Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Thing about Water...

The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of all sickness in the world can be attributed to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation.

Every year, approximately 19 MILLION children die from diarrheal disease.

In the world's poorest countries, 5,000 children die EVERY DAY. 90% of those deaths are due to unsafe drinking water.

Women and children spend more than 200 MILLION hours collecting water from distant, often polluted, sources.

A child dies every 15 seconds from unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene.

If we did nothing more that provide clean drinking water, without any medical intervention, we could save more than 2 million lives a year.

These stats came from the website of Edge Outreach, and are a compilation of stats from places like the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Edge Outreach, and Fresh Water Society. Reading those words hurt, don't they? I mean, I poured out a perfectly good cup of fresh clean water this morning just because I didn't like the temperature it was. People around the world would never think of doing that. For them, that lukewarm water is life-saving.

In just 6 days, Jeff and I leave for Ethiopia, where we will have the privilege of being able to give the gift of clean water to a community of people who have never had it before. We will be traveling with One Child Campaign as part of an orphan awareness trip, and this is just a portion of what we'll be doing and seeing while in Ethiopia. When I first blogged about this trip, we talked of how excited we were to take clean water to the place where Ellie was born. Things have transpired, unfortunately, that are out of our control and have hindered us from being able to travel to that area. However, we wholeheartedly trust that God has another plan, and we are so excited to stll be able to go and take this gift to others in need.

We spent yesterday training at Edge Outreach to learn how to "purify" water and make it safe for drinking. I don't have the words to tell you how incredible the staff at Edge Outreach are or how much I believe in the ministry they are doing. Seriously, check them out here to see a group that is truly being the hands and feet of Jesus. We left there feeling confident that we can really do this, and my excitement is more heightened than ever!

Here is the truth: If people are suffering and sick, it's hard to tell them about a God who is the Great Physician. If they are starving, it's hard for them to hear of the Bread of Life. And if their water is bad, how can we tell them of Living Water? Oh, but now.. now we'll be able to tell them that just as their water is now clean, their hearts can be too. THIS is why we are going.

So many of you have made this possible. You've given selflessly to this effort, with your money, your prayers, your rescources. We are so grateful to you, and we don't take it lightly. You are a part of this journey as well, and I promise to share all that God teaches us with you!

Please pray for us as we prepare to leave. Pray for safe travels and that we are able to get all materials for the water system into Ethiopia without any snags. Pray for our children who are going to be here in KY with friends and family (and for us as we are away from them this long- YIKES!!) Pray that lives are changed in Ethiopia, both physically and spiritually. Pray for the people of Ethiopia who live difficult lives that you and I can never fully understand.

I can't wait to share more with you!