Let Justice Roll on like River
“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” Isaiah 41:17
Jesus’ words, “for I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink,” reveal that what we do to the “least of these brothers and sisters” we do unto him. As followers of Christ, we are called to partner with God by serving those in need. For when we do, we are also serving our Lord.
Not long ago, Rose*, from the Central African Republic (CAR), was walking 2 miles from her village to a river in the forest to collect water. She would spend a couple of hours at the river washing clothes and dishes, and then have to carry everything back, including the water needed at home. For all her efforts, the river water wasn’t safe to drink. Rose has seven children, and, even though she did her best to boil the water before giving it to them, they regularly suffered from diarrhea and stomach aches.
In the meantime, the village pump stood idle – broken and unable to deliver the water that the community needed so much. This was until Tearfund’s staff started working with Rose’s village.
The reasons for and implications of inadequate water supplies are many and complex. For example, in CAR, conflict has played a huge role in setting back development as well as putting a strain on infrastructure and natural resources.
Tearfund has been working in the south-western region of CAR to ensure that people who are displaced by conflict, as well as the communities hosting them, have sufficient supplies of safe water. Water is vital to life, and safe water vital to quality of life.
“We are full of joy,” says Rose. “We don’t need to go to the forest anymore [to collect water]. My children are healthy; my family is healthy... because what we are drinking now is good water.”
Father, we thank you that you are the source of all life. We thank you for every way in which you have provided for us in the earth you created; especially in the provision of water. We lift up those to you who struggle to access clean water on a daily basis. We grieve, with you, that there are almost 900 million people across the world who struggle to get the water they need. Please use us to help change this.
In solidarity with those without access to clean water we won’t use our tap water today. Grab a bucket and gather water from the faucet outside of your home to do the things you use water for each day – brushing your teeth, cooking, making tea or coffee, or bathing.
*Name changed to protect identity