I grew up in NC drinking a lot of sweet tea. Over the years I’ve developed a conversion of dedication to coffee. It is a sad thing to admit, but I have stated on occasion to my mother that I don’t have much of a “taste” for drinking water.
Yet 25,000 people die everyday due to a lack of clean drinking water. In the USA, we have such a huge selection of beverage choices, even in bottled water. If I go to Wal-mart or Harris Teeter, I can choose between 3 to 8 different brands, sizes, and purifications. I have access to drinking fountains and faucets at most buildings I enter. Yet not even halfway across the world there are people dying because of in-access to drinkable water.
Today I will be relying on purely water to sustain my movements. Today I will appreciate the benefits of water, and “taste” will not be an issue. Shame on me for being so spoiled that I have complained about the taste of water.
World Hope International assists in many areas of need, including developing rural areas in need of drinkable water. My church, Christ Wesleyan Church, has been saving up to dig a well through World Hope in the country of Liberia. The people in the Gowien village, where we are digging the well, have been recovering after 14 years of war. At one point recently we had enough to purchase the well, but the cost to dig these wells has been escalating along with the price of gasoline. This well is going to be a huge step for the restoration of this village, so we are very excited to reach our goal.
Dr. Jo Ann Lyon, recently elected General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, is also the founder and CEO of World Hope International. On June 22, 2008 at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, IN, she spoke about a well in Zambia being dug. The goal is “empowering the entire community,” she says and “the church is the center. Generally one of the first things that’s needed is a well. Because if there is no water you can’t field animals and you can’t raise crops.” Dr. Lyon visited a village in Zambia that had never had clean water before the drilling began. She said everyone became extremely silent when the water started pouring and spilling out from the rig. The Zambian pastor there spoke, placing his hand on the water, “Today is resurrection day. We had no hope, but today we have hope.“ A small church in Western New York provided the funds to give that Zambian community hope. You can listen to Dr. Lyon’s sermon here.
Recently I helped organize an event called the “Union Cross Café”, in which we had musical artists from our church provide live music while some volunteers served café-style food and drinks. 75% of our proceeds were sent off this week to World Hope to benefit a Haitian community. Now, our young adults are considering making the café a monthly outreach event where money will be raised for World Hope wells. Our youth pastor came up with a great name: “The Well.” As we pray and plan, I am continually challenged in my heart to be thankful for the provisions and comforts we have here in the United States. In my fast today, may God align my focus with His so that what I am given may overflow to those in need.
World Hope International’s Mission Statement explains that they are a “faith based relief and development organization alleviating suffering and injustice through education, enterprise and community health.” If you are interested in learning more about World Hope rural development as well as any of their other various programs, check out their site.