Except for the last few glorious hours before sunset each evening, it’s been mildly overcast for the better part of the last few days. Considering how we’ve been out all day roaming and filming in various villages, this is a tremendous gift. I’ll accept it gratefully, along with the many other gifts God has been sending my way for weeks… months? Years?
There are no other words to describe it; I was M-A-D.
I honestly believed I was supposed to be here three years ago. Maybe I was. However, a cloud of sin hung thick and low over my life and kept me completely blinded to the fact there was no way … well… no way in hell that I could serve here at the time. And it truly broke my heart. God closed the door to that experience and instead, lovingly, He sent me into the desert for some “Wilderness Training”.
For a while it seemed as if I was sent there wounded and alone, but undoubtedly, God met me there.
It was in the wilderness that I would learn my name again.
It was there that He would remind me of my call.
It was in this wilderness that I learned, with certainty, of His strong and powerful, unwavering and unchanging love for me— of His holiness and how to hear and listen to His voice alone.
There I found Living water for my insatiable thirst and the Bread of Life I’d been craving, which finally satisfied this deep hunger I’ve had all my life.
Repentance, cleansing, wholeness and deep satisfaction…. are now mine.
I thought I was supposed to be here three years ago. Maybe I was. But I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that I’m supposed to be here now… sitting on a wall, overlooking a mango orchard and watching the sun set on another day in the Dominican Republic.
The story this time is clean water and the people who need it. Over 1-million worldwide with countless communities struggling against the odds to fight water related diseases and dehydration every day.
Like many other places in the world, this is a story being written in a tragically beautiful setting that could easily be considered a slice of paradise in most respects. Also like many places in the world, the safety net here is much thinner than you’d imagine with very little separating most people from the harsh realities of life.
The story here is clean water and how, even on an island where there’s plenty all around, the lack of resources draws a sharp dividing line between the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots” with their ability to purchase or provide.
Clean water. Water that ultimately sustains… because it comes in the name of the Living Water.
Maybe it was that thirsty time during my wilderness training that finally helped me to see and understand.
Perhaps it was how Jesus, so loving, gentle and strong, “had to go out of His way” to meet me at the well, and helped me to finally know. But I know.
Who better to tell the story of a satisfied thirst than one who knows what it’s like to be thirsty?
Who better than one who knows what it’s like to be broken and trying to draw from the wrong source?
One who knows what it’s like to drink “improved” water that looks and appears clean but is really contaminated with hidden things unseen to the naked eye… things that will make you sick. Things that will kill your soul.
Not long ago, I asked a chemist to tell me the difference between “improved” water and clean water. Without missing a beat, he said, “Improved water will still kill you, it just does it more slowly.”
The same is true spiritually: “improved” just isn’t good enough. Improved spirituality will still kill you— it just does it more slowly. No thank you Sir.
I’m looking for a life-giving relationship with the only One who can sustain. Give me that clean and clear Living Water drawn from the well so deep that only God, himself can draw it out. Drinking from this well, the Deep of Him calls to the Deep in me so clearly.
I’ll never be thirsty again.
We’ve come to the Dominican Republic with the privilege of telling the story of how God is using clean water provided through a program developed by Water@Work. With their Dominican Partner agency, Fundacìon Water Work, they are building water plants alongside established churches in needy communities so that others can be physically nourished and sustained.
But it can’t end there, and it doesn’t.
The physically thirsty come with what they can afford and they buy. Others receive what they need even when they can not afford to pay and still others, are finding employment and ways to use this resource to develop cleansed water products and provide for their families and communities.
Ministries are being developed by churches around these community water houses with great hopes of opening schools and other opportunities for spiritual nourishment.
Through this tangible expression of God’s love, all who come will have a chance to experience and hear about the Living Water of Jesus Christ with the possibility of forever shaping their eternity.
This story is about clean water… sustaining water — that Amazing Grace-filled Living Water, which only God can provide. Whoever drinks THIS water, Jesus says, will never thirst again.
Take it from a woman who met Him at the well: I know.