Oil and Water

I woke this morning with the words “Oil and Water” on my mind.

Two days ago I accompanied a friend into the “oilpatch” in Eastern Oklahoma. I saw in action several wells and drilling rigs for natural gas and oil.

My friend said two or three times, “this is the best business in the world.” He is a prospector who finds land, looks at geology, mineral rights, and arranges for the drilling and pipelining. It is a fascinating business and lucrative when done with skill and perception and cunning.

But this morning I woke thinking about how much a well site costs each day. It can run into the tens of thousands . . . daily.

Meanwhile, around the world in developing nations, water drilling rigs are inching into the earth to find not gas or oil but water. There’s usually layers of coal, sand, rock, gas, water, and oil in most areas when you go down 2,500 feet. But what many villages around the world want is simply to find the water.

More than one billion people–one sixth of the world’s population–do not have sanitary water to drink and use for daily cooking and washing and living. In last night’s advent devotional with our family, we talked about how Jesus wants us to join him in praying for justice and acting on that prayer, to do our part to join God’s mission of turning the world back to himself. We talked about how we have much and one sixth of the world doesn’t even have clean water.

What can we do about it?

First, we can pray for justice in a world where we in America–even in some of our most poor communities–have clean water in 10 different taps in our houses while 500 in a village are dipping water from and sharing one dirty water source with cows. I’m not exaggerating.

Second, we can imagine. Imagine a world where there is justice. I complain about high costs of medical care (see my Brother’s post that I referred to last week), but we in fact do have great medical care in America and in developed nations, while in literally more than 100 nations, people don’t have access to basic health care that we enjoy. This is injust. Imagine a world without AIDS. Imagine a world where at least everyone has clean water? Isn’t there something wrong with a twenty-first century world that claims to be so advanced while a billion people can’t even drink water without fear of getting cholera and dehydrating and dying?

I’ll write more about experiences with water in different parts of the world and more things we can do later. I’ll tell you more about this Oil and Water proposal and I’ll tell you about organizations drilling water wells, ones we can support and hold up for others to support.