My Sister-in-Law, Alisa Evans, passed away on October 11th this year after battling Brain Cancer for four months. She is a beautiful Christian woman who served others and made everyone she talked to feel as if they were her best friend. I say “she IS a beautiful Christian woman” because although she is no longer with us on this earth, she is alive and healthy and whole in heaven filled with the joy of being in the presence of Jesus. It was a blessing to know her while she was here on earth, but we shall see her again when we get to heaven.
Her spirit still lives on in us through her love and her example of serving others in this life.
Alisa has given her life as a servant of the Lord in her role as Executive Director with the non-profit organization, “Alive at Last“. This ministry helps women escape from human trafficking and offers them a new path in life. Here is a brief description of their ministry:
Alive at Last was founded in 2011 to offer hope to survivors of sexual exploitation by meeting emotional, relational and spiritual needs. We are equipping the community to understand the impact of trauma and how to engage those who have suffered abuse.
Alive at Last restores the exploited and ignites change in our culture. We stand with and give voice to women who have experienced horrific abuse and violence from a world willing to buy and sell human beings.
You can read more about Alive at Last here: LINK.
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
As part of Alisa’s holistic healing journey for cancer, she drank this natural mineral water from Evian. She drank a 750 ml bottle every day. What makes this water so special? From Evian’s own website here are the features of this special bottle of water:
- Naturally occurring electrolytes and minerals – including calcium, magnesium and potassium. This natural composition contributes to our cool crisp taste.
- Hydration from the French Alps – our water filters through enriching glaciers and rocks for 15 years before we bottle it.
- 7.2 pH – neutrally balanced pH.
- Glass bottles – the purest vessels with no negative influence on the water or the environment.
As I drink this water it doesn’t taste like any other water I have tasted. It’s not like tap water so heavily filled with chemicals it almost burns my lips. It’s not like filtered water I have tasted which although purified from chemicals through reverse osmosis, tastes like nothing.
This Evian water has a subtle velvety texture that is very pleasant, perhaps because of the minerals that are in the water. It is so pleasant that my mouth is watering now as I anticipate the next drink.
The water is not cheap. It is $60 for 12 bottles or $5 each. In comparison, I can buy a dozen bottles of Dasani water for $5 in plastic bottles.
The Samaritan Woman
Much like the exploited women that Alive at Last seeks to help, the Samaritan Woman was a woman that society of her day shunned. She was disgraced and downcast. She had been married 5 times and was living with the man she was with. And then she met Jesus…
(Source: The Chosen, Season 1, Episode 8)
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:1-26, he bypassed all of the social norms of the day. It was considered inappropriate for any man to talk to a woman who was not your wife or a close relative (mother, sister, aunt, etc.).
A Rabbi especially was not supposed to talk to women.
On top of that, the woman Jesus was talking to was a Samaritan. If you can imagine the most prejudiced person in your society, the Samaritans were below this in the minds of the average Jew. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37)? In that parable, for a Samaritan to show mercy on a Jew, was unheard of. Remember who avoided the wounded Jew in the story? A Priest and a Levite, both of whom were instructed by the Jewish Law to avoid touching dead bodies because they would be unclean and unfit for temple service. They put their own religious obligations above the well-being of a fellow Jew. And yet, a Samaritan, hated by Jews stops and helps the wounded man, bandaged his wounds, took him to an inn and paid for his care.
Why were Samaritans hated by the Jews? Samaritans were half-breeds. They were the Israelites from the 10 northern tribes of Israel who had been taken away by the Assyrians in northern Israel and ended up intermarrying with other nations and had some Jewish traditions, but their hybrid Jewish-pagan culture was not acceptable to the Jews conforming to the Mosaic Law in the south, in Judah and Jerusalem, and they worshiped God in the temple.
The Samaritans worshiped God in Sychar in the north.
In response to this Jesus said: “23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.“ (John 4:23-24)
What makes the living water of Christ so special?
- The eternal source – the living water of Christ is infused with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings us into the fellowship with the Father and Son and connects us to the help of God. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
- The High Cost – the living water of Christ came at the great cost of the death of Christ to pay for our sins –“knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
- Satisfaction – Nothing satisfies like Jesus! If you are dying of thirst in a desert do you want a cup of coffee? Do you want a Diet Coke? Do you want a glass of Orange Juice? NO! You want pure clean satisfying water! The pleasures of sin do not satisfy! Only Jesus can satisfy our thirst for eternal life! 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
- Clean Vessels – like the glass bottles that provide a pure vessel to hold the water, so too we need to present our bodies as clean vessels to be used by God. We do not need to be perfect. We need to be perfected through daily sanctification in Christ. “1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
As I finish up this bottle of natural mineral water, I am also reminded that water needs to be drunk every day to keep the health of my body in top shape.
And, although Alisa has moved on to her home in heaven, she is drinking from the living water that is flowing from the throne of God.
“1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:1-6)
To hear from Alisa on the mission of Alive at Last: