Water is a wonderful commonality

Ken & Betty Frank - Turkey Too often religions divide and separate people rather than bring them together. Yet water, in the form of a well or a spring, has a way of bringing people together...

Too often religions divide and separate people rather than bring them together. Yet water, in the form of a well or a spring, has a way of bringing people together...

When Abraham sent his servant to Abraham’s homeland to find a wife for his son Isaac, he found Rebekah at the well or spring (Gen. 24:13ff). Jesus met the Samaritian woman also at a well or spring (John 4:14) and asked her for a drink. This surprised her. The Bible tells us that Jews did not share things in common with Samaritians Yet we all need water no matter what our religion, tribe or nation.

In Turkey sacred springs are called ayazma. These are often ancient places – going back before Christianity or Islam. Perhaps they were once the shrine of a mother goddess. The ayazma waters are clean and sometimes believed to be able to cure sickness. In Turkey churches were often built in places where there is an ayazma. Ken and Betty Frank, missionaries in Turkey, are inspired by such places because people from different religious traditions go to these places, whether churches or mosques, for a drink of clean and curative water, and to ask God for help. Women especially seem to go to an ayazma. An especially famous one is “Mary’s House” near Ephesus.

One guide for showing God’s love to a person of another religious tradition is to find something in common. Water is a wonderful commonality.

The World Peace Prayer
Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth.
Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust.
Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts, our minds, our universe.

Elizabeth Frank
Ken & Betty Frank serve as missionaries with the American Board in Istanbul, Turkey.  They share the job of General Secretary of the American Board.  They also serve on the board of the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP).