As you know, Flint has been on local, state, and national news for some time due to the water crisis. From my perspective, it is more of a water “delivery” problem than it is a water source problem. Yet, is has affected thousands, we are in the middle of it, and have to deal with it. I am thankful to our staff, our church council, our school families and members who have been coping with this issue. I am also thankful to the congregations that have collected and sent us bottled water, as well as those congregations and individuals who are contributing to our filtration system, for which we are currently getting bids.
Having problems with water is nothing new to our world. The earth is unique to other planets in that it is mostly covered with water. Water is necessary for life. Jesus stated that when He spoke to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
“Water Problems? Jesus is the Living Water!” That is what we had on our church sign last fall. While people around the world need good, clean fresh water, we need to realize that, when we drink this physical water, we will get thirsty again. That is why we need to drink that water that Jesus gives.
Jesus is the life-giving water that we need. Or, as He said to Nicodemus, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Through Baptism, we are re-created in Christ and have new life. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26).
May God use this water crisis to bring others into a close relationship with Him. May God use us at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School to share with others the grace of God through Christ. We are in a unique position to share the grace of God with others. May we be the “delivery system” to be making disciples by baptizing and teaching. May we tell the good news to those who need to hear it. Amen.
Prayer: Lord, you created all things. You recreated us by water and the Word. Use us to make disciples for Jesus, at home, at work, in our neighborhoods, and in our world. Use us as your instruments of giving grace to others. Amen.
Update — Coordinated Relief efforts
The LCMS Disaster Relief Coordinator has been in contact with Pastor Yops regarding the Franklin Avenue Mission needs. The mission was considering applying for an LCMS grant to benefit Flint residents.
The Michigan District continues to receive donations through its website from individuals and congregations that desire to help. The District is also receiving financial gifts to assist our brothers and sisters in Christ with future needs in Flint this summer. If you are interested in learning how to help, please fill out this form. To donate, click here.
Update: In May, 2016, St. Paul school installed a filtering system on each drinking fountain and faucet that is used for drinking (e.g., making coffee). That water was tested in mid-June, and on Thursday, August 11, 2016, Rev. Walsh received the report from the state regarding the water tests. They are all good, showing no lead and small amounts of copper, which are acceptable levels and will diminish with use. The filtration system is all paid for because of the generosity of congregations around the state. We praise God for you!
Photo courtesy of Elisa Schulz Photography