Well, I failed. I had the date for “World Water Day” in my mind as March 28th. It was in fact, March 22nd, and that day has passed. I’ve been mulling it over in my mind and with sparse internet during the day, I frankly thought I had more time. But do you know what? The world water crisis isn’t something that nearly 1 BILLION people around the world think about once every year. No, it’s a life threatening problem that is a harsh reality for them every single day, which leaves over 3.5 MILLION of those people dead every year.
It’s been almost seven years since my husband asked me to marry him. I knew it was going to be that day. He was going home for the summer and it was the very last possible day that he had available to ask me before he went home. I got my nails done the day before so the pictures of the new, sparkly ring on my hand would look extra special. On our car ride up to the mountains, David was so nervous and excited that all he drank that entire day was a big gulp of Pepsi. We ate lunch at a beautiful mountain lodge. Then, we took a walk together in which he sprinted ahead of me up a mountain top to scout out a location and be sure it would be the most gorgeous scenic spot to ask his future bride to marry him. He asked, I said yes. It was magical.
Until 15 minutes later. He came down with a horrific migraine. The source? We determined he was dehydrated from lack of water. In fact, we analyzed it further in the days to come and determined that most of the migraines he had suffered from in his life were from dehydration. I drove us home, disappointed that my new fiancee was unable to drive us and to beam and dream with me as I had always pictured in my head. Ashamedly, I didn’t hide my disappointment either. But from that day forward, I became his hydration specialist.
People laugh at us when they see our buggies full of water bottles at the grocery store. But we take our hydration seriously. The two of us alone pound through a 24 bottle pallet of spring water about every day and a half. And when we’re running low on money, we tend to get extremely nervous that we won’t have enough cash to meet our hydration needs.
But we still have options even when our cash runs out.
There’s always McDonalds. Or the public water fountain. Or a friend’s sink.
But for millions upon millions of people, there are no options.
More than 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. But for more people than I could count in an hour, there is not even 1 drop that is safe to drink.
We Americans flench at our children picking up germs from a water fountain down the hall from their classroom. But did you know that 443 million hours of school are lost annually by children affected by the results of contaminated water?
I keep my water pallets in my shopping cart and ask the cashier to use her scanner gun to scan them so I don’t have to lift them again and then I make my husband bring them in one by one as needed because I find them too heavy. But did you know that worldwide, women and girls spend over 200 million hours collecting water?
I’ve been to some of the places on this earth where it was unsafe to drink the water. We made do with our one liter bottles of fresh water while the natives sipped their murky, boiled water from tin cups.
There’s much to be done to make their water run clear, pure, and fresh like ours.
I can’t help but think of Jesus and the woman at the well. She was one of those women who invested her hours into searching down pure water for her household. In an unheard of cultural and gender exchange for her day, she, a Samaritan Woman, had a conversation with Jesus, a Jewish Man, as she drew from the well.
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” John 4:13-15
The reality of this life is that some people are thirsting to death both physically and spiritually. The fact is that if we don’t first give them a cup of clean water, they will never know of the living water that will quench their soul’s thirst.
But what can we do to help?
Pray of course. That’s the most powerful thing we can do.
But we can also use our voices and our resources to advocate for those who are too parched to cry for a cup of cold, clean water.
Claire Riss of World Help tells us what clean water means to those who still need it around the world…
“Clean, available water means children spend less time battling water-related sicknesses or collecting water, and more time in school. It means healthier agriculture and livestock for families who depend on them to survive. It means a stronger economy, an opportunity for development, and the pathway out of poverty.This year, World Help is diving deeper into our commitment to provide clean, safe, drinking water. Through our clean-water initiative, causelife, we have built and implemented hundreds of clean-water wells, filtration systems, holding tanks, and pipelines around the world. “
Causelife parters with ministries that are led by people with boots on the ground in many of the areas affected by thirst and unclean water around the world to determine what the needs are and how they can best be met.
Some of their price points include:
· Shallow well – $5,000
· Deep-bore well – $15,000
· $45 provides clean water to 3 people
Each of us can’t individually meet the needs of ALL of the billion people that are being affected by the world water crisis. The cost is great. But together, we can make a huge dent to give a cup of clean water in Jesus’ name. Won’t you join me in using your voice and resources to bring clean water to people who are thirsty and to give them a fighting chance to hear of the living water as well?
Let’s work together to Causelife instead of death.