There wasn’t a drop of rain in November, but we didn’t mind. Each day, the sun shone brightly in the blue sky, and the jacaranda trees blossomed purple majesty. We lived in warmth and beauty and we smiled as we thought of friends in the Northern Hemisphere bundled up, shoveling mountains of snow off their cars and driveways. In March we were no longer smiling. The drought was now official and causing some serious damage around Kenya. Masai herdsmen were driving their cattle hundreds of miles across dusty land searching for water. Crops failed. People were dying. The slums were riddled with disease as bathing opportunities ceased. One day I spotted a woman squatting in a ditch washing herself in the stagnant, filthy water.
As the country fell apart, we remained virtually untouched. Water still flowed from our faucets and our toilet still flushed. But not for long. The main water source for all the homes in Nairobi broke and all water coming into the city was cut off. Suddenly, we had a new perspective. We were the ones looking for a place to fill up our gerry can. The search for water consumed our days. I realized what a necessity water was to my life. We couldn’t take a shower, do the dishes, brush our teeth, flush our toilet, wash our hands, get a drink; we couldn’t live without water!
In John 4:13-14 Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus didn’t call himself the living electric current, or the living heater, or the living air conditioner. He is the living water because water is essential to life! Life can be sustained for many days without food (at least 40!). But, one will quickly die without any water. Jesus is the living water. He is life and without Him we would surely die!
Our home was without water for only eight days. When we finally heard it coursing again through our plumbing, it was like music to our ears. Finally we had what we needed to live.
Our searching was over! We could rest, relax, and have peace again knowing we had what was necessary for life. It is exciting to see this newfound peace in the life of a new Christian. The truth is finally found after a desperate search. There exists the peace that only Living Water can bring after a lifetime of thirst. Our trial only lasted eight days but our new understanding of Christ’s Living Water changed us for eternity!
I am so grateful to be living in the third world. Inconvenience and suffering has served to draw me closer to my Father in heaven. I am confronted daily by difficult circumstances, but it is through this window of the third world that I can see a picture of God’s love for humanity.
View the original print magazine where this article was first published.