Water Opportunities

August '97
We're always looking for opportunities to have contact with
our neighbors to show them Christ's love.  We've had great
fun with The Ocana family, who have opened their home
and lives to us. But the majority of our neighbors, although
pleasant, keep their distance. However there is one time when
they all come to our house... when they are out of water.
The Ocaņa Family - 3 generations
The public water usually comes in twice a day: morning and
evening.  Most houses have a 290 gallon holding tank on the
roof so it isn't a problem that it's not on all day, unless for
some reason the water doesn't come in for a few days,
or weeks.  For times like that the owner of our house
built a cistern under the garage.  The two of us don't go
through 290 gallons of water too quickly, so we would
find out that the city water had been off for days when
the neighbors began coming to the door with buckets.
At first we didn't understand why they came so hesitantly,
because we had enough water to keep the whole
neighborhood going for a week.  But as we grew to
understand the culture better we saw that people generally
don't help out people who aren't family.  Twice in the last
year the water was out for three weeks at a time.  As we
filled buckets from the cistern we prayed that God would
use our giving freely of our water to lead them towards
His free gift of the water of Life.
Once the water had been out for a week already and the word
around the neighborhood was that it would be out for three
months.  It's hard to sort truth from rumors, but it seems that
the water commissioner had cut off the water to force people
to make their payments.  He was about to leave office and
apparently there wasn't enough money in the coffer for him to
rob to make his "public service" worthwhile. (Sounds
incredible to us but it's standard operating procedure here
from the President down.)   As the days passed we kept
giving water, watching the cistern level get lower and lower,
thinking that this time it might get to the point where we ran
out.  It had been easy to give when we knew we had plenty.
This time it was harder, but we decided to continue sharing
till we ran out.  We quit using the washing machine and took
short showers.  We hope the contrast spoke clearly to them:
one of their own making them suffer for his personal gain
while Christian foreigners gave freely.  Thankfully the water
came back on before the cistern ran out, making us so glad
we hadn't refused anyone.  Our new neighborhood doesn't
seem to have water problems, which is one less hassle.  But
looking back we suspect that the opportunity to share was
well worth the time it took.
Your Friends...
Tim & Annette faces
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