure of dignity and confidence for the future.


Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today

Visiting the Mbekenyera Health Centre in Tanzania

“With the coming of GAiN, our knowledge has increased abundantly. I now can confidently save the life of the mother and the baby at birth.” – Eusebius, head doctor of Mandawa Health Center.

Since 2006, GAiN has provided access to clean water for medical clinics in Benin, Tanzania and Togo in order to increase the overall safety and quality of care given to patients. This strategy is rooted in the knowledge that having access to clean water and the Living Water can transform every part of one’s life for the better. At GAiN, we care deeply about how clean water affects the social, spiritual and economic culture of a village, but also how it can bring protection and physical restoration to the vulnerable. Anchored in our passion to see the whole person restored, GAiN developed the Saving Lives at Birth program, where staff at the clinics are being trained with knowledge and techniques for how to properly care for newborns and mothers in a safe and timely manner.

Our team visited the Mbekenyera Health Center in Tanzania, where we met with the assistant doctor in charge. When we asked him about the impact of the training, he said that the hospital staff used to have no knowledge about how to save a baby’s life, but now six birth attendants have been trained in Saving Lives at Birth (SLB). He is so grateful that they haven’t had any bad cases since the training 12 months ago, which taught them about danger signs to look for so that babies can be referred to the hospital in a timely manner.

Reward, one of GAiN’s pump installation staff

When we asked why they hadn’t had any knowledge prior to the SLB training, the assistant doctor said they didn’t have sufficient equipment to practice what they had learned in school, so their skills were forgotten. Now that they have proper training, equipment and resources, the hospital attendants are able to practice constantly and pass on what they have learned to other staff.

Later, we asked the doctor if he could share more about what the situation was like before the training. He simply answered, “Babies would die while waiting for the doctor.”

When birth attendants were unsure how to handle a situation, they would ask for help from the two doctors at the clinic which ended up wasting precious time. The training taught these birth attendants about the ‘golden minute,’ where resuscitation must occur in order to save the baby. This rule clarified that they cannot wait for the doctor’s assistance in these circumstances if the baby is to survive.

As we walked through the maternity ward, we heard a newborn baby crying. It was a wonderful sound to hear a healthy newborn! The birthing rooms used to be less than ideal, with old or broken down equipment, stiff beds and dirty floors. Since the training, they now have a resuscitation table with equipment and action plans on the wall. 

Before having access to safe water, buckets of water were brought in by motorcycle

Our team had the opportunity to chat with a nurse named Levina at Mbekenyera Health Centre.

She said, “Since we got education in different ways of helping babies breathe through GAiN, we have many benefits. We now have a lot of education on how to help babies breathe, how to give care to mothers, we are so happy because we learned a lot and understand the benefits for us.”

When asked how she felt after receiving this GAiN training, she shared, “I feel so happy because we understand how to help that baby when it has a problem. We also need to continue learning with GAiN’s help and have more opportunities.” 

Levina shared that during one of her shifts, she admitted a pregnant woman into the hospital who was close to giving birth. Upon the examination, she noticed that the heartbeat of the baby was decreasing and it was having fetal distress. She remembered her training and prepared the necessary equipment in case the baby required breathing assistance. Once the mother delivered, Levina identified what treatment was needed and swiftly cleared the baby’s airways. Within five minutes, the baby was crying! Levina was so happy that the education she received was helpful in saving a life 

Levina shared that prior to her training, “it was a bad feeling [to help with a delivery] because [we] are always expecting the baby will be healthy at birth so when that doesn’t happen it’s sad because it’s a human life.”

The waiting room at Mandawa Health Centre

At Mandawa Health Center, a clinical attendant and anesthetist named Tumaini said the training has helped their whole team become better at assisting mothers during delivery. Several other attendants mentioned that they feel much more comfortable using proper methods to save lives at birth and believe they will be able to help many more babies in the future. One nurse named Paul shared about a mother who experienced postpartum hemorrhaging after birth, but he was able to manage the bleeding using the action steps that GAiN taught him.

