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OUR STORY

Set Free Began By Serving Others

Our mission started as a simple mission trip. But as we’ve learned over the last 20 years, God had bigger plans. Since taking our first steps of obedience, Set Free has grown through our network of indigenous partners to give clean water to over 3 million people, rescue over 80,000 children, baptize millions, and plant thousands of churches.

We Started With
Fresh Water

When Roland Bergeron first heard that more than 800 million people worldwide didn’t have access to clean water, he was shocked. An engineer by trade and the owner of a custom home building company, he became personally involved with water-focused ministry in 2002, when he went on his first mission trip to Central America. On that trip, Roland found his life’s calling and began Water of Life. But still, he felt unsettled. He was doing the right work, but not where it was most desperately needed. Roland felt called to go to the hard, unreached places where other organizations weren’t working. So, after a lot of prayer and a little divine nudging, Water of Life began working in India and West Africa.

As the well drilling and church planting work expanded in India, another problem was revealed — the child slavery epidemic. Once we saw the situation firsthand, we knew we couldn’t tell people about God’s grace and love of Jesus while leaving thousands of children enslaved. After discussions with our partner and a key supporter of this mission, Brookwood Church, Set Free Alliance started in 2011 with a mission to rescue, reunite, and care for the enslaved, orphaned, and vulnerable children of India.

God still had more
plans for Set Free.

The work continued, and our ministry grew exponentially — to the point that slave owners were following Water of Life drill crews around to release their slaves into the care of pastor partners’ churches through Set Free Alliance. After more prayer and continued conversations, Set Free Alliance and Water of Life merged to become Set Free in 2019 with the holistic vision to create a world where all are set free in the name of Christ.

Our Values Guide Our Mission

A world where all are set free in Christ is a monumental goal. Giving clean water, rescuing children, providing mobile medical clinics, and planting churches all work in harmony to make this vision a reality. While many other organizations are doing similar things, Set Free is unique in that our Christ-centered core values guide everything we do.

One
Be Good Stewards

We are responsible for the resources God and our donors have entrusted to us. Every dollar matters, especially when the need is so great. Every year, we drill hundreds of wells, offer dozens of medical clinics, and care for thousands of children — all while glorifying God by sharing the love of Jesus Christ. And we do it all with a small, agile team of six full-time employees stateside. You won’t catch us booking first-class tickets or working from a glitzy office because maintaining lean overhead allows us to keep costs down, stay quick on decisions, be flexible as needs arise, and focus on what really matters.

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Two
Empower Our Partners

After establishing Set Free in 2002, we allowed our non-traditional model to grow naturally, and we are proud to share that it has resulted in tremendous success. We partner with indigenous people groups in West Africa and India — those who know the language, the culture, and the scope of need. They are our pastors, drill crew team members, doctors, and caretakers. They take pride and ownership in the villages we serve and the work they do. Because we provide these resources to locals, our proven model creates employment, transforms communities, and empowers long-term sustainability.

Three
Sustainability

While we invest in these communities, it is also crucial that they invest in these positive changes themselves. That is why we employ local vendors and indigenous workers to manage and maintain the well long after we have gone. Additionally, we work to change the village culture when reuniting children with their families so they will never again be taken into slavery. This sustainability factor means we are empowering each community and cultivating a sense of ownership that will empower them for generations.

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Four
Spiritual Transformation

In everything we do, we believe we exist first and foremost to bring God’s love to people through a relationship with Jesus Christ. We understand that Christ’s love is what drives us, sustains us, and challenges us to care for others, and as such, we’re committed to sharing and showing His love in everything we do. That’s why, for every investment we make in drill rigs and housing for rescued children, we make additional investments into our network of pastors who focus on discipling people and equipping communities with ongoing support, helping them grow in their walk with God and learning to share Christ.

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