A boy drinks water from a handpump in Ibrahimpur Village, Sunamganj District.

In March 2009 in Bangladesh, the global economic downturn threatens to increase poverty in a country where many already live at the edge of subsistence. The population continues to recover from recurrent cyclones and flooding, and over 40 per cent of children under five have stunted growth due to malnutrition. Although two-thirds of household income is spent on food, nearly 60 per cent still do not have enough to eat. Globally, the economic crisis is expected to increase poverty and hunger for tens of millions of people and to wipe out recent improvements in child survival rates. In South Asia, widespread job losses are threatening economies that depend on remittances sent from workers abroad. Millions of workers have been forced to return to home countries and regions where few jobs are available. Many families are coping by pulling their children  often girls  out of school and sending them to work. People are also buying cheaper, less nutritious foods, which is increasing rates of malnutrition, especially among young children and pregnant and lactating women. The negative impacts on education and nutrition will diminish childrens ability to learn and work in the future, extending the effects of the economic crisis over generations. UNICEF is responding to the crisis by establishing therapeutic feeding centres and nutritional monitoring programmes, and by distributing micronutrients and ready-to-use therapeutic foods.

Did you hear about the west Texas farmer who had to sell a large part of his land because he couldn’t get any water. He drilled and drilled again and again. All he could get was oil.

We laugh about that but there are times when water is the need. We have heard of the problem lately in Flint, Michigan and the contaminated water supply. People there have to use bottled drinking water because the tap water is toxic.

The most important commodity in the world is water. Most of the countries where we do mission work has water problems, either not enough of it or it is polluted. We insist that our mission volunteers drink bottled water to prevent illness. In most of the world, people have to walk miles for their water or it is too toxic to drink. Many have devices on their roof to collect water during the rainy season to sustain them during the dry seasons.

I am getting ready to go again to Romania. The contribution of Romania to the Gulf wars was water. It came from the springs up on the mountains. There is no other drink better than cool, clean, clear, fresh spring water.

It is true you will die from thirst before hunger. The British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in

‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, “water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”

Finding pure potable water is essential. Our missionaries dig deep wells to provide the locals this vital necessity. the search for good water never ends. One of my greatest concerns as I travel is that the water I drink is safe.

Remember when Jesus approached the woman at the well. He broke all the religious and social barriers just to approach her. He then offered her the Living Water, of which she would never thirst again. He touched the very core of man’s ultimate need: eternal life.

No wonder she ran back to her village and was the first to proclaim Him as the “Savior of the world.”  Yes, Jesus is the water of life!

Help us share the water of life with a thirsty world this year.



R.H.E.M.A. International

P.O. Box 6447. Sevierville TN 37864

www.ronherrod.org www.rhemainstitute.com

865- 774- 3222   865- 599- 8797

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