Written by: Kendra Stacey. Published on 14th April 2017
I love the quiet of the morning, the smell of fresh coffee after a brisk shower, and the humming of the dishwasher. They all provide the ambience and soundtrack to my morning meeting with Jesus. Just like the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus meets me in the middle of my daily tasks. Then the noise begins. Water splashing in the sinks as little teeth get brushed, toilets flushing as sisters bang on the door to the shared bathroom. Finally, we meet at the dining room table to start our homeschool day and the endless trips to the kitchen begin. Because everyone knows that refilling the water glass means avoiding long division … again.
There in the mundane, I get to live out my calling each day, serving God by serving my family. Your day may not start exactly like mine, but I can almost guarantee your mornings are hectic. Your life is full, and like me, you probably don’t even give a second thought to the clean water at your fingertips and how blessed we are to not have to think about it. Clean water is readily available for our every whim and central to our quality of life. Go ahead, just like I went through my morning routine, and think about your day. How much could you have done without the availability of clean water?
I just returned from a trip with Reach Beyond to Ghana, West Africa, and came face to face with the realities of life without a stable source of clean water. It was an eye-opener to actually see how one functions without it, especially the women and children responsible for making sure there is enough water to survive. It is almost unfathomable for us to understand the daily struggles that those without clean water endure.
Without access to clean water, women and girls have to travel far distances to contaminated watering holes, missing out on school or work. Sometimes these women carry over 40 lbs. of water at a time! And at best, the unsafe, unclean water that they haul on their backs or heads back to the village, is loaded with parasites and disease that will make some of them sick. And they definitely do not want to waste this hard-earned prize by using it to wash hands and food. The lack of potable water penetrates almost every aspect of life, especially the ability to accept the message of Christ’s love when they finally hear the gospel.
Reach Beyond is working hard to provide both the living water of God’s Word coupled with the life-giving gift of a water well in West Africa. Together with local media partners, they do clean water projects in communities there and throughout the world. I was able to see firsthand that a simple water well can bring life to an entire village. Before Reach Beyond helped build a water well in Tetteh Akura, a small remote village about 1½ hours outside of Accra, the people were relying on a swampy, dirty watering hole down a steep hill, about a quarter of a mile from the heart of the village. Each trek down and up the hill required a hike through rocky, snake-filled forest. During normal school hours, young girls got the brunt of the work of bringing the water back up the hill multiple times a day, taking a physical toll on them that most of us could not fathom.
During our visit, we were greeted by the chief of the village. We shared songs and Scriptures and enjoyed each other’s company as brothers and sisters in Christ. And this is just one water well in one village! Imagine how, with your help, Reach Beyond could impact thousands—even millions—of people across Africa with clean water, but more importantly with the living water—Jesus!
Clean water, women and Christ have been linked together since John 4 told us how Jesus first offered Himself as the living water to the disgraced and shunned Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well. The well is where Jesus was waiting for her. Reaching out, conversing, asking for a relationship. She didn’t leave the well with just her physical thirst quenched, but she had an encounter with Christ and had a taste of His living water. This divine occurrence gave her worth and dignity. It’s used in Scripture as an example of Christ’s love and respect toward women.
Women around the globe are still having that very same scandalous rendezvous with the Savior at water wells! Today I chose to meet Jesus at my well, but the well isn’t really something I have had to put much thought into. For women in the forgotten and unreached corners of the world without their own well, the probability of meeting Jesus is very unlikely. You can help change that. You can partner with us to bring the living water of Jesus through clean water wells to the forgotten, to the unreached, to the thirsty.
By supporting our clean water projects in West Africa and throughout the world, Reach Beyond and our media partners are able to provide a steady supply of clean water, right in the village centers, for the often-forgotten women who have had the burden of hauling water, and for the entire village for generations to come. By alleviating the need for clean, safe physical water, this village has been open to hearing the good news of the living water of Jesus from our partners. Together we can instantly elevate quality of life.