“Every year, Americans have to walk an average of ¼ mile to get water,” my friends and I joked one Monday evening.
I was having several friends over for supper, but we noticed a problem as we turned down the street—the water pipe had broken and was gushing water all over the road. Pure, clean city water flowing abundantly to the nearest storm drain.
Far from being a difficult evening for us, it added an element of fun as we figured out how to get water for the meal. Two of the men went to fetch water from the fire hydrant at the end of the block, which was open and slowly leaking out; we used that water to keep the toilet going, and to wash our dishes. Another guest brought some jugs of water from the store on her way over, and we used that for drinking and cooking. Still another source of water quickly opened up to us, in the form of our friend down the road—a quick hop and skip away in the car and we returned with 3 extra gallons of tap for our culinary needs.
All in all, no real problem for us.
But then compare that to the rest of the world . . .
In developing nations, women and children often start their day by walking to get water for their families. Sometimes that water is a half mile away to the nearest water source—sometimes it is 5 miles.
I remember when I visited South Asia 3 years ago and witnessed this happening. We were waiting by a lake in a desert area, an area not too far different from central Texas in the summer. It was a lovely day, and we were skipping rocks and chatting with one another while enjoying the scene and each other. There were a couple of little rowboats, some people fishing, a woman doing laundry over here and some cows wallowing in the shallow end over there. One of my friends called my attention to a woman walking away from the water with a bucket balanced on her head. Over the next hour or so, I saw her come back several times to draw more water, and she was still doing it after we left.
It is estimated that over 200 million hours per day are spent by women around the world, simply to gather dirty water for the family to use.
The facts are staggering. Globally, 780 million people lack access to clean water—that’s about 1 out of every 9 people on the planet. Every 21 seconds, water-borne illness claims the life of another child. It’s a staggering truth, but the reality is that dirty water kills more people than war and violence combined.
In the face of all of this, what can I possibly do?
For the last several years, I have contemplated off and on about funding a Jesus Well—it’s never left the bucket list. I turned 26 last Wednesday, and someone asked me if I wanted anything—I said I don’t need anything, but I want to drill a Jesus well. So today is the day. I’m turning in my change jar as soon as I get this posted, and I’ll be dumping my savings account into here later.
These wells provide clean water, year-round, to a village or a slum, saving time, energy, and lives. Not only that, they open doors to share the good news of Christ, the true source of Living Water.
My plan is to contribute 100/month for the next year.
I’m excited to start this campaign. I had only planned to drill one well—but I feel like the Lord would have me go for three! So I get to step out in faith and trust Him a little bit more than usual. Praise God!