Which Well Are You Pulling Water From?

 

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Each day of the San Diego Mission Trip there was scheduled quiet time with God. Some days I used that time to pray and listen to worship music, but on most days I would reflect and journal about whatever was on my mind. This post is a reflection from a daily devotional that was shared with us by one of our ministry leaders, Nicole.

Nicole talked to us about the encounter Jesus had with the Samaritan woman in John 4. She briefly went through the story and pulled a few key things out of it.

John 4:10 NLT

10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

After reading John 4:10, Nicole talked about how encouraging is it to know that there is a unique and very special future that has been carefully planned for you and I. Jesus was explaining to the Samaritan woman how wonderful of a gift God had for her and that all she had to do in order to receive it, was to ask Him.

John 4:13 NLT

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.

In this verse, Jesus explains to the woman that anyone who drinks from the water she is drinking from will become thirsty again, but anyone who drinks from the water He offers will never be thirsty again because it is a fresh, consistent spring that gives eternal life.

John 4:16-18 NLT

16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her

17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said “You’re right! you don’t have a husband-

18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

Jesus tells the woman to get her husband because HE wants to make the point that the well of sexual impurity she is pulling from is never going to satisfy her. So the next time she becomes thirsty (and best believe she will!), she knows which well to get everlasting water from.. Jesus’ well.

John 4:28 NLT

28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone

Later, in verse 28, the woman leaves her water jar to go back into town and evangelize. This water jar is so symbolic because it represents all that she knows she doesn’t need to rely on any longer.

After mentioning and dissecting these verses from John 4, Nicole’s question to us was “What well are you pulling water from?“- A very convicting question.

Like the Samaritan woman, I too am pulling from wells that temporarily fill voids of inadequacy and loneliness. I find myself seeking value from people that have no clue what I’m really worth. I find myself pulling water from wells of getting drunk, being selfish and basing my life on the approval of others.

Today I recognize that I directly relate to the Samaritan woman, and I too need to leave a few water jars behind because I won’t need them where I’m going. The well Jesus has offered requires no pulling or strainious works. It simply requires my faith and willingness to surrender my life for His will.

So how about you? What well are you pulling water from?

Godships

16 staff members. 23 students. 6 students per hotel room.

Those are the attendance facts we were given before arriving. I didn’t know one single person that I was going to be spending the next ten days with, and I definitely didn’t know who I would be rooming with. It turns out that out of the 22 other students on the trip, three of them arrived to the San Diego Airport at around the same time I did, which meant that we would be riding to the hotel together. Those three students I met upon arrival turned out to be 3/5  of my roommates!  I should’ve known, back then, that we were placed together for a reason. We we’re inseparable from the start.

Now, I don’t know if it was the fact that we shared our testimonies with one another on the first day or the fact that the six of us squeezed into a small hotel room and made it work, but somehow it felt like we’d known each other for a life time by day two. Six girls, all very different, but similar at the same time. We each brought a multitude of experiences with us that helped us relate to one another.

Friendship handcrafted by God = Godship

The thing that is so special about these Godships is that He carefully planned and crafted our relationships before we even knew each other. Probably before we even applied for the mission trip. God is at the core of our relationships, which means that we pray for one another, encourage and support each other, and hold accountability. Over the past ten days we took time to listen to the struggles and victories shared by each person, which gave us some insight on where we could uplift one another.

Not only have these five girls been amazing roommates, they have been my worship and prayer partners, my bible study buddies. Its such a good feeling to know that the ten days we spent together were only the beginning of a long-lasting journey. Im excited to see what God has in store for us in the future!

The Day a Homeless Man Ministered to Us

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See that man we’re talking to in the picture above? The one wearing a dirty coat in the heat, on the beach? His name is Greg, and he is someone i’ll never forget.

While walking on the boardwalk, we saw Greg sitting alone. Just him and his bible. Together we decided to go up and talk to him and I’m so glad we did. First, we introduced ourselves and asked if he would be interested in taking a survey we had. When he agreed, we were humbled by his responses. One of the questions asks what three words a person would choose to describe their life. The words he chose were faith, love and compassion. Another question asks what the number one thing is on their bucket list. His answer? To keep helping people. This man who has absolutely nothing but the clothes on his body, his bible and the little portable radio he carries said his main goal in life was to help people. If that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is.

Before we even finished the survey with Greg, he started talking to us about God and began reading us a few of the scriptures he reads daily. That led us to asking about his story, and how he came to know Christ. I don’t think any of us were prepared for the heaviness of the story we were about to hear. He started off talking about the life he had with his wife and then talked about what it was like for them when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She battled it for two years before she passed away. As I sat there and envisioned what that must have been like for him, he interrupted my thoughts by explaining that his youngest daughter died two weeks after his wife passed away.

His daughter suffered from epilepsy. He told us that her medicine was so extremely expensive that he had a lot of trouble getting it for her. I remember him repetitively saying “250 dollars for just 30 pills.” Sad. His daughter passed away after having a severe seizure, during which her tongue blocked her airway and affected her breathing. Two deaths due to medical issues in 2007. He didn’t go into much detail while he told his story, but I think its safe to assume that those medical bills wiped him out. He continued and told us about a very significant event that happened in 2009: the day he was attacked.

He was sitting (probably living) in a transportation station somewhere in San Diego, and one day a group of teenagers approached him. They beat him with some kind of car part repetitively in the neck. They stole everything he had, including the thirteen dollars he had saved. The damages were so severe that he was in the hospital for more than a month. He had to have nine neck surgeries, and the scar was still very apparent when we spoke with him. We all sat there, heart broken and holding back tears, in silence as we took in all that he was explaining to us.

He eventually told us about how he came to know who God was, and it lightened the mood a little. I’m not sure when or where this occurred, but there was a man who would go visit Greg three times a week. During those three visits, he would sit and talk with Greg about the bible. Greg said that the man would read the bible to him, and then have Greg read a little too. Eventually Greg began to read it on his own and now he has his own favorite verses and a really good understanding of who God is, what He did for us and what all of that means for him personally. As he was talking, I kept thinking about the man that introduced him to the bible. I wondered if he had any clue that Greg was now ministering to other people.

There we were- young college students on a mission trip that had the theme of “press on”, where we were learning how to be more like Paul in Philippians during times of adversity. There we were looking for opportunities to inspire and be inspired. We ran right into a man who has nothing but his faith, and he’s just as content as can be with his bible and the radio player that had gospel music flowing from its earbuds. Talk about encouragement.

I don’t know how Greg, a previous mechanic from Missouri, ended up all the way on Mission Beach in San Diego, but i’m glad we were in the same place at the same time. It meant that we were able to meet him, listen to his testimony and pray with him.