Anyone who has been personally present at a well drilling knows this fascinating moment: After hours of exhausting work, the drill finally hits water and suddenly a fountain shoots meters into the air and water rains down on the arid land, the drilling equipment and all the people standing around. What a moment of joy: the community, which has been watching the drilling process with fascination, lets out a collective shout of joy and begins to dance and sing.
Why? Because water means life. Life in the true literal sense. But also life in the sense of a different kind of life than was possible before.
The new water quality from the borehole reduces the dangers of water-borne diseases and makes the entire handling of water more hygienic. The many hours previously spent on the exhausting and energy-sapping procurement of water can now be used differently – in a better way. It is above all the women and children who experience a special blessing and an improvement in their living conditions as a result.
Water is life.
Cultures around the world view water with a sacred respect. It is known for its life giving and cleansing abilities. Little wonder then that Jesus promises to “give freely from the springs of the water of life” (Revelation 21:6) to all who are thirsty. In his gospel, John clarifies that the living water Jesus offers refers to the Spirit of God (John 7:39), but the association with physical water should not be dismissed. Without clean water there can be no life (Exodus 17:3). The free provision of abundant water is a sign of the shalom goodness of the reign of God (Deuteronomy 8:7, Psalm 65:9, Isaiah 55:1, Ezekiel 47:9, Revelation 22:1-2 (Refs here)). Access to clean water is an inalienable right under God for all humans (Matthew 5:45), it should not be denied and it should not be commoditized and sold unjustly.
“Valuing Water” was the motto of World Water Day 2021, which was celebrated around the globe on March 22. As believers, we can agree with the basic message of this motto from the bottom of our hearts and with full conviction. Water is life, so water – in spiritual and natural terms – has a special value. Over 2 billion people around the world are still living in countries experiencing high water stress (UN, 2018; when a territory withdraws 25% or more of its renewable freshwater resources it is said to be ‘water-stressed’). Today, 1.42 billion people – including 450 million children – live in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability. (UNICEF, 2021).
Many churches and congregations around the globe have therefore developed their own campaigns and contributions for World Water Day 2021 to support the main theme of “Valuing Water”. The globally active Church of Pentecost (COP) with headquarters in Ghana, for example, has communicated some of its activities in the water sector via social media: The COP has constructed 76 Water Facilities in deprived communities & institutions in 2019 & 2020 alone. This way, 34,200 direct & 30,000 indirect beneficiaries could be served with water -.
We need these stories. It is time for the global church to speak and act more about the life-giving value of water. (Tell us about your efforts to bring water to those in need!)
With appreciation for all you do,
Matthias Boehning for the LWCCN Leadership Team
see the full April edition of “The Pollinator” including all articles at: http://news.lwccn.com/