This is the dry season and there are so many contrasts to life during the wet season. The first contrast is obvious- it is dry – and brown – and dusty, all of the time. I will take this over cold and snow any day, but it gives me appreciation for those people that live within these circumstances as well as a deeper understanding of the difficulty that comes with these circumstances. Dryness can cause a desperation. Many women are desperate for the health of their children. I see others desperate for food. For their livestock. For their cracking skin. Dryness of the land almost seems into the soul and causes a dryness within the person as well. Many of the men have left to work at the coast where they can have two growing seasons. There are families as well that have left this area in search of work. Even children as young as five will work in the sugarcane fields to put food on the table.
We are lucky enough in our valley to have a canal that supplies water to the valley. The small percentage of people that own flat ground can use this canal for irrigation, allowing for another growing season. The canal runs outside of our house and reminds me that water and life and so connected here. I see it daily. I hear the flow of water at night. We even benefit from the water running over onto the some days and keeping the dust at bay. If you have water, your life is that much richer. You have water to wash I with, cook with, give to your livestock, and use in the fields. It dries up the desperation and provides hope to continue. Likewise we are encouraged to drink from a well that never runs dry ( The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in dry places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like watered land, like a spring of water, whose water does not run dry Isaiah 58:11). As I see the water flowing every day, it is a constant reminder for me to go back to the source. The source of the canal is a spring/ river at the top of the mountain. This river constantly flows and the canal branches out from the river.
Likewise, we are promised in scripture that Jesus constantly flows life into us – Living water that refreshes our lives. When I was younger I sang the tune “I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me. Opens prison doors, sets the captive free. I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me”. This promise is one that I hope doesn’t come just from the physical water that is here in the valley. With the expansion of our ministry and the opening of our schools, my HOPE is that we can figuratively pour living water into this valley that lasts, during the dry season, during the wet season, during the times of trial and tribulation seasons, and during the season of searching. Living water can quench even the driest of souls.