I am so proud of my boys, Grace. They asked about the children in Africa and if they got presents from Santa Claus. They wanted to know how they were doing. I remembered to show them photographs of the children and explain some of the needs they have. Completely dismayed by what they saw, they wanted to do something for them. Jonathan and David were shocked that every three seconds a child in Africa dies because of AIDS and extreme poverty often before their fifth birthday. David would count up to three and then say, “Boom, a child died.” He repeated this about three times and I could tell he and Jonathan couldn’t believe it.
I wanted to show them a website where they could take action so I logged on to www.thewaterproject.org. Did you know nearly one billion people suffer needlessly without access to safe water? We take water for granted, buying bottled water and wasting it every day. I reminded them that Pastor Rob from our church walked a hundred miles to bring fresh water and build water wells to people in third world countries. They remembered when we cheered Pastor Rob along the walking route. I showed them pictures of water wells and how children and adults were smiling, drinking fresh water which was quite a contrast to the dirty water in the ground that they drank from. Immediately, Jonathan said, “Okay, Mom, let’s send them bottled water. I want to go and give them my piggy bank for the water.” Grace, I was touched by what he said. In an instant, I took out my wallet, donated money towards the water wells, and showed them the process for contributing. In addition, I downloaded the Water Challenge information to review it with Jonathan and David for further involvement.
I never realized before how water is scarce. Many people lack access to water and the quantity of water. Water is also a health issue. According to The Water Project, half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from a water-related disease. HIV/AIDS, infant mortality and productivity are affected by the lack of water resources. In the coming months, I hope to heighten our family’s awareness of water scarcity. I know Jonathan and David were greatly touched by this knowledge—they immediately told their dad when they saw him that evening.
Guiding Lesson: Eve, the need is great in the world, but it is hard to stay focused every day on how the majority of the world lives. Sure, if there is a major catastrophe, everyone comes together to contribute, but how do you sustain it. The people who are in need today will be in need tomorrow. If you respond today, who will respond tomorrow?
Your boys are learning an important lesson about how blessed they are. In the world of plenty and abundance, these lessons are a must for parents to teach their children. And what better way to teach them than by starting with the one of the most basic needs, which is clean water.
Water is so essential to your existence. Your body is mostly water. The earth is mostly water. Food contains water. It falls from the sky. It is used for cooking and cleaning. It irrigates the land and helps plants, fruits and vegetables grow. It even provides entertainment and is used for religious ceremonies. Existing without this luxury can be detrimental to your lives.
But while people are in need of water, have you shared with your sons that there is a greater thirst that water cannot quench? It is the thirst for God who provides living water to everyone who wants it. No one is excluded unless you decide to exclude yourself. This water overflows in abundance and nourishes the soul. You can drink from it when you faithfully say “Yes” to God every day with every thought, action and encounter. How simple is that?
So take sometime to add on to your lesson of helping others obtain clean water by explaining the spiritual fountain of living water that God has to offer you to help you live a life of grace. It never runs dry. Those that are thirsty remind you of your thirst and you can better help them by making sure your soul doesn’t get dehydrated.
So how does one sustain the efforts of actively participating in fulfilling the needs of those less fortunate beyond a single event? The answer lies in making sure you first come to the fountain of life where God provides living water for you to drink. If all drink from here, then all participate in bringing God’s Kingdom and doing God’s will “on earth as it is done in heaven” one drink of water at a time. You can say that H2O means a “Hand 2 Offer” my sister or brother in need.