07 October 2011

Lessons from a Busted Pipe

I've been in Niamey this week, taking a course on Club Foot Protocol.  It's been great.  The course was great.  It's great to get away for a few days.  It's GREAT to be able to go to a grocery store!!!  It's great to find fruits and veggies other than onions, potatoes and squash.  It's great to have more than one paved road.  It's great to . . . you get the idea.

But when I arrived in Niamey on Monday, the internet was down.  Not just in my friend's apartment, or her building, or even her neighborhood.  No, it was down throughout the city . . . I'm told they had it in outlying neighborhoods, but most of the capital was bumper-to-bumper in a gridlock on the information superhighway.  Eventually, it came back up.

The power goes out for an hour or so throughout the day.  We sweat a lot.  We stink a lot.  But we live.

Now, we have another problem.  No water.


Word on the street is that a pipe burst somewhere.  But there's still no rumor as to when it will be fixed.  It's the strangest thing to turn the tap . . . and keep turning . . . and keep turning . . . and still . . . nothing!

I tried the shower . . . just to see if maybe there was some stashed in the pipes . . . just to wash my feet.  A SINGLE DROP FELL.

ONE DROP!

But we do have a few pitchers of chilled water in the fridge that we can drink and use to brush our teeth .  And the girl next door had a reserve and shared a little with us to be able to wash our faces (and sssshhh!! don't tell her, but I'm going to wash my feet too!).

And while I'm worried about my dusty, dirty feet, one in eight people on the planet live without access to clean, safe water.  We treat patients everyday who are suffering as a result of water-borne diseases.

I'm cranky about crawling into bed with the day's sweat still on me, when kiddos are dying from dehydration, diarrhea, typhoid, and . . . .

I'm grumpy about not being able to run the tap.  

PERSPECTIVE DEB.!!!  How about a little perspective!

THANK YOU LORD that I live in a house with running water and I have filter built in to my sink so that I always have safe water to drink and a toilet that flushes and a septic tank and enough money to purchase bottled water should all of those systems fail.

And, Lord, help me to remember all of this tomorrow too.  And the next day.  And the next . . . .

9 comments:

Amanda Hunt said...

Have I ever mentioned how much I love reading your blog? So good! Thanks for sharing.

Bobnrobn said...

There's an old saying -  'water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.'  I have no idea where it comes from but I remember hearing it as a child....Maybe someone else knows and can fill me in!

your sis' said...

I have also being very cranky lately. Specially about very superficial-luxury-material things! So your post not only gave me perspective but it was also the perfect slap that I needed, a wake-up call to change my perspective, a reminder of how blessed I am and it made me question: what am I doing with all those blessings? It also made me think of the parable of talents in Matt. 25:14-30. By His grace, He has entrusted me with so many blessings... so how am I using them to bless others in return? am I multiplying them or putting them under ground? The parable is about resources (talents) + labor (work) + time = profit. Resources, work, time, blessing, profit. When He will call me to give account of my stewardship, what would I answer? What would He say?
Thank you for sharing. Thank you for allowing God to use you through your ministry but also through your openness and transparency.
I Love you!

Sarah (Merzig) Fountain said...

It's from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.  He is looking out on the expanse of ocean, while the ship is stranded in a calm and the drinking water is running out.

Kari said...

I have so much that I all too often take for granted...

Deb. said...

Thanks so much Amanda!

Deb. said...

And I'm thankful that your my sister.

Deb. said...

I love that you know that!! I think I'm going to look this up . . . who was the Ancient Mariner?

Deb. said...

I know . . . I'm convicted of that every time I open my front door.