Water is a part of life. It is a part of life, everywhere. And God is in it.
As the weather is getting warmer, we are getting ready to spend our days outside enjoying the peace of summer. We watch little kids swim in pools with their little water wings and goggles, we run through sprinklers to cool ourselves off, and we water our thirsty plants with water straight from the tap. School is out, and people are flocking to the beaches, rivers, and lakes for water sports and sun bathing—people are coming together to stay cool and enjoy their break.
Just a few days ago, a water main collapsed in Burbank, California, causing a huge sinkhole—the streets nearby flooded with water. Several homes were without water and some homes were flooded. But citizens have positively spun this entire difficulty by taking to streets to enjoy their little river. Kids have brought their boards and inner tubes out, floating in the sun. Although this is an unfortunate circumstance, people are making the most of it—making their own great start to summer.
In Fresno, California, the city is taking charge of drought awareness, and recently taught kids about understanding water at their City of Fresno Kid’s Camp. The camp was filled with 8 and 9 year olds who were learning how and why to conserve water, while learning how water plays a crucial part in their lives. The camp decided to show the kids how to have fun with water this summer, while saving it. They also showed the children the role water plays in the making of their favorite foods and treats.
In Sheffield, England, an annual fun run just took place to provide clean water in Nigeria. Last year, they were able to provide 10 bore wells. For the last several years, people have filled Weston Park to run about the same length that many people in the developing world go each day to get water. Runners run for fun and the joy of helping others. But of course it isn’t just parts of Nigeria that lack access to clean water.
In Africa alone, 345 million people don’t have access to clean water. In Eastern Asia, 200 million people are without access to clean water. In South, West, and Central Asia, 196 million people lack the simple staple of fresh and clean water.
Around the world, 780 million people lack access to clean water. 3.4 million people die each year from water related diseases.
India is facing extensive issues as a result of unclean water. It is estimated that 6% of the world’s population lives along the Ganges River in India. Several cities dump their untreated sewage directly into the river, which is used downstream for drinking, bathing, and washing—exposing these people to many dangerous diseases. This pattern of river pollution occurs in many other developing countries, and is depriving many people of their futures.
We don’t have to sit and watch, though, we can all help.
Out of many things people are doing to help solve the water crises around the world, Jesus’ Economy is working in Bihar, India. One of things we do there is fund the digging of water wells. Every well provides access to clean water for 2,000 people. Each well costs only $1,000. This means 50 cents can provide clean water for one person.
Water is so integral to life that Jesus used to explain his very personhood:
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13–14 NIV).
In Jesus, there is an answer to the spiritual thirst of our world. Jesus is this water will satisfy us forever.
Throughout the summer, we will drink water for refreshment and hydration. We will sit back and enjoy it as summer moves along far too quickly. But this summer, let’s also remember the needs of our world as we do so—and let’s rise to meet those needs. In the process of doing so, let’s share Jesus—the living water—with others.