One day last week as I had laundry running, dishes drying in the sink, and a cool glass of water in my hand, I thought about how amazing it is to have access to water all. the. time. I began to wonder, then, how to combine this thought with the Lenten season, to get our family thinking about relieving the stain on others' lives (loving our neighbor) through these six weeks before Easter. World Vision is one organization that I know endeavors to alleviate and eliminate poverty in the world, so I got on their site and looked around for their water initiatives. They have great things going on. Their main water initiative is WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene).
The most surprising thing I learned was how water collection effects girls' education. Girls and women are usually the water fetchers, and since they can spend more than half their day walking back and forth to bring water home, their opportunities to go to school are limited, if not completely impossible. Other effects of lack of clean water access are better known, like diseases that weaken or kill and the inability to grow food. Yet I am shocked by my complacency as I enjoy my comfortable access to a liquid that enables me to do so many things.
With all of these thoughts floating in my mind, I wanted to come up with some way to incorporate giving clean water into our family's Lenten season. After speaking with my husband, I decided we could walk a mile a day through these six weeks to remind us of those who walk much more each day simply to have clean-er (cause let's face it, it's not clean!) water. At this point, I'm not even sure what we will be contributing; I'm trusting God to bring that to light over these weeks of examination and reflection. But I wanted to use this space to invite you to join us!
I'm not going to start up a Go Fund Me page or anything. If you feel compelled to give, please do. In fact, here is World Vision's page with donation opportunities that involve bringing water to communities. You can give a share of a well, water to a family, a whole well, etc. If you want to pledge to our walkathon-ish thing we've got going on, let me know. I'd be happy to put together a larger collection to give on Easter Sunday to World Vision; the kids would love that! Perhaps you'd like to walk a mile every day in solidarity, as well!*
I cannot even imagine how different my life would be if, like many mothers in the developing world, my children and I had to walk 3 or 4 miles every day (maybe more than once) to get the water we needed to survive! We'll be working to learn more over Lent and I'll share off and on about those things. No one in a world like ours should go without access to clean water. Don't you agree?
To close, here are a few photos of the last couple of days. The weather here is bonkers!
It rained on our first day, and the little one's feet got too hot.
She took a short break.
Snow on the second day
|This is our jerrycan to keep track of our miles;|
Containers of this shape are common for carrying water in Africa.
*If you decide to give or walk with us and want to let the kids know, that would be fantastic. They'd love to hear that others are behind them as their mom makes them walk a mile every day. (Poor kids! haha) There's snow on the ground here today!