"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For when I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?' " And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'
(One of my all time favorites)
Before I tell my story I want to give you....
A few quick water facts....
- 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world's population (WHO-UNICEF)
- 1.8 million children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. This amounts to around 5000 deaths a day. (UNDP)
- The simple act of washing hands with soap and clean water can reduce diarrheal diseases by an average of 40% (UNICEF)
- Water-related diseases is the second biggest killer of children world wide, after acute respiratory infections like tuberculosis. (UNDP)
- The weight of water women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads and backs is commonly 40 pounds, the same average airport luggage allowance.
- Intestinal worms infect about 10% of the population of the developing world. Intestinal parasitic infections can lead to malnutrition, anaemia and stunted growth. (WHO)
- 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases (UNDP)
- 11% more girls attend school when sanitation is available (DFID)
- Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task. (DFID)
A few quick water usage facts...
- The average North American uses 400 liters of water a day. European uses 200. (UNDP)
- The average person in the developing world uses 10 liters of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. (WSSCC)
- On current trends over the next 20 years humans will use 40% more water than they do now. (UNEP)
- Agriculture accounts for over 80% of the world's water consumption. (UNEP)
If you read all of those... Bless you!! Clean water is something I personally take for granted every day. I am guilty of leaving the kitchen sink water running while I walk to the other side of the kitchen to grab something or put something away. I am guilty of leaving my bathroom sink running while I am brushing my teeth or fixing the kids hair. When I could simply fill up a squirt bottle and spritz their hair as I need to instead of wasting water. I am guilty of filling the bath tub too full, or taking really long showers, or letting the kids play with the water hose in the back yard for too long. I am guilty of a lot of waste. Though I have always been intrigued with the water movements, I had never truly felt convicted of it until we went to Ethiopia for the first time. Not being able to brush your teeth with the water from the sink or open your mouth in the shower or not being able to walk to the kitchen sink to get a little drink from the RO spout was a personal eye opener. I have always been sensitive to water movements in Africa and other developing countries. Charity Water has always had a soft spot in my heart as well as Living Water and other ministries that focus on bringing water wells and clean water to communities in developing countries. But once you have actually been to one of these countries and you see children washing clothes in a ditch of filthy water and you see children asking you for the drink you are carrying in your hand, it breaks your heart.
Another thing I have been guilty several times is saying... I just don't like to drink water. It doesn't taste good and its boring. My oldest son refuses to drink his clean sink water and my youngest tells me that water is yucky and it makes him throw up. Where as my daughter chugs her clean water and asks for it about 5,000 times a day. We take water for granted. I cannot even begin to tell you how many half full water bottles I have thrown away in the past because I didn't know how long it had been opened. Perfectly good water.
So as a result of feeling convicted on my lack of gratitude for simple things like fresh, clean, crisp water, I have been asking God to help me be intentional about conserving water and for him to bring more awareness to my mind of the severity of the global water crisis. I have done a lot of research on water and the lack of water globally. I have read countless blogs about the devastating effects of dirty water and simple solutions to bring these people clean water. I wanted to be involved. During my research I found this amazing mission. blood:water mission.
blood:water mission focuses on both the HIV/AIDS crisis and the water crises hence the name blood:water. Unclean water can have devastating and fatal effects on people who carry the HIV virus. Clean water is essential for them to survive and live out their daily lives. Blood:water has built 3 clinics in Africa for HIV infected people 34,689 people have been tested and 11,096 have been served. They have 1,036 water projects, have served 632,670 people in 11 countries. In just 6 years. This amazes me.
I immediately fell in love with this mission and what they stand for. So, I knew I wanted to get involved. blood:water has a 40 day water only mission beginning today February 22 and it ends April 7th. The idea of this mission is to give up everything you drink except water. No morning (or if your like me afternoon) coffee, no tea, no soda, no orange juice, nothing but WATER. You are to keep track of every time you chose water over a different beverage and how much that beverage would have cost you. At the end of the 40day mission you total up the amount of money you would have spent on other drinks and you donate it to blood:water mission to drill water wells and to maintain current wells. I am really excited about this challenge. It is a way for me to be hands on in making a difference without simply writing a check or putting a on hard hat, trekking out to an African field and drilling a water well. I have to give up something that I love (I love yummy drinks) in order to provide clean water for someone else.
A shocking statistic that I found said... A child dies every 15 seconds because of the lack of clean water. It costs an averages of $0.98 to provide clean, safe water to one person for one year. Every dollar makes a difference. Today I gave up my morning coffee. *tear* I guessed it would cost around $2.00. That is already 2 people with water for a year!!
I encourage you to join me on this mission of bringing clean and safe water to theses communities. If you would like to check out blood:water for yourself follow the links below. If you would like to donate to my mission just click on the image below.
To find out more about blood:water