Watergen is an Israeli company whose atmospheric water generator (AWG) pulls water from the air and turns it into clean drinking water. The machine can make as much as 800 liters (211 gallons) of water per day. The machine needs only solar panels to fuel itself.
Now the company is donating an AWG to a neighborhood in Gaza.
“Responding in accordance with our belief that every human being has a fundamental right to clean drinking water, we are helping some of Israel’s next-door neighbors gain access to fresh water, a resource that is lacking in Gaza,” the company said in a statement.
Gaza’s main water source is its coastal aquifer, but over-extraction is rapidly depleting it. Pollution and seawater have corrupted the aquifer as well; only 4 percent of its water is safe to drink.
Israel’s Avara Institute for Environmental Studies and the Palestinian NGO Damour for Community Development have teamed with Watergen to provide the machine.
The Avara Institute director said, “The introduction of Watergen into Gaza is not only a proof of concept for a cutting edge technology but a proof of concept that Palestinians and Israelis can do more than launch attacks at each other. We can, instead, work together to improve lives, solve humanitarian problems, build trust, and restore hope.”
Being a conduit rather than a container of blessing
I have led more than thirty study tours to the Middle East. Each time, I am impressed by the desire of the Palestinians and Israelis I meet to work together for the common good. In my experience, the political extremes that tend to dominate the news do not represent the broad middle. Watergen’s AWG is just one example of such intention.
Israel was always intended to be a force for global good. When the Lord called Abraham to follow him, he promised: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). The Lord called Israel to be a conduit of his work in the nations rather than a container of his favor.
Unfortunately, there were times in Israel’s history when they turned from their global calling.
The Jewish people faced generations of persecution by Gentiles, beginning with slavery in Egypt and continuing through subjugation by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. As a result, some developed a theology of condemnation, concluding that Gentiles were “unclean” and unworthy of community with God’s chosen people.
Jesus broke down all such barriers with his ministry to Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles. He commissioned his followers to make disciples of all “nations,” literally all “ethnicities” (Matthew 28:19).
As a result, we know that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Now it’s our turn to be a conduit rather than a container of God’s blessing to the world. We can focus on ourselves, or we can focus on those we are to serve with the grace we have received. We can promote ourselves, or we can promote our Lord.
John said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
How will you imitate him today?