“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:13-14
These verses were at the forefront of my mind on each and every walk I took to get water during my One 17 Challenge. I knew it was something to pay attention to when I realized how much my mind tends to wander on an hour-long walk with no conversation or music playing…and how, even amidst all the wandering, I kept circling back to those verses. Clearly, these were words that the Lord wanted me to reflect on throughout my water-haul experience.
Project 117 is, of course, concerned with quenching the very real thirst that our students experience on a daily basis. If we were to neglect the physical needs of our students, we would be doing them a massive disservice. It is good and vital work. But these verses served as a reminder to me of the even more vital work that Project 117 does: bringing the hope of Jesus’ living water to our students. We are committed to bringing true education to our students, and a large part of that means giving them the necessary tools to discover who they are in Christ and equipping them to live out the stories He has written for them.
I spent much of my walking time in prayer over our students, and it was one of the most encouraging parts of each day. As I prayed for our little learners, I found myself praying that the Lord would meet the physical needs of our students by providing proper healthcare and nutrition. But I also prayed that, as they get older, the Lord would quench their spiritual thirst with His living water. And I prayed that, as a result of this, He would well up in them profound thirsts for justice, for change, and for bold action in the face of inequality. I asked God to open their eyes to the brokenness of the world around them and to give them the drive to use their talents and gifts to bring about His kingdom in their communities and country.
Education is a powerful thing. It leads to hope, to dignity, to empowerment, and to opportunity. Through education, we are equipping our students to realize their incredible potential to recreate broken systems in Haiti. But it is only through the Lord’s provision of living water that our students will be truly unstoppable in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to their own communities. As I prayed fervently for our students in Haiti, I was so encouraged by the work that the Lord is already doing in their hearts, and the work that He will continue to do through them as they are awakened to their potential in Christ. I can’t wait to see how these little hands and feet are used to change communities and lives in Haiti!