Drinking Dirty Ditch Water

Written by Brian Thomson

One day I was riding with a vanload of people in south DR Congo. The vehicles there are always packed full. Even if a vehicle is an 18-passenger van, the pastors keep inviting people for a van ride and crowd in 25 to 30 people.

As we were driving along to our next meeting, I was shocked to see a young boy in a ditch beside the road. He was scooping YELLOW WATER out of the ruts of the ditch with a small plastic cup.

I asked the van driver to stop, but he didn't understand the English word ‘stop,’ and he kept driving. I shouted louder "STOP" and slammed my hand on the dash to get attention. Then the interpreter translated "stop” in Swahili. We backed up and my interpreter and I spoke to the boy. What a shock to see him collecting water to take home to his family.

I heard the Holy Spirit say this verse to me: "But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (I John 3:17)

Another way to view this verse is that if we see a need and pass by, the LOVE OF GOD is not in our hearts!

I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying to me that if I kept driving and didn't help this boy, then God's love was not in my life.

Wow, was I ever convicted!

We had some new water bottles in the van that we gave to the boy, and I instructed the pastor who lived nearby to help the situation with a little money and find a way for the boy to get better water to drink. 

That moment was a key moment in my life where God pushed me to help more and more children. I can never get that image out of my mind. It was a signal from God for me to start helping children in DR Congo. He was the first child that we helped in that country and because I obeyed and stopped, I believe the Lord opened the nation of DR Congo for us to now help thousands and thousands of children. 

I found out years later that after we gave the boy water and drove away, he had started running after our van. He ran and ran until he found where we stopped to have an outdoor event to help a new church. When asked, he remembers hearing my sermon that day. He said that I spoke on “Love God, love people, love life”. He started attending our Home Church and came every week for our Saturday feeding project.

Hearing this news made me so emotional and so thankful that we stopped to help him.

Here is an updated picture of Ahadi, nine years later.

We all need to be ready, even today, for the Holy Spirit to motivate us to help someone. He wants to use us. Maybe that looks like a word of encouragement or telling someone about Jesus. Maybe it's sponsoring an orphan or getting involved with a local charity. Acts of love could change a person’s life forever.

Are you ready to listen and obey?


Sponsor the Feeding Program

Isn't it amazing that the boy chased the van and started attending the Feeding Program? This is just ONE story - think of the other 4000 children in the program. Make the difference for these kids. $1/plate