Blue Hills is right outside of Cap Hatien, Haiti. It’s not that far from the airport, but it seems like it takes forever to get there because of the lack of roads. We had been contacted by some church members about their lack of water, so we had drilled a well there. Now I was going with a team to see if they needed water purification so the people didn’t get cholera.
After the team had put up some overhead tanks and was working on the system, I noticed something strange down the road. There was a church building that really wasn’t far away at all. And it had something sitting beside it that looked very familiar. They had a water pump.
I asked everyone why we had drilled a water well when there already was one in the neighborhood. It seemed like a good question to me. No one had a good answer, so I walked down to the church building and looked at the well. Then I figured it out. There was a big lock on it.
I talked to someone who said that the water was just for them and wouldn’t share it with the neighbors unless they paid for it. And the cost was more than what people could afford. A charitable organization similar to CRF had given it to them, but they kept it to themselves.
They had freely received, but they didn’t freely give.
I wanted to be a superhero and rip the lock off of the pump. But I’m only a preacher. It cost them nothing, but they refused to share. Something was just kind of wrong with that— don’t you think?
The whole situation was appalling to me. I couldn’t imagine anyone being that way — that is until I started thinking about the situation on a global scale.
Most all of us have been given water. We don’t have to go far to get a drink. There is a water fountain where I can freely drink nearly anyplace I go in Amarillo. And yet there are millions of people in our global community who are dying without water.
Unclean water kills a child every twenty seconds. Dirty water will cause more deaths than AIDS this year. One in six people in the world don’t have access to clean water — that’s over a billion people. In many places, women and children have to walk as many as four to five hours every day to get water. And the water they get might kill them because it is so polluted.
I am convicted more than ever that our emphasis at CRF to help bring water to those who don’t have any is at the heart of grace.
We freely receive, so we freely give.