Thursday, October 17, 2013

If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink

Because of the generosity of my coworkers at U-Pack, I was able to bring 29 Waves for Water water filters with me to Burkina Faso.  We have begun passing them out to the families who the missionaries know, the families with the greatest need for clean water.  Twenty-nine water filters equals twenty nine million gallons of clean, purified water to replace the disease-infested, death-bringing water that the majority of the population here drinks.  I am overjoyed to be able to meet practical needs in such a way, to be able to be the hands and feet of Jesus and follow the commandment that is so obvious in the verse, "I was thirsty and ye gave me drink" (Matthew 25:35). 

And yet I have to swallow a lump of sadness every time we give out a water filter, because I know that for every family we help, there are hundreds, thousands, who have yet to receive clean water.  Countless children who still ingest dangerous parasites every day in the water that they must drink to sustain their lives.  What sad irony. 

But Jesus reminds me that worse yet is the fact that there are millions here who do not know the Living Water.  They have never been introduced to the Sustainer God who holds creation in his hand.  He is the life-force, the River of Living Water who spoke humanity into existence and calls all nations to repentance. 

And He is the eternally clean water that they so desperately need. 

Yesterday we bumped along a winding dirt road an hour outside the city to deliver a water filter to a family who drinks from a lake that is home to about 200 crocodiles.  It is also the watering hole and swimming pool for all the local animals. We looked into the lake and saw the filth that these sweet babies drink every day, and then we showed them how the water filter works.  When the water came out of the filter, cool and refreshing and perfectly clear, the kids crowded underneath the get a drink. 

When they led us back to their house, the courtyard was littered with remnants of recent witchcraft offerings.  But we ignored these and gathered with the family under the warm African sunshine and we prayed for them.  We prayed to the God who longs for them to know how much he loves them, longs to wrap them in his arms and pour into them the knowledge of eternal salvation.  We pray to the God who whispers into their ears, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink" (John 7:37). 

Oh, Jesus, bring salvation to these people that I love so much...that you love so much more.  Nourish them with your Spirit.  Send someone to build a church here, with a baptistery full of water and the message of the purifying blood of Jesus Christ. 

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