Around three years ago the Student Ministry at West Ridge Church partnered with Engage Burkina to put a drilled well in the village of Fin in Burkina Faso. It’s a big village and is very important to the work we are doing to spread the gospel to people who have never before heard of Jesus. I’ve pumped water from that well. I’ve drank from it. I’ve prayed with Pastor Ezekiel and his wife. West Ridge Senior Pastor Brian Bloye and his wife Amy have exchanged gifts with this Bush Pastor and his family, and Brian has visited. Then our team hears that the well is broken down.
People in the village have been told that followers of Jesus brought water to the village. The well came from Jesus because He loves them and wants them to experience His living water. When a well breaks down so does the message. What we have here is a case of ‘Broken Down Jesus’.
There are thousands of wells all over West Africa and the rest of the third world that are broken down. Many of them were drilled by faith based groups who helped meet the needs of people in dire need of clean water. That doesn’t communicate the truth that there is a God who desires to have a personal relationship with people. It communicates that God was here once. Then he left and never came back.
As Christ-followers when we lose faith, hold onto bitterness instead of practicing forgiveness, and demonstrate outwardly that there is no real difference in believing in Jesus versus anything else, the message your life should communicate breaks down. We have to allow God to repair us so that we can be useful again. None of us want those who are seeking to see a ‘broken down Jesus’.
The village witch doctor and Fin has tried to use the broken down well to draw people to his message.
When I’m wearing my non-profit director hat, I’m not content to know that money that was spent by a donor or a partner is now being wasted.
So we fix the well. It’s a $1,000 repair. We will take the opportunity to upgrade some of the material in the well, and we will demonstrate that Jesus wasn’t just here once and then he left. He’s still present. He’s still here. These people still matter. Jesus is not broken.