Three years ago at this time I was in Peru, South America. It was the spur-of-the-moment trip, but one I had been thinking and praying about for years. My oldest sister lived there with her husband and soon to be five children. They were getting ready to come home on furlough and needed help packing up since my sister was basically on bed rest with her pregnancy. Another one of my sisters (Helena) and I ended up going there for two months, along with a friend, Jen. I’ve been wanting to tell y’all some stories, so here’s the first one (which actually took place at the end of our trip).
|The house next to ours
(pictures taken by Jen)
The living conditions were hard. We had not only a dirt floor, but a dirt house with only a thin metal roof that had little holes all over. The electric was iffy. Heat was nonexistent even though it would get down into the twenties. Indoor plumbing was unheard of, although we did have one faucet with cold, impure water in a sink outside the back door. And this was normalcy for my four nieces and nephews.
My first job every morning was to go down and fill up the water purifier so we would have clean water to drink throughout the rest of the day. The children were taught early on to never drink water unless they knew it was pure. They carried their water with them everywhere they went. If they thought we had somehow forgotten the cardinal rule of staying healthy, they would quickly ask “Aunt Aidyl, is that pure water?” Drinking impure water was a disaster no one wanted to deal with.
Fast-forward several months and we were on the long journey back home. Arriving at the airport in Florida where our family had driven down to meet us (most of them had never even met my youngest nephew, although he was almost two already), my nieces and nephews were in huge culture shock. Everything was so different from what they were used to. Walking along the nice, carpeted, clean, and bright airport hallway, I saw a drinking fountain and took a long and satisfying drink of cold water.
Then it hit me. Rushing back to where the ‘hellos’ were still being said, I grabbed seven-year-old Elisabeth’s hand. “Come on, Elisabeth! I have something to show you!” Bursting with excitement, I introduced her to something she couldn’t remember ever experiencing before. “Here, you can drink it!”
“But Aunt Aidyl, we didn’t purify it. It’s not pure!” Elisabeth’s eyes grew wide.
“Yes it is. All the water here is pure.” I took a drink to show her.
“Stop! You’ll get sick!”
“No, the water here is pure. It’s fine.”
“Are you sure?”
Nodding enthusiastically, I gestured toward it, “Here you take a drink.”It took a moment to convince her, but she finally believed me.
Instead of drinking though, she turned in started to run back toward our family an awed expression on her face. “I have to get my water bottle so I can fill it up! It’s pure water!”
|The kitchen of the country house
(Most people have two houses, one in the town and one out on their little farm)
My seven-year-old niece had been so programed to view pure water as precious, that her first thought when seeing a supply of it was to grab her water bottle so she could have it later on and share with her family. Having it in public and for free was a thing of awe, something to be treasured and passed along.
Think about how many things we take for granted, that we never think twice about. What about the living water that Jesus has offered us? One of my favorite accounts in the Bible is of Jesus and the woman at the well, in John chapter four. She responded to living water much the same way as Elisabeth responding to pure water. How are you responding to the gifts all around you?
*Please Note: I do not necessarily endorse everything on the blogs hosting me during the tour*