'A Reflection' 



From the service on 9 May

Christian Aid week



A Reflection from Kim Topham



Last year we had a new kitchen installed. Now that sounds lovely doesn’t it, but wait! The builders arrived and took out all of the cupboards and work surfaces. They removed the cooker, fridge, lights, plug sockets, piping, ceiling and most of the floor. They carried out the work quickly and efficiently. But, two days later, we went into full lockdown and they didn’t come back. So, I was left with a very large, but very empty kitchen. There were five adults with no taps or sink, nothing to cook on, nowhere to refrigerate milk or butter etc and we had to stay in.


Luckily, we could get water from another room, and when the builders finally returned and they had to turn the water off for the day, we managed to fill up containers with water so we could make the obligatory cups of tea.


So, why am I telling you all about my new kitchen, which is lovely by the way? Well, it’s because it made me aware of how lucky I am, to have the amenities I have. If water doesn’t come out of one tap, I simply try another tap. I only had to walk a few steps into another room to find a source of water in my house. If I want water now, all I have to do is move my wrist ever so slightly and I get hot, cold or with a little more effort – boiling water.


There’s a lady who lives in Kenya, her name is Rose, she doesn’t have a tap, she doesn’t have a well, she doesn’t even have a stream nearby. She has to walk miles to collect water, several time a day. Due to climate change, the land which used to sustain Rose and her family as a child is now in either constant drought or flooded by intense rain, because it does rain in Kenya, but it all comes at once! This vital resource just washes away because they have no way to collect it. Having no reliable source of water means Rose and her grandchildren go thirsty, they cannot grow crops for food and their animals grow weak.


Now, there is another lady in Kenya called Florence, she is a widow and bringing up her children on her own. But Florence’s story is so different to Rose’s. With money donated to Christian Aid and with the help of their partner, ADSE – Anglican Development Services East – her community have built a water dam to enable them to have a reliable water source, even during the hardest drought. She grows crops, feeds her family, cares for her animals and doesn’t have to make the dangerous journey to fetch water each day. Still no tap, but she’s as happy as Larry!


This Christian Aid week, we are very far removed from the plights concerning Rose and Florence. Even my very short time without my beloved kitchen tap, pales into insignificance against the struggles of the people of Kenya and many other surrounding countries. But in Christ we are one, even though Kenya is over 4000 miles away, Rose is my neighbour. As I love Christ, I should also love Rose. Last week we heard how Christ is the true vine and we are all connected to him and need to stay so to bear fruit. This week we hear that we must love each other and be on an equal footing, as Christ has made us his friends, we also must be friends with all people.


We cannot go to Kenya to help Rose and many like her, but we can make donations so that Christian Aid can work on our behalf. By this act we are bearing fruit and showing our love for one another. I hope the next time you or I turn on our taps, it is with a sense of pride that we helped a lady in Kenya to have access to a reliable, safe source of water just like us. Amen.