I truly believe that people who have the means should give to those who do not in a show of love. I also believe this should be voluntary and not forced, so that it is done out of love and not resentment, because when you give out of love, you will find yourself blessed for your sacrifice.
In the U.S. and many other developed nations, we tend to take for granted what may be seen as luxuries to many others in our world.
Like clean water.
So now I am advocating for one of my favorite causes, Charity:water, an organization I found completely by chance and on accident.
My husband and I were on the programming team at our church, epic, and we were planning for a series called “Poured Out,” which in essence was about pouring out God’s love all over. In searching for possible videos to use in context with this lesson, we came across this video and immediately wanted to have our church take on the fundraising to build a well, though nothing like this had been on our radars prior to that moment.
We played the video in church, filled empty water bottles with dirty water to display at church, and set up a link from our website for people to give donations toward this cause. We encouraged people to give $20, which many did. The goal to meet for building a well was $5,000, an enormous amount of money for one small church to raise. I remember that as we grew close to our deadline we still had far to go to actually raise the amount for one well. Then it happened. An anonymous giver provided half the goal in one donation, putting us over the top for our total goal to help epic church donate a well. I was driving to a doctor’s appointment when Robert called me to let me know, and I almost had to pull off the road because tears were filling up my eyes and I was so emotional. It was an exciting and beautiful experience.
Then we had to wait. With the dangers of civil wars where our well was to be built and the devastation in Haiti, which came soon after we raised this money, our project was put on hold. Every once in a while, we would remember and Robert would check to see if anything was happening. Then, just before Thanksgiving this year, he checked it again, and our well had been built! The completion date was listed as October 2012.
It is in the village of Aragudi in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where many for which it provides once had to walk up to two hours just to retrieve 5 liters of water from contaminated sources. Now it only takes these people an average of fifteen minutes… and the 15 liters of water they can now get is purified. These people take so much pride and care for their well that they even decided to build a stone wall around it, with a door, in order to keep animals out and from contaminating their water, their life source. They each pay in a small amount to maintain this well, which helps them to feel a pride for contributing to this wonderful water provider.
It’s exciting to know that halfway around the world, in a different hemisphere, a well our church provided helps give life to a group of people we may never even meet, not on Earth anyway. I cannot fathom how the simple act of providing clean drinking water has improved the quality of life for an entire village of 357 people.
I still do not know who the anonymous donor was who gave us the boost to be able to provide that well, but I pray he or she is blessed in knowing lives have been changed for the better because of this selfless donation.
Ephesians 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.