She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?” John 4:11
After spending time with several Mozambique women getting their water, I have grown to appreciate more the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. Mid-morning and evening I watched the women walking to the river. From little girls with a liter bottle on their head to the older women with 5 gallon buckets weighing around 44lbs. on their heads, they travel sometimes several miles to get the needed water for their families. In the village of Tchale I went with 3 young girls to the dry river bed where a hole had been dug in the soil to gather water.
|Ava and Amy gathering their water|
The Shangaan word for water is pronounced “mawtea”. I did at least have the knowledge of this word and the girls would giggle whenever I would say it. They used a broken plastic piece to pour the water into their containers. Each girl was at a different age and had different sized containters to fill.
|Fumela was the youngest carrying her one gallon|
We then began the walk across the riverbed and up the hill to the road which returned to the village. They continued on while I observed the work being done by the Mission on the well. This would be the first completed well in Tchale. When it was done, one of the village officials made the comment that they had been praying to their ancestors for years to have a well but that it was God and not the ancestors that provided the much needed water for them. A great testimony for God’s glory!
|Using the well for the first time at Tchale|
At Salani, I met a young woman named Christian at the river. She was also gathering water through a hole in the ground. She ended up being part of the family that lived beside our camp. The next day I helped them shuck their corn. She faithfully came to women’s ministry and church each day. Another day I would join a group of young girls walking to the well that had been completed that week by the Mission. One of them spoke some English, so we could communicate a bit. They were intrigued by my glasses and I let them try them on. I pumped the well for them and was amazed by the strength of one girl who was probably twelve years old place the 5 gallon bucket on her head. I couldn’t even pick it up to help her! We laughed a lot. Just spending time with them and helping them with whatever tasks brings me much joy.
|Salani women using well for first time|
The physical well ministers to the people, but just as with the Samaritan woman, it is the living water of the gospel shared that truly quenches a thirsty soul. May God’s word taught and preached in these villages burst forth in springs of eternal life.