This post is the eleventh in a series on God’s Story, the Foundation for FH’s Work in Relief and Development. Follow the series, starting with the first post.
Joseph and Evelyn discovered that they could have clean water using natural materials that could be found in nature. In the couple’s community in the Philippines, finding and maintaining a clean water source has always been a struggle. But when Food for the Hungry (FH) began to work in their community, they learned about biosand filters, which use sand to filter out pathogens in drinking water.
Evelyn commented to FH staff, “I saw it with my eyes. It’s really amazing! Also, I don’t have to buy it–the materials can be found in the environment. I will share this with my neighbors.”
Evelyn did share it with her neighbors. She became part of the Neighborhood Circle program, through which community members share development ideas with their neighbors.
Evelyn and her husband discovered biosand water filters through Food for the Hungry (FH). They decided to share the idea with all of their neighbors.
Clean Water Is God’s Plan
When Evelyn and Joseph committed themselves to work for the good of their community, they were following a plan that God set in motion thousands of years ago.
In Genesis 3:15, God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” In other words, God was declaring that a descendant of Eve would triumph over the evil one. That descendant is Jesus.
In an earlier post, we saw that the Fall instigated all human brokenness. Dirty water is part of the physical brokenness that has been a reality since Adam and Eve broke God’s commands. We also saw that God had a plan to reconcile all things to Himself–including mankind’s relationship with their physical environment–through Jesus.
When Joseph and Evelyn received the gift of clean water, they experienced a taste of the “reconciliation of all things” (Colossians 1:19-20) that God promised through Jesus. In fact, that’s the way things should have been from the beginning.
God’s Plan Includes You
When Jesus left the earth, He committed the work of reconciliation to His followers. He told them to “make disciples of all nations,” teaching them everything He had commanded them. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Likewise, Paul said that Jesus’ followers are to be ambassadors of reconciliation.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an ambassador is “an official envoy” or “an authorized messenger.” In this passage, Paul is saying that Christ’s followers are to be ambassadors, or messengers, of God’s message of reconciliation.
God’s reconciliation includes not only spiritual aspects but also physical, social and mental reconciliation. His ambassadors are those who share the entire message.
- An ambassador is one who brings social reconciliation by pursuing justice and human kindness.
- Ambassadors seek spiritual reconciliation by telling their neighbors how they can receive Christ.
- They catalyze mental, emotional or intellectual reconciliation by recognizing the image of God in everyone they meet, and treating them as such.
- They encourage physical reconciliation by showing others that God’s plan is not poverty and disease, but abundance and health.
All aspects of God’s reconciliation are important. When we omit any part, we miss the whole message. Rather, when we share the hope that God is reconciling all of these relationships to Himself, we show the scope of His plan.
Water innovations in the community have led to children having safe drinking water, thanks to ambassadors of reconciliation like Evelyn and Joseph.
Evelyn committed to share clean water innovations with her neighbors. As a result, she was living out God’s true purpose for her. Above all, His plan was that members of Evelyn and Joseph’s community would discover that He is reconciling all things–even their relationship with water–to Himself through Christ.
Moreover, whether the message of reconciliation starts through Bible study or water filters, God receives the praise and sets His plan in motion. If you talk to an FH staff member for any length of time, you’ll discover that they consider all things spiritual. They have watched communities discover God’s love in myriad ways. For instance, sometimes it’s through church services. Just as often, it’s through a child learning she has a purpose. A man experiencing kindness from a neighbor. Or a couple discovering biosand water filters.
How about you? Where has God placed you as a unique ambassador to deliver the message of the reconciliation of all things?
Today, consider how you can communicate God’s truth of physical, spiritual, social and mental reconciliation.
Follow the God’s Story series:
- The Story That Matters Most
- How Clean Water Reveals the Kingdom of God
- Transformation Is Better Than Development
- “How” Is More Important Than “What”
- History is About Reconciliation
- God’s Character Matters
- You Look Like Your Father
- Peace and the Natural World
- The Fall Changed Everything
- Jesus at the Center