This week as we journey with those who are thirsty, we invite you to go with a mother on her walk to find clean water in Kenya...
Your name is Naomi and you’re 24-years-old. You are a mother, a sister and a wife. You wake to the chattering of birds outside your home—dawn is just beginning to break. You look over to your three young children and wonder what they’re dreaming about. They’re the most precious things in the world to you, and you would do anything for them.
As a Maasai woman, you carry many responsibilities. Your people and your traditions are centuries old. You value your connection to the land and your ability to work together to protect and teach the next generation. But you are not looking forward to teaching your daughters the journey to get water. The closest source of water is 3 kilometers away — about a 35 minute walk each way, but it feels much farther. Women and children are the bearers of this burden, and the walk can be dangerous with the risk of being attacked by people or wild animals while walking alone. If you don’t get there early enough, you have to wait a few hours for your turn.
Many of the girls can’t go to school because their days are spent making this trip for water.
As you make your journey, you feel the earth beneath your feet and try to go quickly so your children are not left behind for very long. You weave your way down the ravine to scoop up water with your jerry can. You lift the can, weighing about 20 kilograms, onto your back so that the strap rests on your forehead as you hunch forward. There are some women who have slipped on their way down or on their way up and drowned in the deep pool, so you grit your teeth and carefully make your way back up.
You try not to think about the pain in your shoulders, neck and back while walking in the hot morning sun. Instead, thoughts of ongoing problems at home come to mind — spending time getting water makes it challenging to do things at home or with your family. You feel weighed down by the water on your back and your worries that your children won’t have a good future or be able to go to school. They’ve been getting sick so often these days, and you think it’s from the dirty water you’re bringing home, but there are no other options.
Every day you cry out to God for help, a cry for yourself, your daughters and your family.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:7-14
When Jesus speaks with the Samaritan woman at the well, He shows compassion and responds to her physical and spiritual needs. Let’s see how God provides living-water to Naomi and her family.
One day, your village receives the gift of a well, storage tank, pipelines and water kiosk, all within metres of your home. When you first saw the water being pumped out of the ground, your heart sang with happiness and your family celebrated the gift of water and life together. The life-giving water that sprang from the ground transforms your community.
The blessings of God trickle through your family, as your children are no longer getting sick, and they can dream of futures full of life and potential. Getting the water your family needs takes minutes instead of the hours you used to spend walking back and forth each day. The extra time makes it easier to care for your children, do things around the house and spend time with your family. Now, you know that when your daughters are older, you won’t have to worry about them having to go get water or their safety along the way.
The well reached 2,000 people in your community, but the blessings that rippled into your family and their future through God’s grace are countless.