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Musings from Linda 6/21/24

Updated: Jun 21

When I was 6 years old, Miss Casey — our first grade schoolteacher — invited the whole class to attend her wedding at the church of St. Laurence O’Toole.  Not only was it my very first wedding, but also my first opportunity to go inside a church other than my own simple Congregational one.  What a surprise !  I had no idea that other church buildings had dark woodwork, stained glass windows, statues, lots and lots of candles — AND — “holy water.” 


I was fascinated to see people dipping their fingers into it and making a cross on themselves.   While we didn’t do that in our church, I HAD just seen our own minister dip his fingers into special water when he was baptizing a baby… so maybe we had holy water too?  What made the water HOLY, I wondered?  

 

As I grew older, I learned that - - - 

 

* the Old Testament spoke of using holy water in the tabernacle… 

* in Christianity, water blessed by a member of the clergy is a symbol of cleansing and purification — a means of removing varying types of uncleanness…

 * the spiritual power of that action invites Divine protection, hoping to keep evil spirits at bay…

 * in the New Testament, water became a sign of rebirth after Jesus’ baptism in  the river Jordan…

*  since Jesus referred to himself as a source of Living Water, WATER has also become a symbol of the Holy Spirit…


Then, I met Martha Wells Hoffman  — and my definition of “holy water” expanded!!!

 

 Martha’s incredible story of her personal calling to “make a difference”  led her to begin CALL TO CARE UGANDA — with the vision to provide clean water to the villages there.  

 

God created all human beings with a need for WATER to survive.  Therefore — every person on earth has the right to have access to clean water.  Martha learned that countless people in Uganda do NOT… 

 

In many villages, the women and girls arise before dawn to trudge for MILES, carrying their 5 gallon containers (often through dangerous territory) to the nearest source of water — and once they arrive, the water is often muddy, filthy and teeming with bacteria.

The girls have to spend their days getting this dirty water instead of going to school.  The water makes people sick.  But the next day, they walk again to get more dirty water…


Enter MARTHA  — with her vision of a different way of life! 

 

For a mere $7500, a borer well can be dug inside the village — pumping fresh water. 

 

Easy access to clean water! 

 

 Girls have time to go to school!

 

Women have time to work in cottage industries, using their talents and earning $!

 

Dramatic decrease in disease! 



Martha tells this story over and over (click here for a marvelous video telling that story!)  — to churches, to schools, community groups of all kinds — and people are moved to change lives by raising the money to dig wells. 

 

In the past year our little church in North Madison has raised the money for THREE wells! 


In my opinion, THIS WATER  IS HOLY…

And what has made it “holy” is  — LOVE. 


This Sunday, Martha Hoffman will be at church, bringing a most special guest from Uganda!  NMCC is honored to welcome Christopher Ochaloi, esteemed Director of Well Digging Operations; once the funds are raised for a well, Chris immediately goes to work to complete all the steps necessary to get the job done in the village which has been chosen to receive the well.  

 

LOVE, indeed!!! 

 

Martha’s love...  Chris’ love…  The love of countless donors who have enabled wells to be dug. The love of all who are now able to drink the clean water they deserve.

 

PLEASE join us on the knoll outside this Sunday to celebrate Martha and Chris! — and to hear our choir sing COME TO THE WATER (click here to listen) in their honor. 

 

💦💧💦     WATER  =  LOVE  =  HOLY    💦💧💦



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