Sunday, 14 July 2013
It's become an adventure to stand under the shower head, turn the faucet and hoping madly and wondering if some hot water would trickle out. Failing that, the next best option would be that hot water is available from the mixer tap (from which I could bend and still get a bath of sorts - a good thing I don't have a bad back!). Otherwise, it'll mean a very quick shower since I hate cold showers (hot water was my norm even when growing up in tropical Malaysia). Another part of life in South Sudan, I guess. At least we have running water that's safe and hot for part of the day (the water only gets heated between 7pm and 9pm). Most of the locals don't even have that!
In Lopez Lomong's autobiography (Running For My Life - Lopez was a 'lost boy' from the Sudanese civil war who became an American Olympian; an amazing story by the by, do read it if you can), he spoke of the need for easily accessible clean water in his homeland. Most of us would know the dangers of drinking contaminated water, be it rainwater or water collected from a river or well. What I didn't realise was that that wasn't the only danger. For instance, Lopez's sister was ambushed and raped on her way to the river. And I recall being told that gathering water was usually a job for the younger children, especially girls, and having to walk a few miles there and back every day meant missing out on school. It's shocking how something so seemingly trivial can compromise not only one's health, but also one's education, dignity and most likely, one's future.
It also brings to mind the story in John 4 of the Samaritan woman at the well and of her encounter with Jesus. She who had been married five (!) times and was currently cohabiting with a man who wasn't her husband was told by the Saviour of the world that, "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (verses 13-14). We are told in Revelation 22 that in the new Jerusalem (i.e. heaven), there will be "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb".
Without water, there cannot be life. He invites us all to partake freely of Him. When will we give up our foolish indulgences and futile desires and instead choose to live and live abundantly?
Isaiah 55:1-2 "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance."