Thursday, December 29, 2011

Living Water for Christmas

The last two Christmases we decided that we would give a few small things (pencils, gum, markers) to put in their stockings. We are trying to keep cost at a minimum, so that we can give more away. I think we spent $40 for 7 people this year. I only tell you this because our kids had a fantastic Christmas. They don't feel neglected, cheated or depressed. They are beginning to understand that it really is more blessed to give than to receive. And that Christmas is about Jesus and not them. 

We start on Dec. 1 by deciding on the charities to give to. Once my older two have decided, they start the research. Each one does thorough research and puts together an outline. On Christmas morning, they give a full presentation and surprise the rest of the family with which organization they gave to. But, I also didn't want this year to go by without spotlighting these people who are being used to change lives. 

Malachi decided to give to Living Water International.

[AC] Promo 2011 from Advent Conspiracy on Vimeo.

• 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)
• LWI projects providing safe water and hygiene education at an average cost of twenty dollars per person, for a generation. (LWI)

The caption is a little fuzzy, but it reads: "A child dies every 15 seconds because of the lack of clean water. It costs us an average of $0.98 to provide clean, safe water to one person for one year. Every dollar makes a difference!"

15 seconds is shorter than the time it takes me to microwave my coffee after it's sat on the table for 2 hours while I chase my naked son through the house while he's dripping soapy water. In that short time, a child has died. While mine are running around the house playing sword fights and drawing with stencils, dozens of children have died. Just like that. 

Clean water is an easy way to save lives and generations. Water. It's that simple. People need to be able to satisfy their dehydrated, crying little girl with clean water. This hits me at the core of being a mom. To not even be able to provide an essential to survival like water. I cannot imagine the grief those mothers feel each time they dip a cup into a nearby stream, just praying it isn't filled with disease and worms. But most likely, it is. That's why what Living Water is doing is so crucial. 

They have already successfully completed over 10,000 water projects. Most of these projects include digging wells in these poor communities, so that the provision of water doesn't stop when the team leaves. They have forever changed that community by cleaning up their water. And that way, the community can focus on other things like farming and trade. 
I cried as I watched my kids talk about giving and loving others. They were excited to know that they could make a difference, even at 10 and 7 years old. 
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