Today marks the UN World Water Day 2008 while 1.2 billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water.
The UN estimates that half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-borne diseases. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon says, ‘When you look at the health and development challenges faced by the poorest of the world’s population – diseases like malaria or TB, rising food prices, environmental degradation – the common denominator often turns out to be water.’
WATER -originally given by God as the source of life – becomes a channel of death. That really makes me feel sad, especially where I come from and now live in is a place that I can get access to clean drinking water simply from the tap. I feel sorry to the people who have to risk their life everyday just because they are thirsty……
Today we who work in ecumenical center have a communion service during lunch time. As we share bread and wine in memory of Christ’s last supper with his disciples, we also read from the Bible:
Jesus……laid aside his garments and girded himeself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’s feet….. John 13:4-5
When Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing……. he took water and washed his hands before the crowd saying, ‘ I am innocent of this man’s blood, see it to yourselves.’ Matt 27:24
We reflect on whether as his followers we continue to follow his injunction to wash one another’s feet or whether like Pilate we wash our hands of problems and responsibility. In the name of the one who is the source of living water we also commit ourselves to promoting safe water as human right.
We certain can do more in many ways. Here are some useful websites for us to know more about how to contribute ourselves.
Just to remind that the deadline for applying Summer School of the Ecumenical Water Network will be on 24th March. Visit: http://lwfyouth.org/2008/01/25/summer-school-of-the-ecumenical-water-network/
You can also get to the Ecumenical Water Network here http://www.oikoumene.org/en/activities/ewn-home.html
To the Lenten meditations here http://www.oikoumene.org/en/activities/ewn-home/resources-and-links/seven-weeks-for-water.html
More about Geneva celebration of World Water Day herehttp://esa.un.org/iys/