Clean water.

It’s something that almost all of us in America take for granted.

I certainly do.

And it doesn’t help matters for me that I live on a military post where we don’t have to pay for water. Hence, my child standing outside, watering the pavement and sky.

I had the privilege of being the guest speaker this past weekend at a youth event. They were raising funds to build a well in Africa with Active Water.

If you have any awareness of the water crises in Africa, you’ve probably heard the startling statistics…

The 4 – 6 miles (one way) one has to travel to fetch water (which is 8 pounds per gallon)
The myriad of diseases caused by unclean water
A child dying every 15 seconds due to a water-borne illness (something as simple as diarrhea). EVERY 15 SECONDS!
1.4 million children die every year from diarrhea
Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water is readily accessible for human use

…and the list goes on and on and on.

Because it doesn’t affect us directly, it’s not something we think about on a regular basis. We can’t even fathom a life that is consumed by fetching and filtering water.

But trust me…it’s a reality that millions upon millions of people live with. And die from. Every. Day.

You rarely see a person in a Ugandan village who isn’t carrying around a dirty, yellow Jerrycan. Or several tied to their bike.

(a Jerrycan is a fuel container, but in Africa, it’s mostly used to carry water)

So why am I telling you this depressing news about unclean water? Because there are TONS of ways you can get involved to help raise money to build wells in countries, and spread the gospel, too! (quadruple bonus)

Here are a few great places to start, in addition to Active Water: Water for Life, Integrity Worldwide, The Water Project, and Lifewater International. I highly recommend checking out one or all of these sites to read about their amazing missions and how they’re changing lives all around the world…and to see how you can help!

I was blown away by the young people in the youth group who hosted the Walk for Water event last weekend. I love that they heard about a need and acted on it. They didn’t just “feel badly” for a few minutes and then move on to update their Facebook status to report how sad they felt.


They got moving and worked their hineys off to get the word out about their fundraiser. They raised enough to build at least one well.

The best part is, it will be “put in” in Jesus’ name and the gospel will be heard by people who may not have ever heard it before.

And that’s what it’s all about, anyway, right?

Lacy - June 23, 2011 - 9:19 pm

Good, good stuff! That’s one topic that I am so passionate about! Unsafe water fuels so many other diseases, negative effects on education, safety, etc.
Great post! Thanks!

Amy Shaw - June 24, 2011 - 4:09 pm

OH my goodness! your kids are the CUTEST! i just loooooove that final one! What a beautiful picture of how God makes our families…He is so creative and it brings great joy to my heart!! :)

Clean water is a passion of mine too! No one should be without it! Did you know that if every American gave 3% of what they usually spend on Christmas we could TOTALLY eradicate the world’s water crisis!?!? In ONE Christmas!!!

Love you girl!

Amie - June 25, 2011 - 10:55 pm

I am embarassed to admit I did not know all of these statistics.


but I am blown away by the hearts of the youth group.


Thanks for taking the time to lovingly remind me of how much I take our abundance for granted… and how it takes so little to make such aHUGE impact..

time to make a change. for these little ones.

love you.


Katy Jones - June 29, 2011 - 1:10 pm

My daughter rode her bike up the West Coast last summer for clean water and wells in Africia. She was with the Ride Well mission bike tour. It was amazing.

Christina - July 11, 2011 - 1:47 am

I am very glad to hear that it is NOT the hokey pokey!
Totally kidding…this is a beautiful post (I am just super goofy, and that is what came to mind at the end). Love, love your pictures, and your words. Now I want to go DO!!! something! I mean, I have for a while now, but looking at that sweet smile, really makes me want to get a move on, regarding the clean water.

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