After more than 30 years in the priesthood, Father Fabian Hevi’s passion for sharing God’s mercy has only grown stronger. Originally from Ghana, he was first sent to Kenya by the Society of African Missionaries in 2002. It was there he discovered one of his life’s greatest callings: bringing water to people who had none.
“That is one of my biggest dreams. Everyone should have access to clean and good water,” Fr. Fabian said.
Over the course of six years, Fr. Fabian has collaborated with Cross Catholic Outreach to complete water system projects for 83,000 people in 27 villages throughout the Diocese of Lodwar. More recently, through the Good Samaritan Water Sanitation Services nonprofit he created to expand his mission, other water projects are being undertaken to benefit the poor in other Catholic dioceses.
“Fr. Fabian has asked Cross Catholic Outreach to join him in an ambitious plan to bring safe water to a 275-mile stretch of land shared by the Diocese of Machakos and Archdiocese of Mombasa,” explained Jim Cavnar, president of Cross Catholic Outreach. “We have completed six water systems so far, blessing about 50,724 people in the region, and we hope to bring safe water to 10 additional communities in the months ahead.”
Related: Water for Life in Southern Kenya
When Fr. Fabian first enters a new community to assess its situation, he begins by asking a simple question. “You start by asking, ‘What do you need?’” Fr. Fabian says. “Most of the time water is the first on their list.”
According to Fr. Fabian, meeting a community’s most critical need — water — is the perfect way to share the love of God. One benefit is the way Fr. Fabian works through local parishes, empowering priests to care for their communities by overseeing water projects and appointing village water committees. This strengthens the relationship between the people and their parish, and many experience a deeper understanding of the abundant life that is available to them in Christ.
Related: Living Water Flows from Lent
Many immediate benefits become apparent once communities gain access to clean water. Improved health and restored faith are often two of the first blessings to reveal themselves.
“It saves the lives of most of these children. It also helps the spirituality of the people, giving them time to go to church,” Fr. Fabian explained. “Priests call thanking you, saying, ‘You can’t imagine how many people are attending Mass!’”
There are other spiritual blessings that come from these projects too. According to Jim Cavnar, U.S. Catholics who help fund the work through Cross Catholic Outreach often share their enthusiasm for supporting mission work and say the experience gives them a greater appreciation for the impact of Catholic charity.
Nearly one-third of all Kenyans — more than 17 million people — lack access to safe, abundant water sources. The desperate hunt for water consumes each day. Painful waterborne diseases, such as typhoid and bilharzia, pose a threatening presence to millions of precious lives.
“Most American Catholics want to be more involved in helping the poor in developing countries, but they want to do something specific and meaningful like this,” said Cavnar. “I’m sure they will rally to help Fr. Fabian with the work he has planned — and that they will be blessed by the experience if they do.”
Your support of Cross Catholic Outreach’s clean water programs helps missionaries like Fr. Fabian provide safe, reliable water for thousands of people — refreshing and forever transforming their lives!
Browse our catalog to find a clean water project that touches your heart or learn more about the need for clean water in Kenya, and how you can help.
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2023, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.