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The Water of Life

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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[Jesus said] Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life. John 4:13-14

Hydration! We're well aware that water is the essential element for life and growth. We can live for a short while if deprived of food, but we wither, shrivel, and die without water. We not only need this vital fluid to sustain our bodies, but for multiple other uses—bathing, washing, cleaning, and cooling—and when our water supply is limited, our lives get dessicated and restricted.

Recently I joined fifteen other members of our church and went with an NGO group, El Porvenir, to Nicaragua, one of the world's poorest countries. Our task was to help make pure water available for a remote mountain community. Their women had to walk two miles to a river to do laundry, to bathe, and to get water for drinking and cooking, which they carried back on their heads to their small, primitive dwellings. Their lives and needs were simple. Their everyday food consisted of rice, frijoles (red beans), tortillas, and bananas. Some of them had chickens that clucked their way in and out of the dirt-floor shacks, so eggs were available. But water? The cost in time and effort made it doubly precious. Not a drop was to be spilled or wasted.

Over several years, El Porvenir staff have developed ways of tapping into Nicaraguan underground aquifers and installing hand-cranked wells, capping them to prevent pollution. Once the wells are in place with a roof over them, the next step is to set up lavanderos, "wash houses," with preformed cement tubs and built-in washboards for doing laundry, as well as individual stalls where villagers can bathe in private.

Our job was to mix cement and form level floors for the wash house. I found I was pretty handy with a shovel! Once the work was finished and the concrete was hardening, we knew we'd made life a bit easier for these families. Can you imagine the relief the women and children felt at having water so easily available? They kept flashing brilliant smiles at us and saying "Gracias! Muchas gracias!" "Gracias a Deo!"

Water is a vanishing resource around the globe. Drought affects millions of people, resulting in famine, starvation, and death. How miraculous that Jesus provides for us a well already dug, a spring of water flowing for the life of the eternal spirit, a resource that will never dry up! Have you ever considered your house of worship or your times of private prayer or conversations with a believing coworker to be a "wash house"? Think of them as places where you can come and drink freely, like a cup of cool water, from Jesus—refreshment, not brief and physical, but ongoing into eternity? All it takes to tap this divine faucet is trust, confidence that Jesus is with us in our daily life and work, that he hears and answers us, changes our lives for the better, and promises a transformation that will be everlasting, never subject to climate change or mortality.

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