Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” John 4:13-15
When you visit a poverty-stricken community, the first thing you notice is also the most obvious thing. They can’t afford anything. In many parts of the world, people have grown so poor that they really can’t even afford to eat. Their voices are silent.
How we can help them? Whatever we decide to do, the results need to be sustainable.
Jesus’ whole concept was sustainment. Think about when Jesus was at the well with the Samaritan woman. He told her, “I’ve got water that will allow you to never thirst again.” This was incredible news to the Samaritan woman. She couldn’t believe that she would never thirst again! Sustainment is such a novel concept to someone who is thirsty all the time. But you look at that story, and you see how Jesus thinks.
I think Jesus sees a group of poor kids and says, “I’m tired of watching them wrap up trash bags into little balls and kick them around. I want to give them something that’s going to last. If they drink of the water I give them, they will never thirst.” So I think one of the things He’d give them is a soccer ball.
If you give poor children a soccer ball that pops in two days, they’ll continue to thirst for a toy. They can’t place a quick order by phone or pop down to the store for a replacement.
So you give them an indestructible soccer ball. That way they don’t have to keep re-wrapping trash bags just so they’ll have a toy. They don’t have to try to make something they need that’s just not there. The One World Futbol is always going to be around. No matter what you do to it, it holds its form. The only way you can destroy it is to tear it up.
Obviously a soccer ball is not going to ever take the place of Jesus, but it’s sustainment. It’s a ball that children can play with for a long, long time. It provides them with a consistent, long-lasting ability to dream. This is sustainment.
Imagine giving children something better than a trash bag to play with. Imagine being the first person to introduce them to a One World Futbol. You wouldn’t have to explain it to them. You could just show them. Imagine it! You bring them a ball, and you kick it into barbed wire, or you take a knife and slash it right in front of them. They’ll expect it to pop. Instead, it holds its form. They can still play with it. They will be so excited, you know?
And the amazement on their faces, man, it just feels so good! You and I see this soccer ball and we say, “Oh, that’s cool!” But for these kids, it’s not that plain and simple. For these kids, it’s something mind-boggling. They feel so much joy and so much peace because someone cared enough to give them a ball that will never pop.
I’m just in awe that there are people in our communities thinking about things like that. And I think that’s what Jesus would support. If He saw a group of people that invented an indestructible soccer ball strictly because they wanted to help poor children have fun, then He would be involved. So that’s why I’m involved. Because sustainment is Good News! See you Saturday.