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Advent calendar 2023 - 14 December

School children climbing to collect water before the new pump and pipeline was installed.

The poor and needy ask for water, and there is none, their tongue is parched with thirst. I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

Isaiah 41:17

The prophet Isaiah paints a beautiful picture of restoration and healing for people and creation. God answers the call of those who thirst and the dry wastelands become places of plenty. 

Water is basic to human survival; needed not only for drinking but also for sanitation, healthcare, industry and agriculture. Yet around 2 billion people worldwide are without access to safely-managed drinking water, and 3.6 billion people lack access to sanitation.  

School children from Junamina Primary school in Zimbabwe faced a long walk and steep climb up and down a rocky canyon to access water. In the summer, when temperatures can rise over 380C, some suffered from dehydration. Difficulty in maintaining safe sanitation led to the spread of illness.

Fortunately, the community, with support from Caritas Hwange, CAFOD and UNICEF, have been able to install a new pumping system and pipeline.

School teacher Mr Mukini says: “We are so elated that finally we are having water from taps and at our school. We are no longer walking long distances with buckets on our heads. I never thought this would happen in my lifetime – but it has finally happened."

Let us pray that, together with our sisters and brothers, we may bring about God’s vision of hope for a world transformed.

Advent prayer

God of blessings, 
may your love flow through us. 
Together may we reshape the world, 
so that the thirst for water, 
and for justice, is satisfied. 


Find family prayer ideas on the theme of water for busy parents to share with their children on our website. Share them with the people you know who are parents