Supporting Schools & Parishes
Water of Life
Several items that require water -
a bundle of washing, a towel, a cup, a plant...
jug to demonstrate washing
bottle of water.
Leader: We gather together in Jesus' Name
All: Help us to explore, discover and learn together.
(Show all the items that need water.)
Can you think what the connection is between all these items? (they all need water) How much water do we use during a day? How do we get our water? Do any of the children have experience of not having much water (eg because there was a local stoppage, or because of a country they visited.)
India is a hot and dry and dusty country. In the south, it only rains for a few weeks each year. Sometimes, when the rains come, they don't last for very long and there is very little water from them.
- It is hot - and you need to wash (cleanse)
- it is dry - and you need to drink water (refresh)
- everything around needs water to give life
In the area of Katpadi, on the outskirts of Vellore, you will see a huge dry river bed. There has been no water in this river for over ten years - you can tell this because now there are trees growing up right where the middle of the river used to be. Although the area does get some rain, ther has not been enough rain for many years. In the town of Katpadi even people who've got taps in their homes can only have running water at certain times of the day. They have to fill up storage containers during those times, so that they've got water for the rest of the day. But at least the houses in Katpadi have taps! In the villages around, and in some of the poorer areas of the towns, all the water will come from deep wells or village pumps. Village children in the morninng will wash ready for school by rushing down to the village pump and standing underneath it while one of their brothers or sisters pumps the water for them!
And how you use water in India is a bit different, as well......
Houses that have running water don't have baths and often don't have showers as we know them - but don't get too excited! You still have to get washed. If there is no shower in the bathroom, there will be a large bucket and a jug. To get washed you take water from the bucket with the jug and pour it all over yourself, until you are clean (perhaps a child could demonstrate this). Often you will find that the hot tap in the shower doesn't work, so ther is only cold water to wash in.
It's hot, so you'll want a drink - but you have to be careful. The water in taps is not as clean as ours, and it can make you very ill if you drink it. Visitors from Western countries, who aren't used to the germs, have to make sure that every drink of water (or squash) has been boiled, or purified, or bottled. You have to remember not to have ice cubes in a drink either, unless the water to make them has been boiled. At the end of the day, when you're very tired, or at the beginning of the day when you're just waking up, you mustn't forget to clean your teeth with bottled or boiled water either - and rinse the brush out in it as well!
Indian people generally know how dangerous their water can be for visitors, so they go to lots of effort to make sure that the water they give you for drinking is good and clean. This means you have to be careful not to waste it They won't be very happy if you spill it, or throw it away needlessly. If they've paid for bottled water, don't forget to take the bottle away at end of meal.
The area around Vellore is a dry, dusty land. It is green where the rice paddy is grown for that is grown in water. It's also green when rains come.
Jesus lived in hot, dusty country, too, where water very precious. One day, when in a part of the country where Jews didn't often visit, he was very thirsty. He sat down by a well, hoping that someone would come to help him.
A woman came along, and he asked her for a drink of water. She was very surprised - for here was a stranger, and someone who wouldn't normally talk to her, asking for something from her. When she expressed her surprise, Jesus said to her that if she knew who she was talking to, she would asked for living water. The woman was totally surprised. What could that mean, in a place where every drop of water counted! What would it mean to never be thirsty again.
Jesus was not talking about water from the well. He meant that he had something very special could do all the things that water did - making people clean, refreshing them and giving them life. That special thing was found in himself. Of course, the woman would need to come to the well for water for washing, drinking and growing things -all the daily needs of water. But if she learnt to love Jesus and learnt to have Jesus' special love and life in her heart, it would be like being made clean, being refreshed and given life.
(Check it out: John chp 4)
The Christians in India work to show this living water to everyone
- they help those who have no water, pumps and wells
- they care for the environment, and teach about irrigation
- they care for those who are made sick by bad water, lack of water, and teach about the need for clean water
- they tell about God's love to all people, whatever they are like
Which would you choose to do?
Pray for all those who need living water in their lives - either actual living water or the living water of hope and love
Leader: Go in peace to discover God's world and your place in it
All: We go in Jesus' name.
- What a wonderful world
- Water of Life
- All Creatures Great and Small
- Loaded Down!
- Rich and Poor
- What's the Time?
- Shepherds and Sheep
- A Family of Potters
- Garlands of joy and gladness
- Entertaining Angels
- A Spoonful of Sugar?