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Friday, October 15, 2010

Clean Water

Today is Blog Action day in order to raise awareness of the clean water crisis in our world. I am excited to dedicate my blog today to helping that cause.  The UN has set a goal to halve the proportion of people in the world who don't have sustainable access to clean drinking water. Please consider signing the petition (look to the right) to thank the UN for their commitment and encourage them to make it a priority. Right now about 900 million people rely on water sources that are not clean. NINE HUNDRED MILLION people just like you and me drinking dirty water.

We are so spoiled here in the US. We walk to a tap, turn it on and can drink clean water every day. We waste it by leaving the tap running while we brush our teeth, or by just pouring out a cup if we didn't drink it while it was cold.  Our children don't die from disease they got from the water they drink.

So many people in the world have zero access to clean drinking water. Can you imagine for a moment if that was you? No clean water. No guarantee that the water you drink won't bring you some kind of disease. Clean drinking water is so important. 22,000 children die each day due to diseases they caught from drinking dirty water. 

I experienced this firsthand while in Swaziland. I went down with the women one day and the girls the next to go fetch water from the stream for the community. I will never forget the moment I saw a woman lean over with her bucket to fill it up from the stream. She was standing downstream from her donkey and the water flowed over the donkey's hoof and into her bucket. I wouldn't use that water to wash my car and this is the water she was bringing back for her children to drink.  She doesn't know if that water might bring them a disease that could kill them, but they need water and this is the ONLY option she has.

For me, this is more than statistics. I have held children and hugged their grandmothers knowing that they have no access to clean water. These are people I know. Children I have cuddled. A community for whom I pray every day.   I looked into their eyes and promised them I would not forget them, that I would tell others about their plight. They have done nothing to deserve their life's situation (just as we have done nothing to deserve the relative wealth we have in the US).

Please do something today. Sign the petition. But do more. Blood:Water Mission is a great organization dedicated to building wells in Africa. Get involved with them.

Poverty is not a money problem. It is a relational problem. Until we stop thinking about it in terms of "us" (the not poor) and "them" (the poor) it doesn't matter how much money we throw at poverty. It won't go away.  Today I ask that we all pray about how we can become part of the solution. Donating money is great, but what MORE can you do?

You can make a difference. One person can. And many "one persons" can. Be one of them!

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