Not only has GAiN’s Saving Lives at Birth training vastly improved the function of the clinics, but the provision of access to clean water has also ensured that these centres run smoothly and effectively. The staff used to draw from the town’s water system, keeping a limited supply in tanks for the rainy season. However, during each dry season they would run out of water. When this happened, they sent people on motorbikes or in an ambulance to buy water but had to use it sparingly for surgeries and birth. All other patients had to bring their own bucket of water.

After seeing how a lack of clean water was inhibiting the medical staff’s ability to care for patients, GAiN stepped in and created a system for easy, reliable access. The drilling locations have now been connected to the medical centres, providing safe water and creating a more hygienic and stable environment for all.

Hospital beds

“With GAiN drilling the borehole we see a bright future ahead because sometimes we would have to tell families/loved ones to go and collect water from remote places for their delivery due to the lack of water. There wasn’t enough staff here to collect water. Now with GAiN the problem [is] solved. We are sure it will be a sustainable one for a long time,” shared Eusebius.

Eusebius shared how deeply appreciative the clinics are for GAiN’s support, as it has dramatically increased the staff’s ability to protect mothers and children at birth and has given them renewed confidence in their skills. The delivery packs that GAiN provided have also been a profound blessing to pregnant mothers who are better set up to have safe and smooth births.

By equipping medical clinics with access to clean water, Saving Lives at Birth training and delivery packs, GAiN is providing higher quality health care to mothers and babies in Tanzania, Benin and Togo. The impact that GAiN’s support is having on clinics is encouraging–medical staff are growing in confidence and, as a result, more lives are being saved. We are thankful that GAiN has the opportunity to create an environment of safety, stability and hope within the health care clinics and are excited to continue sharing their stories of success and growth.

Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today

Before clean water arrived at the village of Nkowe-Mafuriko in Tanzania, people would wake up each morning to a life where time, energy and resources were stretched dangerously thin. 

Instead of spending precious hours of their day farming the fields for food, villagers would have to wake up while it was still dark to begin their long search for water. Instead of rising to meet each day feeling healthy and strong, the burden of sickness caused by contaminated water would plague them with discomfort. 

A 15-year-old girl named Esha recalled the difficulty of life before having access to safe drinking water: “The river we used to collect water from caused stomach aches and diarrhea. I would have to spend time going to the river and if it was the dry season, I would have to dig to find water,” she said.

However, once Global Aid Network (GAiN) provided a deep-capped water well, the hardship of waking up to life in Nkowe-Mafuriko started to disappear. People’s day-to-day rhythms became more sustainable, with less time being consumed by the search for water. Slowly but surely, their physical, mental and spiritual health was restored and rejuvenated.

Esha shared how much she loves that the water from the well helps her to keep her home clean, and that she enjoys having clean water to wash her school uniform. Since she is able to attend school, our GAiN team asked Esha what occupation she would like someday and after some thought she said, “I’d like to be a water committee secretary.”

Her answer showed us that she knows the importance of looking after the well and believes it to be a job that women can do. Thanks to GAiN’s water committee training, villagers in Nkowe-Mafuriko are able to be equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to care for the well. 

Through a partnership with the closest nearby church (mother church), God’s unconditional love was shared with villagers. Twenty-five members of the village made decisions to follow Jesus, and the three individuals who chose to learn the basics of their faith. However, because this mother church was a 10km walk away from the village, attendance was low. Thanks to a new church plant in the heart of their village, believers can now gather as a Christian community year-round and their numbers are increasing day by day. 

GAiN also built a church structure for this community of believers, which has now grown to 40 adults and many children. Previously, the church met under a tent, which wasn’t comfortable or suitable when it rained.

Through the powerful and transformative gift of having access to clean water, the village of Nkowe-Mafuriko can welcome each new day with joy and hope. Their days are no longer hampered by the time-consuming task of collecting water or the discomfort of water-borne illnesses. They are no longer withheld from attending school or hearing about God’s love through a local church. Each morning, villagers can look forward to a more empowered way of life.

At GAiN, we desire that everyone experience life in its fullness, free from the burden of poverty. Our mission is to reveal hope by sharing God’s unconditional love, and restore life by demonstrating the gospel through compassionate action to those who are living in poverty, injustice and crisis around the world. 

The joint impact of the water well and the sharing of the gospel has infused hope into the life of the villagers. Our dream is to see more individuals experience the body, soul and spirit transformation that comes when safe water and the message of God’s love are introduced into their communities.

Will you join us to help make this dream a reality?

Our goal is to raise $247,250 to provide approximately 23,000 villagers (23 communities) with clean water and the Living Water by June 30th. 

A simple ‘yes’ creates a ripple-effect of change in the health, relationships, economy and spiritual vitality of a village. Your gift can serve as the catalyst for authentic and lasting impact on a community for generations to come.

Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today

Experiencing renewed joy through water

For over fifteen years, Global Aid Network (GAiN) has committed to providing deep-capped water wells to rural villages in such countries as Benin, Tanzania and Togo. Through the Water for Life Initiative, which includes the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) program, GAiN not only resolves to give communities access to clean water, but also develop a culture of sustainability and wellness and an understanding of the love of Jesus.

Our team encountered Pastor Fidele and a few others in the village of Adjaho Vekpa. When we asked him about the community’s local water source, he informed us that the closest reliable source of water was six kilometers away. Although there were hand dug wells nearby, they did not always produce the amount of water needed by the village. Thus, women and children in the community had to travel six km to bring home water that was collected from swamps and standing water. The water was contaminated, as it was shared with livestock and was also used for bathing and doing laundry. Water-borne illnesses would often plague people as a result of being forced to drink this polluted water.

Previously, there was strong resistance to preaching and the gospel because the community was steeped in the practices of Voodoo. Yet, even before our team arrived, God was working in the hearts and minds of the villagers. Once the well was provided, people’s hearts slowly became open to hearing the message of Jesus Christ.

However, once a well was installed, an abundance of joy was brought to the community. The availability of clean water provided them with a means of living healthier lives that were no longer burdened by lengthy travel or disease. Partnering with the local church also allowed the hope of Jesus to be shared.

The pastor related to us the feelings of many villagers: “The God that provides the water is the God we want to know about.”  

Our team worked with the Assemblies of God Church in Toffo to train six members of that church on how to share their faith, and they went door-to-door in the community, proclaiming the good news of Christ. Fourteen people made a decision to follow Jesus in one day, and a new church plant of 15 people now exists in this village, led by Pastor Fidele. 

Our prayer is that this village is gained for Christ,” shared Pastor Fidele. “The work that GAiN has done in this village has already opened doors for us to come here with the Good News of Christ and that has opened the door for us to preach to people and they accept Christ.”

This is just one story of how deeply grateful we are for how God continues to use GAiN’s WFLI to transform the everyday rhythm of villages.

We also witnessed the faithfulness of the Lord through the commissioning of a second rotary rig in Benin, which is already assisting in providing even more wells to villages in the country. 

Additionally, we saw God’s continued faithfulness during the Director of GAiN’s WFLI, Steve Thompson’s, trip to Tanzania this summer. Steve met with the Tanzanian government, who are key partners in the provision of water to rural communities, and together with GAiN, they started negotiations for the next MOU (Memorandum of Understanding).

During that same trip, Steve visited the three villages that are part of the Maasailand project. One village leader shared how his community had lost hope in finding clean water, as thousands of dollars had been spent searching for water in partnership with other organizations, and all attempts had failed. When the villager heard that GAiN Tanzania had found water, he dropped to his knees and cried, shaking Steve’s hand and praising God for the water that had been found. We are moved by the Lord’s work in Tanzania, especially how he has strengthened the staff working there, enabled us to form a solid relationship with the government, and provided the tangible gift of water to rural villages. 

AFA (Assa Fulfulde Anji) Project 

In March 2021, GAiN partnered with a foundation to bring the gospel to three unreached people groups, including the Fulfulde and Anji peoples in Northern Benin, and the Assa people in Northern Tanzania. The goal is to plant 85 churches among these three people groups, and see 4,600 unreached individuals come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Over the past four months, we have witnessed the transformative power and work of God through the AFA Project. During our team’s trip to visit ten villages in Northern Benin that belong to the Fulfulde people, we saw how the provision of clean water and church plants had changed the atmosphere and livelihood of the community. 

The Fulfulde people are cattle rearers, and were a historically nomadic group. They have been hated by other people groups in the past because their animals would eat other people’s crops. As a result, the Fulfulde people became extremely isolated and were known for being distrustful of others. However, our team was told that because of both the deep-capped water well and church plants, the Fulfulde are much more welcoming to outsiders. We observed this change through the warm welcome we received from the villages, and how in one community, the children came to play with us and touch our skin. Previously, this kind of interaction would never have happened. 

During a conversation with Bertin, the JESUS Film director of Northern Benin, he noted that one of the reasons that the AFA project is so successful is because it targets specific people groups.  

These groups feel valued and chosen by GAiN. Therefore, they embrace the project enthusiastically,” he said.

In addition to providing communities with a well and hygiene and sanitation training, GAiN meets with local pastors to strategize about planting churches, teach discipleship skills, show the JESUS film and mobilize door-to-door evangelism. Several new tools have also been introduced, such as showing the Walking with Jesus (WWJ) Film series to new believers.

A member of our team had the chance to speak with several pastors who have used WWJ, and all agreed that it is very well received and incredibly useful for discipleship. Bertin noted that he “sees lifestyle changes in people and families after watching the WWJ film.” The film is shown with African actors and context as well as in the people’s own language, making it extremely effective in teaching new Christians more about Jesus.

The Discipleship Training Sessions are another tool that is being used as part of the AFA project. Bertin noted that this is like a small school for pastors, and is well received by those that attend. The pastors return to their churches feeling better equipped and ready to bring their new knowledge to their church. 

One pastor named Daniel Gmanou said: “I thank God for this wonderful training. Each of the topics covered are important to me and also important to the faithful of the church. I have good memories of this because spiritual growth requires good training.” 

Through this project, 34 churches have been planted in unreached people groups in Benin and Tanzania, and 26,000 people have heard the gospel. GAiN is thankful for all that God is doing through WFLI and AFA, and has faith that many more unreached communities will experience the life of hope and abundance that He offers.

Will you join us to provide access to clean water and the Living Water – Jesus?

Yes, I want to help!

When we started the Pastor Support Program (PSP) last year, we didn’t know that pastors would still be feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic a year later. For pastors like Hountondji Pulcherie in Tori Cada Lokossa 1, Benin, the aid received through the program helped her considerably.

“I thank the donors for everything they are doing because I benefited,” the Foursquare pastor said. “I shared it with some members who had, in the meantime, stopped coming to the church.”

As part of our Water for Life Initiative, the PSP was started in Spring 2020 as a way to support pastors who were having a tough time providing for their families during the pandemic. The pastors we’ve worked with have all previously engaged with GAiN over the years that we’ve been working in Benin and Togo. Government restrictions to help limit the spread of COVID meant that churches could not gather as they used to. Many of the congregants even lost their jobs due to the crisis. Even when some churches were able to partially reopen, some church members simply stopped attending. This has affected the church in different ways, as it hindered doing ministry and resulted in reduced offerings. The negative impact was strongly felt by pastors, as some churches had to cut their pastor’s salaries in half.

In July 2021, we started phase 2 of the program. The PSP in Benin completed the first of eight distributions in July 2021. Twenty-six pastors each received a bag of rice, beans, oil, soap, and a small gift for their children. Pastors also attended a three-hour workshop at the GAiN Benin office. They received Bridge to Life booklets to assist them in their evangelism and discipleship work. 

In Togo, the first distribution happened in early August. The team planned 15 different distribution sites spread throughout the country so that pastors in different areas didn’t have to travel too far to get their packages.

These distributions have been helpful during this season, especially for those who live in areas where Benin and Togo have experienced an extended drought. The drought has led to high food prices and increased food scarcity. 

“I thank GAiN for these gifts that [were] sent [to] me,” expressed Jonas Fangla from the Pentecostal Church of Afekpa in Togo. “I really appreciate it. For this love demonstration, my family and I are very grateful for it. May God bless you a lot and the donors also.” 

Komlan Gaglo from Baptist Church of Adeta Akorome in Togo said, “I can’t find the right word[s] to thank and bless God for the life of all staff who remembered me and my family during this difficult time, due to the COVID-19. I pray that God bless[es] you more than what you expected.”

The remainder of the PSP was officially wrapped on September 5. To date, a total of 200 pastors in Togo and 475 pastors in Benin have received support. Our prayer is that this project will continue to bear fruit beyond just providing for pastors’ basic needs. 

With pastors receiving support, it’s our hope that they were able to reach those believers who stopped attending church due to the impact of the pandemic.

Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today

After two months of cycling through Canada’s diverse and picturesque landscapes – including the Rocky Mountains, flat prairies, hills in eastern Canada – the Cycling 4 Water team reached Atlantic Canada just in time for fall, completing their 65-day ride in Halifax.

The team, made up of a group of self-proclaimed young-at-heart old guys (Mike Woodard, Rob Montgomery, Timo Itkonen, Gabe McReynolds) and their “roadie” (Lyndon Dojohn), dedicated their summer to raising awareness and funds to provide access to clean water for rural villages in Africa. They set out with a goal to provide approximately 65 villages with clean water through GAiN’s Water for Life Initiative.

The team in Eastern BC

The statistic that every 90 seconds a child dies due to water-related diseases has been one that has kept the team going. “That’s a statistic that gripped my heart, all of us being fathers and grandfathers,” Mike told the Standard-Freeholder in Cornwall, Ontario. “There’s nothing more basic than water – if you don’t have water you die. A well transforms a village. It changes the whole dynamic and the health. It allows kids to go to school because they aren’t sick.”

This has been the biggest motivator for the cyclists, who rode through Canada’s varied weather, including forest fire smoke, strong headwinds, hail, and heavy rain.

Calgary to Strathmore
Moosejaw, SK
Whitehorse, Yukon to Dawson City, Yukon
RV life
Eglise La Riviere, Quebec

“The highlights of the trip have been the struggles that God has brought us through,” Lyndon, who drove the RV and is also the church partnership director for GAiN, shared. “Across the prairies and Northern Ontario, the weather wasn’t that great. [There were] a lot of headwinds for the cyclists. Major days of rain, all day, when they’re out on the road.”

The team also came across some literal roadblocks, with construction and non-access roads. This meant that they had to re-route, adding more kilometres than planned, on paths that weren’t as great. 

These weren’t the only challenges. The team faced some setbacks as individuals. Near the beginning of the trip, Gabe got news that his mother-in-law had passed away and had to fly out of Whitehorse to be with family in Ottawa. The team rode on as a trio, but about a week later, Gabe was able to rejoin them in Prince Rupert.

Not too long after, on day 11, Mike fell while on the road, fracturing his pelvis. After a visit to the hospital in Stewart, BC, Mike took a day off and the team made adjustments to the schedule due to the detour. Unfortunately, a few days later, in Terrace, BC, Mike had to be readmitted to the hospital due to some internal bleeding from his fall. Thankfully, he was able to rejoin the team just a couple of days later, catching a flight to Prince George.

That wasn’t the only injury on the road. Just two days after, Rob started experiencing a sore ankle, requiring him to take a few days off before getting back on the road.

