On our first trip to Uganda, Pastor Geoffrey didn’t know what to expect. Nor did we.
The flights to get to Uganda literally take 24 hours by the time you fly into different airports, have layovers, change planes.
We’d been warned, “Drink lots of water on the final airplane flight because you will land dehydrated.”
We’d also been told, “Bathrooms, unless you are at the hotel once you arrive in Nebbi, will be a hole in the ground surrounded by a mud hut. So bring wipes, and be prepared.”
On the 8-hour bus ride from Kampala to Nebbi, I was insistent that I not drink water. I was NOT going to “squat.” All was fine until the next day as we were driving to our first location to do the interviews with the children for child sponsorships.
I was thirsty.
My mouth was dry, my skin looked “lizard-like.” Upon thinking about it, I realized it had been 2 days since I’d had water. Literally! And since my other liquid of choice, Diet Mtn. Dew, was not available, I actually had gone two full days without liquid of any sort.
I went to the front of the bus to grab a water bottle and no water was to be found.
We had not expressed to our new friends that we would need access to bottled water. The local stores were closed by then, so we went that evening without water.
That night, I dreamed about beverages. The bubbles in Diet Coke. Lemonade. Tea. And water. (This was before I had developed an affinity for wine). Finding water was literally all I could think about, I’d never been that thirsty in my life.
The next morning when Pastor Geoffrey arrived, he had 10 cases of water. We would never be without water again! He was so earnest in trying to provide what we needed! We became more intentional about anticipating what we’d need before the need actually happened.
When Jesus cried out, “I am thirsty.” He was doing more than just crying out for a drink of water. He was admitting need, crying out to God for an end to his suffering.
Jesus was known to be “the living water.” Those who “drink of him would never be thirsty again.”
The wholeness and healing that comes to us through life in and with Christ are such that it fulfills all our needs.
But before we can have that, we have to recognize that we are indeed thirsty. And that we, in our humanity, can not quench that thirst alone.
Can we express our thirst to God today? Can we be vulnerable enough to admit, “I am thirsty?”