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Dionisa Choque looks at her family’s garden, where she now grows onions, carrots and lettuce. LWR and our partner Fundación Arado taught families in Tinguipaya, Bolivia about sprinkler systems to better irrigate their crops. Dionisa is able to sell the crops and her family now earns more than ever before.

In biblical times, water was a mixed blessing, at best. Necessary for life, and often seen as a blessing, it was also associated with chaos and death.

The waters of the flood were both promise and destruction; the Red Sea was a symbol of both liberation and death.

In many of the communities where Lutheran World Relief works, water can also be a mixed blessing.

The water is swimming with life, but it is far from life-giving. Parasites, bacteria and other microorganisms lurk in the waters, causing a multitude of illnesses.

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Children, whose bodies lack the resistance of their elders, are especially vulnerable.

For them, drinking this living water can be the beginning of a downward spiral that includes malnutrition, school absence and sometimes even death.

Yet, as people of faith, we know the powerful promise that God brings to water. And we know that water is essential to life. In the fourth chapter of John, Jesus met a woman at a well and asked her for a drink of water.

Jesus spoke to her heart, telling her that he could give her “living water, bubbling up to eternal life.” This living water that Jesus promised is alive not with microorganisms, but with God’s lasting promise.

In the waters of baptism, we are drowned in water and the word and reborn children of God. Here water brings death, but through that death, God grants us eternal life.

As LWR works to provide clean drinking water to communities, and as we help build irrigation systems that bring life-giving water to farms and fields, we give thanks to God for the lasting promise of water.

And as we work and pray for the health of communities around the world, we participate in Jesus’ mission to give us all living water. Thanks be to God!


God of promise, you promised to be with your people through the waters of the Red Sea and with us in the waters of baptism. May your promise be known through the life-giving waters provided to communities where water has been dry, In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Dan Ruth is LWR’s Interactive Marketing Manager