By Elisabeth Corcoran
About two years ago, God started something in me - a desire to use my role on staff at my church to help us get involved in the community. Beyond Our Walls and partnerships with two local agencies came from all that. Then last month God got me in a room of pastors listening to an interview with Bono that changed me. Then He got me to order a Sara Groves' DVD with several vignettes showing her reaching beyond her comfort zone in New Orleans and Africa. God then helped me come across a book entitled Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing the World that spoke to me on twelve pressing issues in our world, issues that I can actually do something about ("anyone who thinks they are too small to make an impact in the world has never been in bed with a mosquito"). Heck, He's even gotten me to write my congressmen. I'm pretty sure I didn't even know who my congressmen were a couple weeks ago! Something is stirring in me.
I don't know what will come of all this as far as my hoping to influence my church, but I know that I need to do something. I've been reading articles and researching agencies and I've come across one that I feel I can one hundred percent put my trust in and get the word out about. You all know me well enough to know by now that I've never tried to push anything on you, except maybe my books! --- oh yeah, and that God loves you completely. But other than that --- I'm not a soapbox kinda gal. Trust me, this isn't just a departure for this column (just for this month, I assure you) but it is for who I thought I was as well.
So I'm going to use whatever influence I have with this venue of mine and I'm going to share for just a few moments about a non-profit organization that I think is doing a world of good. Here are some thoughts directly from the website of Blood:Water Mission:
Did you know that millions and millions of Africans lack access to clean water? Did you know that people living with HIV/AIDS are dependent on clean water to survive? Did you know that $1 provides one year of clean water for an African? Blood:Water Mission intends to raise the money to dig 1000 wells in 1000 villages in Africa. Why wells? Because clean water is literally beneath the feet of millions of Africans who cannot get to it, and must spend their entire days walking sometimes 10 or more miles just to carry back a pot of filthy water for cooking, bathing, and drinking. It's actually undrinkable. In a nutshell, providing a well of clean water in a village keeps women at home so they can become part of their local economy. Clean water in a village means less people die from the waterborne diseases they drink down like poison every day. Clean water in the village means moms are home with their kids, raising them, teaching them, decreasing their likelihood of promiscuity and practices which spread HIV. So clean water leads to clean blood, too. It's a simple idea. And in its first two years, the organization has provided assistance to over 100,000 Africans.
"The 1000 Wells Project is a simple campaign. It is difficult to argue whether or not a person should have clean water. It is also difficult to deny the equation: $1= clean water for 1 person for 1 year."
-Dan Haseltine, lead singer of Jars of Clay and co-founder of Blood:Water Mission
There are a ton of causes to get behind because our world is so fallen. And there are just as many organizations trying to bring light into the darkness. This is just one of them. But it's one that has crept its way into my heart. You are probably already involved in many things to make your part of the world a better place, so I offer this up to you as just one other option. If interested, please visit their website and see how you can help: www.bloodwatermission.com.
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