Much of the World is Thirsty

As I turned on the tap this morning to fill the coffee maker, I was struck by how simple it was to do so.  I pulled up the water faucet and water flowed out the tap.   It took only seconds to fill the coffee pot with clean, pure water.  I stopped for a moment and thanked God for this wonder and blessing.

Clean, pure water … flowing from a tap … it’s something we simply take for granted.  A hot shower … it’s something we take for granted and oh, how we howl, when we get drenched with cold water when someone accidently flushes the toilet while we shower!  And speaking of toilets … don’t we take it for granted that our toilets will flush water through the system?

When I was in Ethiopia, I went to a well that had been drilled by one of the development agencies. Many people traveled 25 kilometers with mule or camel to simply fill their jugs with water! What took me seconds, takes some people a whole day!  It is no wonder one of the leaders of a refugee camp took me aside and said, “If you can do anything for us, please use your influence to get us more wells and reservoirs! We need water for our people, for our livestock, for our crops.”

When I was in Ethiopia, a number of us had “stomach” troubles.  Why?  I’m sure there are a number of reasons for our “stomach” problems, but of course, one possible source of our “discontent” was the tainted water.  How often did we hear, “Don’t drink the water!” or “Don’t eat the salad! It was probably rinsed in the water!”  or “Buy bottled water and make sure there is a proper seal!” Why these warnings?  Because the water is contaminated with bacteria!

Canadian Lutheran World Relief and other agencies are working with local people and governments to drill wells and to dig reservoirs and to purify the water. Digging wells and developing reservoirs seems like such a “common” activity and yet, access to water is the source of life for these people, just as it is for us!  It’s amazing to see how water can transform the landscape from being a barren desert to being a fruitful garden!

Providing water to communities like those I visited in Ethiopia not only provides them with a necessity of life, but it gives us opportunity to speak of Jesus who said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst again. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

Pray that many more wells and reservoirs will be provided to the people in need of water, but especially pray that they will come to drink of the living water that wells up to eternal life!

Note: In case you missed it, World Water Day was yesterday, March 22.  I encourage you to visit for up-to-date information about the need for water and also to learn how you can be more responsible users of water!  I encourage you to watch the following video.

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