Sitting low to the ground on the wooden bench, I smelled the alcohol. I looked down to see little liquor bottles by the charcoal stove as we waited for her to come in. Having just been greeted by the neighbor who was in a drunken stupor, it was a reminder of the strong influences surrounding her.
After greeting and small talk, we inquired about the water filter donated to her. She brought it to us covered in red clay dirt, not being used. Then her little girl came running in the house asking for water, but there was none to give. The water filter needed to be rigged, but even still, there was no water.
The little girl and I played with an empty blue cup. She let me drink, and then I gave it to her to gulp down. We smiled as we pretended, but deep down, hearts were wilting. This was not pretend but really real.
We came because this little girl was sick, and we wanted to check up on her. After seeing her recovery, we assessed it would be okay for her to come back to DuHope where Claudine, our Childcare and Health Advisor, looks after her and other children. We encouraged her to come back to work – without work, there is no pay. Without pay, there is no insurance, food, water, nor doctor visits. And what will she do in desperation to fill that empty blue cup?
We asked her to get her Bible. She brought it to us proudly, as it was clean and well-kept unlike the unused water filter. I yearned deep within my soul that the Bible and water filter would be used – that she would give her daughter a cup of cool water and read the promises of God to her each night before tucking her under the mosquito net and kissing her forehead as she goes to sleep. I wished her Bible were worn with crinkles, doggie-eared pages, and colorful highlights of verses to help her in this hard life. But rather, it looked like it came fresh out of the box from its shipment from Mombasa. Then I pondered… at least she hears His Word each day at DuHope and there her daughter’s cup is always full of clean water.
These women’s lives are full of problems. Often it’s hard to see the optimism of being full when all you can see is the emptiness. But the truth is, there is a full cup in this story. Each day at DuHope, we get to pour a little bit at a time. Moms and their children can fill their cups with clean water and there is always enough. They receive nutritious meals while they work due to generous donors. They are filled with the love of the staff who pour in counseling, time in His Word, visit and nurture them, and give them Living Water. And He – He is more than enough.
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14
Heavenly Father, please fill the women of DuHope with the water that will spring up to eternal life. In Jesus Name, Amen