With my poor math skills, I thought a 6K walk/run meant it was 2 miles and I imagined it being a gorgeous, sunny day in late April. Come Unity sponsored a walk/run on a nearby campus to represent the average distance that a woman in Africa walks daily for water.
That is 3.75 miles. I invited a few friends to join and was planning on walking and pushing The Littles. After checking the weather as the day approached, it became apparent it was going to be cold and possibly rain. I hate being cold. I almost decided not to do it but had already paid the registration fee. I lined up a sitter for the girls and decided to embrace any misery that might come on account of the cold weather as a very small identification with women who truly are walking for their survival and that of their family’s.
1 in 8 people on this planet lack access to clean drinking water. That means that when the women arrive, they fill up their jerry cans with water that might look like this.
We definitely were not anticipating it would be hailing but I was in good company and so we put our heads down, pulled our coats closer and kept walking. I was so thankful that I didn’t have to bring my kiddos with me. I kept imagining the women doing this, most likely barefoot, possibly with toddlers lagging behind them or babies strapped to their backs.
When we reached the 3k mark, we didn’t stop and spend time drawing water.
We just kept on walking. We didn’t then load our arms, heads and backs with jerry cans that weigh around 40 lbs.
They say the whole process takes an average of 3 hours and also pulls kids out of school as one of their jobs may be to bring the family’s water. In villages where a well is drilled, girls’ school attendance increases by 11%.
When we finished, I was glad to climb into a warm car and then go about my day but it has given me much perspective. It has moved us to action points in our own family.
I challenge you to mark off 3.75 miles and walk it while praying or just thinking about others who do this daily, for their survival. If you are really in shape, maybe add a 40 lb weight at the half way point and pray that God uses it to change your perspective.
More facts about the water crisis HERE.
After researching a bit, here are some organizations that build wells as an opportunity to further the Gospel. This list is missing some of the most popular organizations, but we believe that the end goal for building a well should not be building a well but rather, as a vehicle to show Christ love, give a cup of water in His Name and ultimately, further the Gospel.
Here are a few places that give water in Jesus name. Not an all inclusive list…I am still in the research stages. :)
-World Vision has many ways to donate for clean water, from building a deep well ($13,700). a traditional well ($2,600), or shares in any of these, along with pumps, etc.
-Gospel for Asia builds Jesus Wells.
Living Water International builds wells in Jesus name as well as develops further ways to bring clean water to people with no access. Check out their “Take Action” tab and then under the “Take Initiative” tab for some great ideas on how you can get involved through some simple but very creative ideas.