As this year is quickly coming to a close, we’re reminded of the numerous blessings God has bestowed upon us, while many around the world are scrambling each day just to find water, food, education and shelter. Through Believe.com’s campaign, “Operation Appreciation,” we’re focusing on six Christian organizations that work tirelessly to physically and spiritually spread God’s provision to meet the needs of His children. Click here for more information on Operation Appreciation and a listing of five organizations to date covered over the past two weeks.
Today’s featured organization is Living Water International – blessing the disenfranchised with wells of real life-giving water, as well as God’s Word.
What Living Water International Provides
Living Water International is a non-profit that works to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water, and to experience “living water”—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—which alone satisfies the deepest thirst.
This powerful Christian outreach makes its goal as clear as pure water.
“We set out to help the church in North America be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving the poorest of the poor,” the organization expresses through its mission statement “More than a billion people in the world live on less than a dollar a day. 783 million people lack access to safe drinking water.”
In so many impoverished communities, people are trapped in debilitating poverty because they constantly suffer from water-related diseases and parasites, and/or because they spend long stretches of their time carrying water over long distances.
In response to this need, Living Water implements participatory, community-based water solutions in developing countries. Since they started, they’ve completed more than 10,000 water projects (and counting!) for communities in 26 countries.
This video says it best: “Everything comes back to water.” Everyone needs it to live, but when waters are contaminated, people suffer – often not making it past childhood. From muddy swamps to sharing river water with cattle, people are dying from trying to live.
Take Yobamcheri, a young man from the African region of Burkina Faso. He has been instrumental in planting over 40 churches in his community with the support of Living Water. After accepting Christ in his conversion to Christianity, the Holy Spirit placed it on his heart to do more for his people — and that began with fresh water.
In this video, Yobamcheri points to a dirty river – the same one he got baptized in.
“People used to drink water from this river,” he explains. “At the river they faced snakes and crocodiles.”
The West African native explains what parents are up against.
“When a man sees his child getting water from the river, his heart is broken with sadness because there is no other choice, Yobamcheri relates. “ I’ve seen children die from drinking this water because the water makes them sick.”
And some parents have little choice and subject their children to even more danger.
“Their parents take them to the witch doctor for treatment,” Yobamcheri continues. “They hold the child down by his arms and legs and the witch doctor cuts his belly with a razor blade and puts medicine in it.”
He goes on to say how the child screams in pain. The mother often wants to comfort her child, but it’s no use. On top of being ill, the child now also has to suffer through unnecessary and excruciating knife cuts.
“Now that we have wells, I’ve seen the rate of disease go down,” he says, a new hope in his voice.
Donating to Living Water International
There are many ways to give back to this life-changing organization.
You can donate here. Any bit helps!
You can fundraise here. There are lots of ways to participate on a small and wide scale.
Churches can easily participate through the H20 Project. The concept is simple: Members are asked to only drink water for a week or two. In giving up one’s go-to beverages (coffee, wine, soda, tea) folk can donate their savings to Living Water, helping to build wells.
What makes this donation idea so easy is that churches don’t have to ask people to give what they don’t have – members would be spending the money anyway. Instead of spending it on themselves, though, they can donate it to others and change lives. Ten dollars a week, times 2,000 church members, can add up fast!
Don’t forget to bookmark the main Operation Appreciation page, which has more information on our campaign.
“Operation Appreciation” will highlight our last organization, World Vision, in a few days.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our previous organizations listed at the beginning of the Operation Appreciation info article, including, HOPE International, Wheels for the World – Joni and Friends, The Salvation Army and the Seed Company.
Stay tuned to see how you can help!
Andrea’s Blog Look for more of Andrea’s posts on her blog which publishes Monday, Wednesday and Fridays!
* Note: The above link will bring you to the parenting section of Believe.com. Her blog is located on the right side-bar!