Pictured: An Every Village well in the process of being constructed in Tonj.
By Laura Krone
When I lived in the States, I never thought much about water.
When I needed to wash my clothes, I went to the washing machine, pushed a button, and the appliance began to fill with water. When I was thirsty, I could put my glass up against the refrigerator door, push a button, and first ice and then water would come out. When it was time to bathe, I would go into the bathroom, turn on the shower, adjust the temperature, and wash myself in water clean enough to drink.
This last month in South Sudan, however, a significant portion of my day was devoted to moving water. There is no water source on our compound, so we drive our vehicle to a well nearby to fill jerry cans for our personal use and the construction happening on our property. We average around 1-2 jerry cans (5–10 gallons) per person, per day for personal use, but with the construction, the amount increases significantly. One day when we were pouring concrete, Christina and I calculated that we hauled around 500 gallons (100 jerry cans worth) over the course of the day.
Any time I’m tempted to complain, I only have to look to the South Sudanese ladies around me who often walk several miles to the nearest water source and carry the 44 pound jerry can back to their homes on their heads to supply water for their families. It’s humbling to see them move with such grace as I struggle to balance a jerry can on my head between the vehicle and my mud hut.
Since I’ve had so much time to think about water this last month, it’s struck me how amazing it is that the Spirit of God is described like a stream of living water:
“[…] Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit […]” John 7:37-39
For those who trust in Jesus, it’s like he comes and installs a tap of clean, life-giving water within us. No walking for miles to reach the source or carrying heavy loads to receive it. His Spirit is freely available to us. I hope I never take this tremendous gift for granted!