I had the privilege of going on this year’s summer mission trip to Nicaragua. It was my first time to that country, but not my first trip to a Hispanic country as Karen and I were missionaries in Mexico for five years. Going into the trip, I felt like I had a pretty good understanding of the culture. I learned there was a lot I didn’t understand. For example, in Mexico, most everyone has access to clean affordable water. In Nicaragua, this isn’t always the case.
One of the projects we got to work on was installing a water tower at a family’s house. The family had been using large drums and buckets to store water for drinking, cleaning, and bathing. As I spoke with the mother, it became clear they may have lacked water at times, but there was no lack of living water, as Jesus refers to when he meets the woman at the well in John 4.
She kept telling me her “testimonio” as she called it, which means testimony. She nearly lost a daughter from appendicitis as they live in a remote area and to get to the hospital could take hours, depending on if the car is working that day and when they can find a ride. Another time, she, her husband, and their son were in a motorcycle accident where they were hit by a truck and thrown off. She nearly died.
The thing that struck me in hearing her story is she continually praised God. She had such joy in the midst of living without running water, almost losing her daughter, and almost losing her own life. She knew her identity in Christ. She knew she was loved, forgiven, accepted, and seen as righteous by God. It was clear that Christ lived in her and was the driving force of her joy.
When you meet someone who has tasted the living water Jesus told the woman at the well about, you know it. They are marked with an outpouring of the same living water. Joy flows from them, patience flows from them, peace flows from them. It is clear to all that Christ lives in them and out of the overflow of Christ in their heart, they are living.