It’s not surprising that the ministry of Jesus on this earth was associated with water in many ways. The images of Him in the biblical accounts often place him speaking life-giving words while on a sea shore, in a boat, sitting near a well, or on the banks of a flowing river. Water’s sparkling presence was a part of the everyday lives of those Jesus was speaking to, and its properties were an easy metaphor Christ was able to use in describing the new life he was offering through the gospel. John 4:14 records the words of Jesus as he describes this comparison: “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (NIV).
This beautiful picture is a source of inspiration and hope, especially for those of us who are able to vividly imagine the clean water we have so easily accessible to us. But for too many in the developing world, clean water is nowhere to be found. Arduous hikes of several miles to reach polluted streams and pools of stagnant water may be the only options for families who desperately need it to quench their thirst, and who must take the risk of the diseases lurking in the very water they need for life.
Not only does Jesus’ call to serve those in need compel us to help those in these dangerous situations, He specifically invites us to offer relief in the form of this simple life-giving gift. “Truly I tell you,” He says in Mark 9:41, “anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward” (NIV). His words make it clear that as followers of Christ, our concern for others must not just be for their spiritual health, but for the basic physical needs of water, food, and health.
By caring for these elemental needs of those facing deep and systemic poverty around the world, we are able to offer hope and life in Jesus’ name. What better illustration is there of our love and our willingness to follow Christ’s example? We work tirelessly alongside our ministry partners in their local communities to provide wells of clean water, dependable systems to distribute that water, and much-needed training for how to preserve the cleanliness of the water through sanitary storage and use. These efforts enable the families of these communities and villages to begin to enjoy the life-giving nature of water, as it brings health and refreshment rather than disease and hours of labor.
Against this backdrop—the transformation of the water that surrounds them—we have the incredible opportunity to join our ministry partners in also showing these wonderful people how to encounter the life-giving gospel that Jesus described as water of eternal life. Just like the wells and clean water systems bring new strength and stability to the community, the peace and hope of the love of God bring a source of new life to those who hear and believe.
The rewards of this work are immediate as well as eternal! We have experienced heart-filling joy many times over as we’ve watched the impact of clean water help quickly transform communities into thriving centers of opportunity and healthy families. The eternal significance of this work only compounds our joy in service. Won’t you join us in sharing not only a cup of water, but the ongoing source of clean water and the joy found in God’s love? We would love your partnership in this work!