I woke up to the rain pouring down outside. It is an unwelcome sight as I must go shopping for Thanksgiving today but it reminded me of how accessible water is for us, especially those of us in Western Washington! But it is not that way for much of the world. Most of you woke up and took a hot shower, brushed your teeth, drank one of your eight glasses of water we are told we must drink, and made some coffee. During the course of a week you will perhaps run a dishwasher, use a washing machine, and in the summer you might turn on a hose or sprinkler. What if you woke up tomorrow and there was no water in your home and all the water using devices were gone? What if you had to haul all your own water, in fact, what if you had no car and had to somehow get water for your family. An average family uses between 250 and 300 gallons of water each day. That is a ton of water Immediately you would most likely lower your water consumption! But even if you had to haul thirty gallons a day and make it work how would you do it. I live close to a creek but it would still be annoying. Thirty gallons a day would be five to six trips and even though I would luckily only have to go a short distance it would still be annoying. Some of you might have to go much further and then there is the problem of what is in the water! I don't know about you but I'm not sure I would feel safe drinking the creek water even if it was boiled.
Welcome to reality for much of the world. 1.2 billion is a conservative guess. About 5 million people die of water related diseases each year. Now look at your family. It is likely that one of your children, at least, would have died before age five of a water related illness. Which one? In much of the world water is not easily accessible. There might be school for children but they cannot attend because entire families spend their days hauling water, getting food, trying to stay alive.
This is not meant to be a sad story to make you feel bad. It is just a glimpse of a reality that you can help change. When you give the gift of water you are sharing Christ. You are giving a cup of water to the thirsty. My heart has been broken lately for those in poverty. I am realizing that even in my financial struggles I am incredibly rich and I have an awesome responsibility. It is hard to share the gospel without meeting physical needs. Christ never meant to separate the two. We go and share the good news, freedom from sin, freedom from captivity, freedom from living for ourselves.