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Lent: The challenge of water: the right amount at the right time in the right place

Photo courtesy of Sandy Grubb

Photo courtesy of Sandy Grubb

by Sandy Grubb, Columbia-Willamette Women of Vision Communications Chair and World Vision U.S. Board Member

Water is complicated and sometimes fickle. Too much and you have a flood or a tsunami on your hands, destroying life. Too little and you have a drought, destroying life.

Before I even married him, I learned that Jeff’s favorite thing in the world is beautiful natural running water. That was just the starting point for over 40 years of hiking, rafting, boating, and fly-fishing along the world’s rivers and streams. Waterfalls are a special prize.

Water is beautiful. Water is powerful. Water takes life. Water gives life.

There’s no getting around it–water is required for life on this planet. Yet, the statistics stagger. Nearly 900 million people (one in eight) still do not have clean water for their daily use. The result is a death sentence for 1,600 children every day.

World Vision is turning this around. They supply water to another person every 30 seconds. That’s 2,880 people every day. And the rate is accelerating.

Photo courtesy of Sandy Grubb

Photo courtesy of Sandy Grubb

God’s word is not silent on the topic of water. John 7:38 says, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (ESV)

The person whose heart produces living water flowing like a river is more beautiful than any mountain stream or waterfall. Our friends who faithfully and sacrificially support the work of World Vision have these beautiful hearts. They are passionate about bringing physical and spiritual living water to those who desperately need it.

As I’ve had the great privilege of traveling in Sub-Saharan Africa on several vision trips with Women of Vision, I’ve witnessed John 7:38 in action in many places and on many levels.

I saw the results of living water as it brought life to Kangombe Village in Zambia. In 2004, a deep borehole provided by our Women of Vision chapter’s funding replaced the murky river and contaminated wells villagers had been using for many generations. Adults and children were all smiles when we visited them in 2007. Benefits abounded: more healthy days to work in fields produced a bumper crop and thus food security, less walking and less illness kept girls and boys in school.

But the transformation was not only physical. We received an eloquent letter of thanks from Menester, one of the women who has lived her entire life in Kangombe, most years filled with hunger and disease. She and her husband Kennedy have seven children.

Photo courtesy of Sandy Grubb

Photo courtesy of Sandy Grubb

Menester wrote, “I am very grateful for the continued kindness and love you have shared with the community of Kangombe. I send you greetings and love from the Kangombe Village people. Your partnership was a direct blessing from God, and I pray that the Lord may continue to bless you as you have blessed Kangombe Village.”

After Menester began enjoying life in all its fullness, she told us she then became a caregiver for the orphaned and vulnerable children in her village, visiting them often to make sure their needs were met. Living water flowed from her heart.

When we allow God’s living water to flow through us to bless others, it then flows out of them to reach even more people. This is water that always brings life and there’s never too much of it.

This story is part of Women of Vision’s 2014 Lent series “A Spring of Living Water.” Read more stories in this series.

This post has 3 comments

  1. carol williams says:

    Sandy, this really touched me. Thank you

  2. Jay Welker says:

    Sandy, Jeff sent me the link to this blog posting. As always, your heart, wisdom, and love of people and God shines through. Water is just so foundational to lifting people up out of poverty and improving health. Your story further validates WV’s call that every child deserves clean water. We deliver clean water to a new child every 30 seconds but the mission is far from complete. Thanks for your ever thoughtful leadership.

  3. Linda Mason says:

    Thank you Sandy for this touching article. You have truly been a blessing to me.

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