Lessons in Living Water

Franklin Graham

Dear Friend,

In the last pages of the Bible, the Lord reveals the New Jerusalem, flowing with “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).

But the concept of pure water can be hard to grasp in Cambodian villages where generations of children have grown up drinking out of stagnant ponds or mildewed rain barrels, and waterborne diseases are a fact of life.

Cambodia is just one of many places around the world where Samaritan’s Purse is working to provide safe drinking water—not only to promote public health but also to help illustrate the deeper truths of Jesus Christ:

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).

I hope you will be encouraged by reading the stories of several students whose lives and futures have been transformed through our safe water projects in Cambodia. Samaritan’s Purse has provided filters and latrines at these village schools, and teachers now share lessons about the vitality of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.

As waterborne diseases have become less of a threat, student attendance has improved, and the Lord has opened doors for our teams to explain to hundreds of children how much Christ loves them, and how they can have a relationship with Him.

We are working in a province that was one of the last holdouts of the Khmer Rouge regime, in villages that do not yet have churches. Yet many of these children are reading their Bibles and discovering the power of prayer.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

On behalf of these children and other around the world in great need, thank you for supporting the work of Samaritan’s Purse through your gifts and prayers.

May God bless you.


Franklin Graham

Safe Water and
New Life at Cambodian Schools


Half a dozen children stand side by side at their school’s newly built handwashing station. The cheerful structure—painted a sunny yellow—is outfitted with taps, bars of soap, mirrors, and towels.

The boys and girls scrub and then rinse their hands. As the sudsy water drains, it washes away germs that might have made them seriously sick. But those drowned microbes are just a few of the bacteria that 12-year-old Phirum* has battled.

His family used to rely on a contaminated pond for drinking water every time the dry season swept across rural Cambodia. The water teemed with disease-causing bacteria and parasites. Still, Phirum had to fill his bottle and bring it to class.

“Phirum frequently missed school because he regularly contracted waterborne illnesses such as diarrhea and typhoid fever,” one of our team members shared.

He isn’t alone. In Cambodia’s countryside, dangerous water robs countless children of health and keeps them from education. Families often spend their meagre resources on costly medical bills—all because they don’t have safe drinking water.

That’s why the life-giving, clean water you give in this part of the world is critical.

At Phirum’s school, our team built a large biosand water filter. It can provide safe water for 225 people daily, including staff, students, and their families. The team also constructed new latrines, complete with handwashing stations. Having clean and secure latrines is crucial in helping students feel safe and stay in school, especially for girls becoming young women.

“Now, Phirum and his classmates are free to continue their studies without the constant fear of falling sick and missing significant portions of the academic year,” said our local staff. “As a result, Phirum has grown to become a remarkable student and dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur when he grows up.”

But Phirum’s growth has not stopped there. With water being an important symbol in Scripture, our team and church partners are able to share Biblical stories and the Gospel message through hygiene lessons and conversations in the schools.

Our project staff shared the Good News with Phirum, and he asked Christ into his heart. His new faith continues to grow at a Bible study group started by our team.

It’s this life-changing combination of safe water and “living water” (John 7:38) that has given 12-year-old Pisey* new hope, too. “I am so much happier and healthier nowadays,” she shared.

Pisey also lives in remote Cambodia and knows firsthand how stomach illness is ruinous. Once, when she was particularly sick, her family paid a burdensome fee for medical care. Her parents had already migrated to Thailand for work because it was the only way to meet the basic needs of their four daughters—never mind extra expenses. Pisey missed so many classes that her grades suffered.

But through partners like you, her school has a new well and large filter. Pisey now loves drinking safe, filtered water. She and her grandmother also received a household water filter.

Best of all, Pisey encountered Jesus Christ. She put her trust in Him and meets with other believers every week for English lessons and fellowship.

“Though the village does not yet have a church, Pisey and other believers living there will keep learning about Jesus through Christian groups, Scripture reading, and personal prayer,” our staff said.

We praise God! He is using your partnership to fight one of the leading causes of death in children worldwide—and to reach thousands of young hearts with the hope of the Gospel.

Healed Hearts Together

A young Bolivian mother was introduced to the Children’s Heart Project, a medical ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, when her young daughter was in critical need of medical attention.

Fatima Ramos Cardozo and her daughter, Maria, suffer from the same heart disease: atrial septal defect, a heart condition in which there is a hole in the heart’s wall that separates the upper chambers. Through the meticulous care of doctors who partner with Samaritan’s Purse, Fatima and her 2-year-old daughter live with hope for the first time.

“I feel happy and thankful that my daughter will not have to live like I had to,” Fatima said, reflecting on the surgery. “It’s like a weight that has been lifted from me.”

Originally only intending to treat Maria, the staff at Health City in the Cayman Islands quickly realised that Fatima desperately needed surgery as well. Since she is still under the age of 18, Fatima qualified for heart surgery with Children’s Heart Project alongside her young daughter.

Chief Surgeon Dr Binoy Chattuparambil operated on Fatima and Maria the same day. After successful surgeries, the mother and daughter no longer have to live in fear and doubt. They can thank God for their healthy hearts and hopeful futures. Fatima and her mother, Pura, both also accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, healing their hearts for eternity.

“The power of God exists,” Pura said with tears in her eyes. “I want to give thanks to Him, always to Him first.”

Fatima and her 2-year-old daughter, Maria, can now live a normal life with hope and purpose.

Ways You Can Help


Pray for boys and girls hearing the Gospel through water projects in schools in Cambodia and around the world. Pray that they would know Jesus Christ. Ask God to bring physical and spiritual healing to children receiving surgery through the Children’s Heart Project and their families. Pray for protection for our partners.

Water Projects

Give families in Cambodia access to critical safe water, hygiene, and sanitation in Jesus’ Name. With £75, you can provide a BioSand filter for a family in need and teach them about Jesus, the Source of Living Water.

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Medical Ministries

With your support, those living with conditions such as heart defects, cleft lips and cataracts can receive life-changing surgery while hearing about the hope they can have through the healing power of the Great Physician. A gift of £50 would help cover the cost of airfare and related expenses for a patient in need of surgery.

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