This year’s 10,000-kilometre event was initially scheduled for June 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Sea 2 Sea 2 Sea ride was finally able to get moving this year, it didn’t come without some challenges.

Travel restrictions in the North West Territories back in July meant that the plan of starting the ride in Tuktoyuktuk could not happen. Instead, the team started the ride from Dawson City, BC, still as enthusiastic as ever.

Despite all of the obstacles, the team was determined and committed to the cause. As a result of their perseverance, as of today, they have raised enough to provide access to clean water to approximately 65,000 people! 

Overall, the team is thankful that they were able to do this ride across Canada safely during the pandemic, while also meeting with generous strangers and friends, old and new. Along the way, they had the pleasure of visiting churches in different provinces to share about their ride and their reason for doing it. They were blown away by the unexpected generosity of the people they met.

Life-Spring Church in Ontario

One of many memorable stops was at The Life-Spring Church in Ontario. The church pledged the amount of a well and had the children make a symbolic cheque to present to the team. 

“Clearly, the highlights were in the churches on Sundays where people showed so much interest,” Lyndon shared. “The surprises were when some guys would just come up and cut a cheque for a complete water well. I don’t know how many people come to church thinking they’re going to do that. I don’t want to give the impression that it’s just those people who [matter]. Anybody who gives is a joy. Sometimes, [even if] it’s a small amount, you can tell that they’re giving it because they feel led to give.”

Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today

Adjeomi is a bustling farming village in Benin, West Africa. The women there take the cassava root vegetables that they harvest and produce a type of food called Gari. They take that to the local market to sell and trade. There are also craftsmen and craftswomen, welders, hairdressers, and dressmakers in the village. The entrepreneurial spirit of this community made them eager to install a water well back in 2017.

GAiN provided a well in October of that year, and also worked through the local church to provide hygiene and sanitation training and other community development initiatives. 

On returning to the water point almost four years later, the people still remember the principles of hygiene and sanitation taught by the church and are practising healthy behaviours.

Pastor Seraphin told us that the well has made the church known in the community.

The next step is to build a church structure closer to the village. The community in Adjeomi has been saving money to purchase a piece of land worth 240,000 CFA (about $540 CAD) in Albarika Etuba village. The goal is to build a church there so that villagers from Adjeomi and Albarika-Etuba could meet there for services. 

Beyond the time that GAiN spends in a community, it is the local church that remains, acts as a center of ongoing development and creates impact over lifetimes.

Today, the church in Adjeomi has worked to bring peace and life to their community, and have used their effective management skills and entrepreneurial mindset to purchase land to build a church themselves. They are taking great initiative to grow and develop in order to see their community flourish.

Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today

When the world shut down in March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, GAiN was also forced to pause its Water for Life Initiative drilling operations in Benin, Togo, and Tanzania. Our teams continued to provide hand washing stations and hygiene and sanitation trainings to rural villages in the months that followed. While we had to also pause our church mobilization and multiplication activity, we focused on supporting local pastors with food aid packages to help get them through while churches were closed or attendance was low.

We were thrilled when we were finally able to restart drilling operations by the end of August. Since then, we’ve been able to provide 153 productive wells.

“We bless the Lord and [want to say] a sincere thank you for this [well],” expressed Dieudonné, village chief and farmer of Gbandan Centre, Benin, shared with GAiN in March 2021. “[Before we received our well in February 2017], our suffering was enormous. Today, we have water at all times. The quality of water surpasses the surrounding waters. Hygiene and sanitation training has helped us a lot. Today, COVID-19 has [encouraged] everyone to wash their hands, something that GAiN has taught us long before. The population knows that they must wash their hands regularly.” 

Since September, in partnership with local churches, we were also able to plant 39 churches. Following each country’s health and safety guidelines, we stuck to smaller showings of the JESUS film and incorporated more door-to-door evangelism. Despite the restrictions, a total of 21,696 people have attended a JESUS film showing and 3,510 made decisions to follow Jesus. An unexpected upside to the restriction of size gatherings, our team reports, is that people feel more comfortable coming forward to accept Christ when they are in smaller groups. 

In the past year, two new drilling rigs were donated, one for Tanzania that started operations in September 2020 and one for Benin in April 2021. These rigs are each expected to help provide access to clean water to approximately 70,000 people per year! The rig’s higher drilling capabilities will allow us to drill deeper wells (up to 200 metres) in places where we could not before.

In addition to restarting regular operations, WFLI has also started a few new projects. Recently, we’ve partnered with GAiN Switzerland on a water project in the Maasailand area of Tanzania. This is a new region in the north that we haven’t worked in before. 

“This partnership between GAiN Switzerland and GAiN Canada is significant because of the integration of two international GAiN offices (in Switzerland and Canada) who are working together with GAiN Tanzania to reach the Maasai people of northern Tanzania,” Steve J. Thompson, Director for WFLI, explains. “Surface water is very scarce in the Maasailand region, and we’ve needed to go deep into the ground (up to 180 m) to find clean water. Without the partnership of GAiN Switzerland, GAiN Canada, GAiN Tanzania, and Swiss donors, this work would not be possible.”

The water wells in this region are deeper than the water wells we drill in the south of Tanzania, requiring submersible pumps and water towers in these villages. 

“[This] requires the use of a generator,” Stephanie McDonald, Project Manager for WFLI, explains. “When the generator is switched on, the submersible pump will pump water back into the 3000L water tank. Villagers will be able to get water from the tank by the tap.”

We’ve also started the AFA project in Benin and Tanzania. AFA stands for Anii, Fulfulde and Assa, the three unreached people groups (UPGs)* – two from Benin and one from Tanzania – that we’re focused on reaching over the next three years as part of our church mobilization and multiplication strategy. Project activities have started in March, with our teams surveying villages in the surrounding areas to learn more about the UPGs, in hopes of getting a better understanding of the spiritual climate. 

“These questions are important [to ask], first, because it is not always easy to find the people we are trying to reach,” Eric Rose, Mission Integration Director, says. “Sometimes, civil unrest or sickness or famine can cause groups of people to pack up and relocate elsewhere, so making sure we are in the right place is critical.”

Asking the right questions will help our teams learn key information, such as where the majority of the UPG is located, why it is still unreached, the religious or worldviews of the people group, the primary language, and if there are any existing churches among these groups. 

Thompson adds, Through integral mission, we intend to continue to strengthen existing churches, plant new churches, and equip pastors, lay leaders and other members of the community in the methods of discipleship and evangelism. Additional support will be provided to pastors through focused teaching on servant leadership, and the provision of funds to attend seminary to strengthen their Biblical roots. This project demonstrates the integrated body of Christ through our financial partners, local churches and national GAiN staff.”

Another exciting project is one in partnership with Pioneers Benin, affiliated with Pioneers International (an international Christian missions organization focused on church planting among UPGs). This project is locally funded. 

Thompson shares: “Seventy-five per cent of funds required for this project were raised from local donors in Benin who are partnering with Canadian donors to ensure its success. This shows how the strength of believers across continents and oceans can work together to further God’s Kingdom.” 

This project is significant, Thompson says, because it will reach the predominantly Muslim areas of the country. “Many individual attempts to reach this area with the gospel have been repelled, but through our partnership with Pioneers, we are praying that many would respond to the gospel message.”

As the year rolls on, we continue to work toward building a world where human flourishing is restored and water poverty is eradicated through the power of the gospel. With the addition of these new projects, we are excited to expand our reach so that more people can experience whole-life transformation through safe water and the Living Water.   

*Unreached people groups, also known as least reached people groups, are “an identifiable group of people distinguished by a distinct culture, language, or social class who lack a community of Christians able to evangelize the rest of the people group without outside help,” according to Global Frontier Missions.

Give the gift of water.

You can help dramatically reduce disease, improve local health services, restore broken families and reveal the love of Jesus.

Give Today