The Weight of Water


I was surprised by a phrase I heard while visiting families in the Muakiwa area of Mozambique. The words the women said as they gathered water for their families interrupted my swirling mental activity. It begged me to surrender the ideas I was forming to the God who wanted to re-form me.

“We arrive light and leave heavy.”

An unshakeable feeling came next, a more encompassing understanding that we need each other.

This is God’s plan for us, and sometimes a walk with someone in the midst of suffering can show us just how important it is for us to walk together.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way we fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

We had traveled many days to visit a village that had received support to fund water development in their community through a partnership between Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine.

The local community had formed a water committee.

They had saved their own resources and created a fund to maintain a bore hole well and water pump.

A water pump was installed, providing people with a safe and secure water source.

But now it was August, and the pump had been broken since January.

Although the committee had the skills to fix the pump, they were unable to find the needed parts.

The parts they needed cost approximately $18 US.

Things like conduit and glue.

During those eight months, women returned to the pattern of the generations before them—walking for water, two or more miles, to find enough for the day. Piling water on their heads, the women stoop. They sift the bits of nature away, but we all know that the color of the water speaks volumes about its purity.

The women of Muakiwa say, “We travel here light and we return heavy.”

This is their suffering.

But I am learning that this is also my suffering.

Jesus calls us to carry each other’s burdens.

Because teens, churches, and families said, yes to carrying our burdens together, because they became a part of something bigger than themselves, we were able to help a community with needed supplies.

Soon the engineers of the community began their work. After what must have been eight incredibly long months, the well was restored, and clean water flowed freely once again.

When we say yes to going hungry for 30 hours to raise funds and awareness about needs in the world, when we commit to pray faithfully for our sisters and brothers, when teens and communities from around the world come together, we begin to carry our burdens together.

It’s something we’re all supposed to do. As the body of Christ we see—we know—we feel—we respond because Jesus asked us to do this very thing and gives us the strength and vision to keep doing it. Together we walk through our suffering, together we join in lifting each other up, and together we say yes to putting aside our needs and yes to living compassion.

What suffering do you see? How will you get involved in learning about the suffering of those around you? I believe that helping others really doesn’t take much, but at the same time, it takes our ALL.

We need each other. We need people to walk with us especially when our load gets heavy

What’s your ALL? And who is it that’s in front of you, piled up in heaviness from who knows what and from where? How do you show them that you care? How do you reveal the love of God that lives in you?

Will you join us in saying yes?