Stirring the Waters

Women in Church and Society (WICAS) Asian Regional Consultation
17-22 April 2006 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Keeping track of our discussions and meetings, and keeping others in the LWF Youth Consultation up-to-date.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Profile: 'No more Coke for me!'

Rev. Selma (Shu-Chen) Chen
The Lutheran Church of Taiwan (Republic of China), LWF Council member

After learning at the 'Stirring the Waters' Regional Conference for Asia that the Coca Cola company uses 12 litres of fresh water to make one litre of Coke, Rev. Selma (Shu-Chen) Chen decided not to drink Coke again.

Selma is related in an organization which is working to overcome the problems of water. She is attending this consultation in order to gain more knowledge about water-related problems. In particular, she feels she can gain a lot of insights from the Indian and Nepalese participants, because their countries have been forced to respond to these issues for many years.

By contrast, in her own church there has been little discussion about water, so Selma had little knowledge about the problems. For her, 'water was just water', and she hadn't thought much else about it. But now she wants to learn about privatization of water and how the churches are responding to this disturbing development. She wants to raise this issue at the next LWF Council meeting.

The cultivation of rice, an important food crop around Selma's region, is dependent on the regular supply of water. But poor rainfall during the summer has reduced the amount of available water in the dam, and cultivated land downstream is drying up.

Selma wants to make the people of her church more aware of water-related problems. She thinks that Christians have concentrated on the theological dimension of water, but have not linked it to real-life situations where people are dependent on the regular supply of water for their life and livelihood. 'For me, water is essential for body, mind and spirit,' says Selma.

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