Came across this cool project it might be fun for some youth ministries to get behind – it is a clean water project called Water Sunday. I asked the folks over there for some details on the project and how others could get involved. This is part of a conversation I had with Nic, part of the team responsible for getting the word out:
1. What is Water Sunday?
Water Sunday is an initiative of Water Missions International, inspiring a movement within the Church to respond to the global water crisis. Together, we can be the solution. Water Sunday is the start. The participating churches will have a Sunday to educate their congregation about the Global Water Crisis as well as help them to find ways to implement things they have learned to transform lives around the world. Check out our website here.
2. How did you get involved, Nic?
When I was in high school, my aunt and uncle visited Charleston, SC and told me about Water Missions International. They live in California and had heard about Water Missions there. They were excited to get to actually tour the facility while they were here – and invited me along. I was really impressed with the organization’s ministry. In college, I did a presentation about Water Missions International for a youth ministry undergraduate class. I’m graduating in December and requested to do my senior internship with them. Working with this team as an intern has been one of the highlights of my program.
3. Is this something a youth group could participate in?
Yes, we’ve had many youth ministry programs get engaged with Water Sunday. In particular, they’ve been impacted when participating in the water fast. Youth leaders challenge their students to drink only water for a set period of time (2 weeks or so) and donate the money they save by not drinking other beverages. The student’s really come to realize how vital water is to their everyday lives.
4. There are so many important social justice issues, why water?
In John 4:10 (NIV), Jesus tells the woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” WMI provides clean drinking water to communities without – and by doing so, has the opportunity to lead them to Jesus, the living water. 1 in 8 people around the world lack access to safe drinking water. This crisis kills one child every 15-20 seconds. What makes water so powerful for your youthgroup is (1) it’s easy to understand, we drink water ever day and (2) it’s solvable. Water treatment options have been around for a long time, we have a solution! Your church/youth group be part of the solution
5. Do you have a good story of a community that has been impacted?
Last year, churches that participated in Water Sunday were able to help provide safe water to four communities around the world. One of those communities was Kimmi Island, Uganda located in Lake Victoria. 3,000 people live on Kimmi, the majority of the population is made up of fishermen. Besides rain water harvesting, the community members use water from the lake for all their daily needs. Drinking this water causes dangerous illnesses – typhoid, cholera, bilharzia’s, stomach pain, and diarrhea. These ever present illnesses affect all aspects of society. It was awesome to see the pictures come back from the community safe water celebration when the water system was fully installed. Thousands of people were present to participate in boat races, soccer, singing, tug-of-war, ribbon cutting and accompanying speeches. Seeing the faces of the children and statistically knowing that by providing safe water, you are saving some of their lives, really touches the heart.
Be sure to check out the Water Sunday website here!