India (Part One)

I've returned from a twelve day trip to India, and it's taken me a little while to adjust back to my home time zone, the amazing softness of my own bed, and the ability to turn on the faucet and drink water without wondering if it's clean or not.

Such a simple thing...water.  I use it three or four times an hour throughout my day without giving it a second thought, but for great parts of the world, it's a precious commodity.

During our first day in India, our group walked the streets of a slum in the city of Mumbai, passing row upon row of houses made from whatever supplies were available.

I can't really describe the scene I witnessed except to say it's poverty on a level one simply does not see in the western world.

And then it happened.

We turned a corner, and there in the middle of the slum neighborhood, was life.

It was color.

It was vibrant.

It was smiles.

It was sounds of children singing.

It was just alive.

And after we had been there a few moments, I realized the life was coming from the water.

The story I learned was the village had only had one dirty, contaminated water source until recently.  But some people who wanted to help partnered with a church in the slum and dug a new well, a well with multiple spouts running down the length of this street that now teemed with life.  Instead of walking a far distance to wait in a long line for dirty water, the people in this slum could now access it right here...here in front of this pastor's house and church.  A pastor who, bent over from the waist, loves his people day in and day out, giving them water from the well and water from the living well.

And it was this water and this love that made life in the desert.

"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 4:13-14