They come to my city from distant lands – Homelands. Their reasons, many and varied – most, too heartrending to ponder.
They arrive parched – a desiccation born of dearth and death. Thirst knows no race, class, religion, or language. It knows only burning need for a well of hope from which to dip.
The ache of a woman, isolated in a strange new residence and unable to connect to life-giving resources, drowns in unanswered questions. She holds no words to pose them, and no near ear to hear her broken attempts. She thirsts at the well of understanding.
The profound pain of parents daily delivering their children into the hands of strangers who struggle to teach and to reach these children who hear only indistinct sound, and see the blank stare of confusion. Parents, unable to engage, thirst at the well of advocacy.
The fatigued fret of the soul weak with illness who has no visible path to wellness. The one whose world is silent, limited, and invisible. This soul thirsts at the well of wellbeing.
The yearning of a man to make known his skills, let alone make use of them to provide as he once did. To make known his intent to be self-sufficient. To be quickly found to be hardworking and capable. He thirsts at the well of opportunity.
The deep craving of the foreigner to make known their honorable intentions. To prove they are grateful and giving; loving and fun-loving; brave and tender. They thirst at the well of accurate perception.
They arrive parched from a common thirst – a thirst ready to be quenched in a city flowing with Water for Ishmael.
In Genesis 21:14-20, we read of Hagar and her son Ishmael, who were sent to the desert to die. God heard the boy crying from thirst, and He provided a well from which to drink. Water for Ishmael is named for this scripture passage. WFI’s intent is to quench the thirst of the “strangers in the desert,” by following the instructions of Leviticus 19:34: “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”