Thursday, August 07, 2008

Water For Nsoko

Revelation 21 as it descibes the conclusion to this season of God's creation opens by saying, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea." The evangelist, John, is not stating that the New Earth will be the recreation of Pangea, but instead is speaking allegorically about the end of division. John is reminding us, that in the New Creation there is no separation between God and man.

Water plays an important role in the Biblical narritive. On the ford of the Jabbok Jacob wrestles with God and becomes Israel in his crossing. On the western edge of the Red Sea God divides the sea to complete his rescue of the Israel clan from the Kingdom of Egypt. Forty years later the priests of God stepped into a flooded Jordan river and the Lord stopped the waters upstream so His people could cross into their promised Kingdom. Over and over waters and seas are seen as symbols of the division between man and God. Even Jesus himself crossed into the Jordan and upon his baptism by John was raised from the water confirmed by the proclamation of heaven as Christ the Lord. Peter teaches in his first epistle that we too, cross the epic divide through water, "Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you...through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Water is more than just an allegorical division. It is also a physical division. The United Nations and The World Bank define extreme poverty among other things as having no access to clean water. Water divides the classes of people in this world. From those of us who have an endless supply in our city taps, to those who must transport water from community wells, to those most impoversihed who must fend off sources such as dirty puddles, rivers, and rain collection for their water.

A person must first have water before any other need such as food, shelter, and rest. Yet, in a world with to much wealth for this to be a reality, nearly twenty percent of the world population, that is one billion people, do not have this access. Their constant need to find suitable water sources further deepens the divide of their impovrished reality by leaving little time for educational oppurtunity, agricultural oppurtunity and economic oppurtunity to improve their situation. Their lack of accessible clean water divides them from the remaining 80% of the world.

This reality is not suitable for our work in Nsoko, Swaziland. Through the diligent work of Gary Black, Gift Dlamini and Jumbo Gerber there is a well today at the future location of Nsoko orphan village. We celebrate that the orphans we will raise up as sons and daughters of God will not be burdened by this divide. The separation of their current situation will be replaced by oppurtunities to learn, grow, and develop. This well will serve like the a bridge between the despair of today and the hope of the Kingdom, not only for the orphan village, but for Nsoko, and for Swaziland. Praise God that the new creation has come, and there is water for Nsoko.

The verses quoted were Revelation 21:1 and 1 Peter 3:21

No comments: