#WaterIs life. Today is World Water Day, and we can turn our attention to the thing that most of us take for granted every single day… Water.
Around the world, 750 million people have zero access to safe drinking water, let alone clean water to bathe in or wash their clothing. Women around the world spend a collective 200 million hours gathering water. Every minute, a child dies because of a water-related disease like diarrhea because they lack safe sanitation. About 65% of the people who live in rural India do not have access to a toilet.
Especially on my heart are the needs in South Asia, where millions are dying because they do not have clean water. What does “not having clean water” look like in their lives? From some of the stories I have heard while working at Gospel for Asia… not having running water in their houses. Walking to collect heavy gallons of water, several times a day. Waiting in line at a village well; sometimes being banned from using that well because of their caste or religion. Depending on water from a tanker truck that comes through the village, which may not have enough for everyone. Because of the scarcity of clean water, drinking whatever water is available, however dirty it may be.
And one of the worst situations: Bathing yourself, taking the cows for a drink, washing clothes, and getting drinking water from the same stagnant pond.
Each statistic and each horrible story resounds like a hammer nailing the coffin of this water crisis.
I believe the Lord allowed me to be born in this place, in this time, for a reason. He purposed for me to grow up as one of four daughters, enjoy the privileges of literacy, education and equal rights that so many women around the world do not have. He even sovereignly planned that I would have such free access to clean water. My life, here and now, has a purpose. I believe that because God has given me these privileges. It’s my responsibility –and my privilege– to give back to others. Not only giving back to make a social difference, but to meet the needs of people on a deeper level. Yes, people are dying because of a lack of clean water… but people are dying and going to hell, every time my heart beats. Sharing the eternal hope that Jesus Christ freely offers is my privilege.
Today, March 22, is World Water Day. People need water, and people also need the love of Jesus. Enter Jesus Wells, part of Gospel for Asia’s clean water ministry in South Asia, that provide fresh, pure drinking water to entire communities, regardless of caste or religion ($1400). Or the small but mighty BioSand Water Filter that uses sand, gravel, and concrete to provide water that’s 98% pure for a family ($30). We can’t forget about sanitation… That’s why GFA provides Outdoor Toilets to families and communities, preventing disease and providing a safe place to use the bathroom ($160). I read on water.org that for every $1 that’s invested in water and sanitation projects there is a $4 economic return. That’s pretty cool. But even better, clean water ministry can have an eternal impact. Through the provision of clean water, many communities are becoming more open to hearing about the God who loves them and provides for their needs!
I encourage you to take action this World Water Day. Pray about these things. Jesus has the victory already, and He wants to use us to touch the lives of others.
You can find out more about Gospel for Asia’s clean water ministry here.
Working with Gospel for Asia bloggers in our Blog for Asia program has been such a privilege! I’m inspired by what several of them have also shared about World Water Day:
“How vital is water? Without water I’d die in three days.” – Justin
“We can help though. I never want my personal comfort to add toward indifference in a world where I can make a difference.” – Chelsea
“Let us also make this a day of action, a day we can show water is love.” - Nicole
“Investing in human beings for the sake of Jesus is something that will last into eternity.” – Amanda