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floor ecumenical center chapel

On the floor of the chapel of the Ecumenical Center, in Geneva, Switzerland, architect Erik Möller and interior designer Otto Senn created a mosaic on the theme of the waters of baptism, so that visitors symbolically “pass through the waters” as they come to pray together.

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The prayers offered several water voices” from previous authors of the Lenten reflections—including Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC central committee, and Metropolitan Dr Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, moderator of the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism.

Abuom recalled her childhood days growing up in Africa. In this reflection, I seek to paint the picture of feminization of water poverty in Africa. Across the continent, hundreds of millions of rural and the urban-poor women are experiencing adverse effects of the water crisis. Water poverty is manifested in various forms, including lack of sufficient available water; poor accessibility to clean, safe water and proper sanitation; time loss in fetching water; the risk of disease water-related infectious diseases and the resultant deaths.”

She continued: As a young girl, I was brought up in a rural area in Western Kenya where we had no tapped water. Every day, we used to fetch water using pails on our heads from the nearby river for our domestic use. In the afternoons, we used to drive our fatherscattle to the same river to drink water. During my high school and college life, I went to the city where water was piped, in abundance and accessible. We could bath as many times as we wanted, wash our clothes and swim. During my schooling in Sweden, water was everywhere—in pipes (hot and cold), in pools, in rivers in lakes and in the sea.”

The WCC Ecumenical Water Network invites you to use the season of Lent to reflect on Gods gift of water. Please subscribe to receive the weekly Lenten reflections on water justice. 

Learn more about the WCC-EWN Lenten campaign

Read Dr Agnes Abuoms full reflection