The Sycharwell Project is inspired by the story of a woman, I call her Jessica, who lived in a hot country and had to go to the well to fetch water. The well was at the junction of three roads. One day about, mid day, she arrived at the well to find a traveller sitting there having a rest. She did not expect him to talk to her, as he looked as if he might be one of the people who had strong religious objections to talking to women. He was probably on pilgrimage to the city.
“Will you give me a drink of water?” he asked her.
Jessica joshed him for asking her, reminding him that his people thought themselves above her kind. The snub might have caused offence, but he seemed to take it as an invitation to have a deeper conversation. Soon they were talking about the things that meant most to her in her life, the things that really made her bubble up with joy. They each refreshed themselves with the water, and he drew out her conversation, as she had drawn out the water. She told him about her four previous husbands, and the man who she was now living with, who was not her husband.
No one else had come to the well while they talked, but now his travelling companions were returning from the village with food. They would be having something to eat before they moved on. She rushed off home and, calling all her neighbours, said “Come and see”. She had found Jesus.