When you’ve lived all your life in a country of excess, in a country of luxury, there are quite a few things you will never know.
You will never know what it’s like to fear a small insect that could bring your death.
You will never know what it’s like to not have a single pair of shoes, and for that to be normal.
And you will never know what it’s like to always, always be dirty.
There are plenty of things. But one of the biggest things you’ll have the luxury of never understanding is the necessity of water.
You won’t really ever know that clean water is absolutely vital. That water is life.
Day three in beautiful Uganda brought our team up close and personal to this reality. We were privileged to be a part of the celebration ceremony for the opening of a borehole well in the village of Mazzi. Last July, nine year old Jack with a heart like our Saviors, saw a need and decided he could do something about it. Previously, this village’s only water source was a muddy hole some two miles walking distance away.
Jack decided that wasn’t okay.
So he raised $8,000 to fund building a borehole well in the village, right at the entrance of the school. And we were there to see the fruit of the life of a little boy who understood his place in this world. And we were blessed.
(You can see more details of this story on Facebook under “Jack’s Walk for Water”)
In Africa, nothing is done well without much dancing and singing. So after programs by the children of the village, speeches from Pastors and community board members, and lots of celebrating…there was a well to uncap.
And we thought we had already seen celebration.
Because when you live in a village in the middle of nowhere Uganda in the middle of nowhere Africa, water is worth getting excited about. Clean water is worth a celebration.
It can breath life into old bones.
It was such a blessing to see all the love, support, and prayers of so many over Jack’s Walk for Water come to fruition. We did not deserve to be there. But I think the Lord had other things in mind.
I think He wanted us to see the necessity of clean water, how vital it is to life and how much we take it for granted.
I mean, who’s ever thrown a community wide party after turning on their water to take a shower. “You guys GOTTA come see this!! Look at this WATER!!”
But it’s huge. And in Uganda and all over Africa and all over the world many do not know the luxury of a facet. Many do not know clean water and life.
We left Mazzi very full and very blessed. Due to the heart and action of one small boy and due to the joy of seeing the life that clean water brings.
Back to Ekubo we went for the remainder of the day. We visited the Baby Cottage that is in disrepair waiting for the funds to finish it so that Ekubo can take in abandoned children who are too young to be in normal orphanages.
We visited the foundation and walls of the Clinic that is waiting for a roof so that it doesn’t wash away and for the remaining funding to finish the Clinic which will support the people of Bugabo.
(Check out “Ekubo Ministries” on Facebook to see more of their needs and how the Lord is faithfully meeting them in their obedience).
We also tasted another side of water as we had to say our first goodbyes of our time in Africa. It seems as though I say quite a bit of goodbyes in my life (i.e. Military Spouse) and I extremely dislike them. Turns out, goodbyes in Africa are no different.
And waterworks ensued for many because how do you say goodbye to children you only knew for a few days but have touched your heart fully? Have touched the very river of your soul.
Did I mention I hate goodbyes?
And though we said farewell to George, Christie, and all the crew at Ekubo, it seemed as though the Lord wasn’t quite finished with the theme of water for the trip.
On the last and final day of my trip, apart from my team (more on why later), I spent an evening with two very inspiring and kind individuals at the Entebbe Guesthouse I was staying at, one of which was Steve Roese. Turns out Steve is the founder and president of Water is Basic (www.waterisbasic.org) a nonprofit based in Dallas that empowers Sudanese nationals in building borehole wells. The very type of well we saw uncapped in Mazzi. Come to find out, Water is Basic has already been apart of building 408 wells in the last four years.
And that’s a big deal. That’s huge.
When will our tiny and entitled hearts and lives stop expecting water to flow from a turned on facet as if that’s just the reality of all of life? Not ever seeing or knowing how crucial clean water really is, not ever seeing or knowing the faces and hearts of those who don’t know water, and may never know that water is life.
So because of this day and the lessons woven within it, water seems a bit different now. It’s much more liquid gold than I ever realized. And this awareness doesn’t lead to guilt, but to a deep and lasting thankfulness. Thankfulness that runs on and on, as precious as life-giving water.
It also leads to understanding, like Jack, what my place is in this world and how to carry other’s heavy burdens.
Thankfulness and action.
Two things, along with this day, I hope never to forget.