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Synod of Living Waters

Living Waters for the World in Cuba: Building a Bridge over Walls

June 2, 2016

Desmond Tutu has said that the sea is really only drops of water that have come together. Over the years, Living Waters for the World (LWW) has certainly learned the power of coming together in partnership for sustainable water for a generation. LWW, a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters, trains partners to work together in covenant to provide communities with a source of clean water by utilizing a simple, affordable water treatment system. While many people hear about LWW from a news article or a volunteer engaged with the mission, some first come to know about LWW by tasting the water for themselves and seeing a water partnership in action.

This has certainly been the case in Cuba. In June 2009 the first LWW water system was installed at the theological seminary in Matanzas. Since then, visitors from around the world have filled their water bottles at the seminary, side by side with members of the community who come through the gates to get the water they need for the day.

This emphasis on partnership has called for added perseverance on the part of congregations working together in Cuba, where decades of broken relations between US and Cuban governments made visits and even communication difficult. It hasn’t taken long for the good news to spread far and wide in Cuba and the United States, however, and more than 35 water partnerships have been established between US and Cuban congregations. These partnerships represent many denominations working together, including Presbyterians, Catholics, Baptists, Quakers, and Adventists. Partners have shared how the experience of sitting down around a table and talking about how to provide clean water for all of God’s children has been mutually transformative. The coming together has left the participants better than before. Dr. Reinerio Arce, past rector and president of the seminary in Matanzas, has shared that these water partnerships are a witness that we believe in the Water of Life, that we are the bridge over the walls our governments have built. May it be so.

Kendall R. Cox, Director of Education, Living Waters for the World

Let us join in prayer for

Synod Staff

Terry Newland, Synod Executive

LWW Staff

Steve Young, Executive Director
Jeff Wagner, Director of Operations
Kendall Cox, Director of Education
Jennifer Zehnder, Director of Development
Carie Turner, Financial Administrator

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Mindi Stivers, PMA
Brenda Stoney, PMA

The following video montage consists of pictures from our water partners around the world. The song “Thirst for Life” was written for Living Waters for the World by Ken Barker and Sam Dial. Words and Music: Copyright © Lifeway Songs & Living Waters for the World, 2014. Permission is given for free local use of this hymn to congregations that support Living Waters for the World:

For more information on how to get involved:

Let us pray

God, we know that you always desire the best. Please help us to desire the same. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 143; 147:12-20
First Reading Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:3
Second Reading Galatians 3:1-14
Gospel Reading Matthew 14:13-21
Evening Psalms 81; 116

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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