Thursday, March 22, 2012

Clean Water Changes Everything #WorldWaterDay

I'm not one who is moved to tears easily. I'm not easily swayed by emotional appeals. I prefer a balance between emotion and reason.

So when something makes me cry, I pay attention. Because very often, God speaks to me through my tears.

Such was the case 3 years ago, as I learned of children around the world who die nameless, because their parents feel hopeless. Children who would probably be alive today if they could just drink clean water and wash their hands.

I don't know the exact reasoning why these children get a number rather than a name. Maybe their parents can't bear to name them until it looks like they will survive after all, or maybe the expectation of tragedy has worn them to such a defensive place that it just feels safer to their heart...

We just can't even comprehend that. Can't even fathom what that must be like. Here, we give names to miscarried children because it brings us a measure of comfort. It's part of our grieving and healing process.

Clean water has changed us. We have an expectation of life, rather than of death.

Three years ago today, I was looking forward to a weekend training experience with (LWI) Living Water International. It was fantastic. I learned how to teach health and hygiene in underdeveloped countries.

But more importantly, I learned how to go beyond merely helping people -- empowering them instead to change their own communities. We learned how to be facilitators who listen to and work in partnership with the community.

LWI doesn't just go in to a community, dig a well, and leave. They teach the community how to take care of their well pump and how to repair it. They show them how to make a tippy tap so they can wash their hands without wasting water. They teach life-saving health and hygiene practices themselves, but they also train members of the community how to teach hygiene as well.

The community leaders set the tone for which problems are addressed and how they are addressed. And as a result, the community is permanently transformed.

This is not just making a difference for one starfish while all the other starfish on the beach wither and die. This is huge. Charities like LWI are making a real difference for so many.

Just this month, the United Nations announced that 2 billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources over the last decade. That's a lot of people, people!!!!

I left my training weekend fully intending to go myself. But, well, I ate a bad salad, and yada yada yada.... Someday I will, and I'm praying hard about when...

Until then, I give to LWI confidently, knowing that every $10 provides one person clean drinking water for life. For life!!! 

You may not be able to go either right now. But you, too, can still make a difference.

I'm taking the clean water challenge. You can, too! Find out how...

-rg-


p.s. Are you taking the challenge or do you have a favorite charity? I'd love to hear about it!