BY KEITH BACK
778 million people will drink dirty, parasitic water today. What if you could do something about it?
“He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made….” 2 Kings 18:4
The lifeless head rolled on the dirt before stopping, its empty eyes staring back at us. Just moments before, the stone idol sat intact in a prime spot in this little hut, where it was lavished with fruits and nuts, an extravagant luxury for this poor family in Cuba.
This story started with a bucket. Members of a local church introduced us to this family because they lacked two things: clean water to drink and clean water for the soul. Our group stood with eyes as large as the idol that now lay on the ground. Earlier that week, they took a 5-hour plane ride to what felt like a different world. They were spending their spring break partnering with churches in Cuba to reach local communities with not only clean drinking water but Living Water. Our team, part of the privileged 10% of the world in terms of education and access to food and water, interacted with the poorest 10% of the world, and they each needed each other. For some of our team, it was their first time sharing the gospel. For others, they weren't even sure they believed it themselves, but they couldn't get over the power of Jesus, as they watched this family smash their previously precious idols at their feet.
Through our group, this Cuban family was able to see Jesus: a Jesus who cares not just about their eternal destination but about their needs on Earth, a Jesus who wants not only to change their eternity but to change their here and now. The prayers that they prayed to the lifeless idol for clean water to drink so their kids wouldn't get sick anymore were heard and answered by a resurrected God who looked on them with love. The fact that Jesus met their needs revealed to them what their idols were - hollow and ceramic with painted smiles, incapable of love and undeserving of worship.
This is what we pray: Every day when a mother gives her son a cup of clean water before he goes to school without fear of him getting sick and falling behind in school, she remembers Jesus. Every day when a proud man takes a long drink after a hard day of work, knowing that he won't get sick, miss work and be unable to provide for his family, he remembers Jesus.