Wells drilled by Living Water International, along with a purification system developed by Healing Waters International, have been the backbone of our infrastructure at Hope Haven Rwanda “since day one,” as Rwandans like to say.
When implementing community development programs like Hope Haven Rwanda, the value of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs is inestimable! Living Water’s CEO Mike Mantel, PhD, recently visited our campus, along with Jonathan Wiles, SVP of Programs, Greg Holder, author and Lead Pastor at The Crossing, and several other ministry leaders.
These leaders know a lot about the value of clean water, and they know a lot about the eternal value of “living water.” According to an article in “Giving Back,” Mike’s passion for serving those in need began when he visited a village years ago where “one small well literally gave life to an entire community. Before the well, most of the children got sick and many of them died because of bacteria and parasites in their drinking water. After the well, the children lived healthy lives. Before the well, young girls spent much of every day walking four miles each way to a polluted spring to transport what little water they could carry. After the well, these girls had clean water right outside their doors and had time to go to school.” Today, God has called Mike to lead Living Water International, overseeing 20,000 projects in 16 countries.
It is very simple: providing clean water delivers openings to offer “living water.” This is a powerful combination that leads to eternal transformation and it’s hard to imagine a better way to invest one’s life!
People all around us are thirsty, and, as followers of Jesus, we believe that it is possible to have that thirst quenched, to be satisfied with Living Water. God commands us to care for the oppressed, the enslaved, the trafficked…to dig into relationship with them and to give them a gift, the same gift Jesus offered to the woman at the well. Consider the interaction recorded in John 4:10, “Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
What was the gift Jesus offered to this Samaritan woman? She was confused. In verse 11, she responds, “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but 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.”
If we are honest, I think that we can all identify with this woman. We all have shame, we all have fears, we all have wounds—and Jesus is the hope. And part of this beautiful redemptive story is that He allows us to deliver His hope!
Will you take your water bottle today and use it as a reminder every time that you take a drink that God has called you to deliver “living water” to those who are hopeless? Only God’s way can ultimately satisfy our thirst. Let’s get our bottles filled with “living water” and let’s start delivering hope together!