Physical and Living Water

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38

Water is the most important physical substance on this earth and we take it so for granted. 1.5 billion people do not have safe drinking water around the world and I live in one of those countries and 4 million people die each year from water related diseases. Many times these people in Indonesia, Africa, and other countries are forced to drink water that is not safe, because they have no other choice. Drink now and be filled for the moment and risk diseases or to be thirsty. Not only this, but did you realize how precious water to your body and to this earth that God created. Seventy-five percent of our planet is covered with water, but we can only use 2% of that water due to it being too salty. Because of water’s high specific heat, it can keep the earth’s fluctuations in temperature on land or at sea within limits that is favorable for life. Seventy-five percent of the human body is made up of water and 90 percent of human blood is water as well. Water transports food and oxygen to different cells in our body. It flushes out the bad things from our bodies, it is a lubricant for our joints so we can move comfortably, etc. In daily life, we need water to grow food, fishing, washing clothes, bathing, washing dishes, and so much more.

Water…it is truly one of the most important things in our lives. “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” Isaiah 41:17 I praise God for His provision over the last month for my helper and her husband with physical water. Starting at the beginning of February, my helper came to me with tears in her eyes telling me that they almost had no water left in their well. They literally had 2 meters of water, which would last around 2-3 days here, in America it would not be enough water for probably even a ¼ of a day in the US. And in order to fix and dig the well deeper it going to cost at least 8 juta (around $900) and could be even more. I have never understood in my life how important water is and have prayed for my helper to have water for the day to be able to daily take care of her needs and He keeps answering my prayer. However, this is only temporary and here we are coming upon in a few months dry season and then water is rare and if you do not have water from the country you must preserve water for the summer. In order for my helper and her family to have water for the dry season they must do this now. Please pray for provision for her family, because 8 juta is a lot. Please pray that God would provide the money and pray for him to show us how to help them without hurting them. God has blessed greatly and we are so grateful, but how we give to the poor is so important. Please pray for us as we are seeking to what and how God would have us to help the poor. If you want more information on this you can read a book Bryn and are reading right now called, “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself.”

Throughout this time of praying due to lack of physical water with my helper God has been teaching me how important living water from Him is. Jesus said in John 4:14, “…but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Our living water flows out of us and our living water is the most important things in our life that is not physical. For without him, we have no life, we are dry and thirsty and searching and dying. So many people around this world are not only lacking physical water to satisfy, but they are missing the living water. During this time, please pray for God to be made known to my helper’s family and many in this country who may be seeking for physical water, help them as they search to find the living water and the one who provides the physical water and our everyday needs. Without the Living Water I would be nothing. Please pray that I flow even with lack of language with the living water and that those around us who lack living water would see that this living water is what they are searching for, not what they have been told all of their lives, but the water that will flow from their lives if they will only let Him come in and capture their hearts and let him be the water they are looking for.

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Bryn’s February Update (2.07 as Bryn would number it–7th update of year 2)

Dear Friends, Family, and NICS Support Team,

Seasons.

I have long had convictions about seasons as a Follower of Christ. Too many times I’ve found myself battling frustration over various physical, emotional, or spiritual issues instead of focusing on the canvas that God was painting in my life.

This has been one of those seasons.

I’m deeply sorry that I disappeared for a month and a half. So much has happened in that time. My initial plan was to take time to give detailed chronicles of all that God has done since I wrote at the beginning of December (for surely He has not ceased to prove Himself faithful!), but then the beginning of school hit…

And now, unfortunately, much of what could have been shared will have to be reserved for the time when I hope we will meet up in Eternity. In that day, I will glorify in telling you about my God and His mighty sovereignty. Likewise, I will rejoice with you over the ways He’s been working in your life.

But that day is not yet. You see, for reasons too numerous to explain, this semester has been one that’s buried me under weights of marriage adjustments, school workload, travel, godly burdens, and more. Yet through it all, Father has been conforming me (sometimes more painfully than others) to the image of Christ.

As you may be aware, January started the adjustment of Courtney being at home while I’m at work. This has been a huge blessing and clearly the right choice; yet, it’s brought its challenges as well. Truth be told, I am selfish and overworking, and I’ve found myself facing a common trap. Many days it is hard to come home and “switch off” work (an especially difficult problem when you’re a teacher, much less a new one). Even though I have been setting healthy limits about not working from home, mentally and physically I’m often either exhausted or not entirely “there” for Courtney. Sprinkle on top of that a portion of one or both us being sick nonstop since January, a last-minute planned visa run to Singapore (for which I missed a day of school), and also a weekend long educators’ conference (which of course entailed much travel, little sleep, and missing another day of school), and you easily have a juicy recipe for stress, fatigue, burnout, etc.

In fact, towards the end of January I hit an almost severe bottom in my attitude towards teaching. Thankfully, however, God had the timing worked out perfectly for me and Courtney to meet with an incredibly wise woman of God who has been on the field a long time. Through her ministry of prayer, God spoke to me in one of the most real encounters I’ve had with Him for some time. He very tenderly ripped open some footholds where, by error of thought and attitude, I had opened myself up for spiritual warfare. We discovered that, though there were and still are some practical issues related to my ministry here that need to be dealt with, much of my attitude stemmed from much deeper root causes.

I rejoice to tell you that, as a result of releasing those burdens to Dad and receiving His perspective on many of those issues, I haven’t felt better spiritually since, and one week after our prayer meeting I signed my contract to stay at BAIS another year.

In the midst of such frenzy as I’ve described (many of those things being good yet still draining), I have to tell you that God has been so burdening my heart and shaping my concept of ministry here. Through some books that I read, along with a family conference that Courtney and I attended, my heart for disciple-making has multiplied tenfold. Above all that I do here, I want to make lifelong disciples of Jesus.

Though neither Courtney nor I know what the future holds, we are thankful and humbled that God would allow us to serve in this place, and that He has opened up the doors for us to stare here. May it never be that we leave a minute too soon before He calls us to leave or stay a minute longer than He would have!

Brothers and Sisters, your prayers for us are needed more than I can express. Courtney and I both fully trust our Father, and we know that, through the sickness stemming from sin in this world, He is drawing us closer to Him and each other. Please pray for us to glorify Him in the midst of sickness and that His power would be perfected in weakness.

Please pray for me as I continue to process and humbly seek God’s strength to not allow sin to reign in my flesh. The spiritual battle here is more intense than I can describe, and yet I would not trade the privilege of being able to serve on my King’s front lines. Please continue to lift up Courtney’s adjustment to being home. She’s doing an awesome job with language lessons and also discovering lots of ways she can serve here. Still, many have spoken into our lives about the experiences of last semester and provided perspective to say that we should not underestimate the amount of time she needs to rest and recover. Please also pray for my transition as a husband in general. In   my quiet time this morning I read again the words of Adam, “Finally! Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Finally! That is how I feel, and yet, so often I take my wife forgranted. What an amazing friend, companion, servant, teacher, counselor, and more that she is! We so desire to build our marriage on foundations of shining for Christ and pouring our lives out to others. Your prayers for us as we work through the nitty-gritty of that during our first year and the years to come are appreciated.

I’m sorry that I do not have time to write down specific stories of blessings and students as I usually do. My hope is that I can pick up from this point with my monthly updates and be able to share more accurately the works that He is doing here.

You are dear to both me and Courtney. May Yahweh bring you to new heights in your awareness of Him, love of Him, and service to Him.

Because of Christ,

Bryn Rice