Jerry Wiles on The Living Water that Satisfies the Deepest Thirst

The Joy of Receiving Clean Water in Jesus’ Name

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But the Lord will answer them,” (Isaiah 41:17). Jesus said, in John 7:37-38, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams or rivers of living water will flow from within him.” While assisting communities in acquiring clean, safe drinking water, we want to facilitate their experiencing the Living Water of Jesus, which alone satisfies the deepest thirst.   Transformation is happening as many around the world are now experiencing and sharing the Living Water that Jesus spoke of in John chapters 4 and 7.  He is not referring to some elite class of religious people, but to all who come to, believe in and trust Him.  All are welcome.

Great Needs, and Opportunities

Since 1990, Living Water International has had many amazing opportunities to be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus, working with local churches, other mission organizations and ministries, and many other partners around the world. While the number of people who are without access to clean water has been reduced from more than 1.2 billion around the year 2000, to under 800 million today, there are still great needs and opportunities for reaching and helping people with clean water solutions, health and hygiene education, sanitation services and the Gospel.

The Ones Who Suffer Most

Women and children are the ones who suffer the most from a lack of clean water. In many places, women spend 20, or more, hours a week collecting water; some walk several miles every day, often for contaminated water. Water-related diseases cause 2.2 million deaths a year; every day, diarrhea takes the lives of 2,000 children in Africa – more than any other single cause of death. Safe water, a toilet and clean hands could prevent 90% of these deaths. Half of the hospital beds in the world are occupied by someone with some kind of water-related disease. The statistics are overwhelming.

The Neediest of the Needy

Great progress is being made globally in addressing the water issues, but whole people groups are being overlooked – it’s the poorest people with the least political power and material resources who continue to suffer. Many of the people who are without access to clean water are those who live on less than a dollar a day and have had the least access to educational opportunities and the Gospel. These are the neediest people on the planet, both physically and spiritually.

Making Disciples

It is encouraging to know that over the past 30 years millions of people have gained access to clean, safe drinking water for the first time.  However, the best story we have to tell is that God will transform individuals, families, communities and even nations through the person of Jesus Christ. Now, with better research and understanding about the ways most people in the world learn and communicate, we can be more effective and strategic in sharing the Living Water of Jesus and carrying out our Lord’s Great Commission, to communicate the Gospel to everyone and make disciples of all people groups.

Reaching the Oral Majority

Recent studies show that 70 to 80% of the people in the world today would be considered oral learners, by necessity or by preference.  In the regions where LWI works, it is estimated that more than 80 – 90% of the people are oral learners — those who can’t, don’t or won’t read, or prefer to learn and communicate by means other than written instruction or print-based media. Since launching Orality Training and Strategies more than a decade ago, LWI has experienced amazing impact and results as people have experienced better ways of communicating the Good News of Jesus and making disciples in ways that are biblical, understandable and reproducible to the ends of the earth and to all people groups.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service

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