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What Do You Want to Drink with That?

You may have heard about the recent youth event, the 30 Hour famine. Around 15 of us fasted together, raised money and awareness about world hunger. During the event, we came across some statistics that were truly difficult to believe, especially directly related to the availability of (or lack of) clean water.

So, we decided to challenge the entire youth group to an allwater fast. Beginning Monday morning, those adults and youth who accepted the challenge are drinking nothing but water until Friday afternoon. That means no morning coffee (sorry Doug!); no Gatorade or energy drinks; no milk shakes or even milk on cereal. Doesn’t sound like much fun, huh? Believe it or not, we even encouraged them to stick with tap water.

It would be so much easier to continue with life as if nothing was wrong in the world. But some statistics are hard to forget. Here are a few for reflection:

  • 783 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly 11% of the world’s population. (WHO/UNICEF)
  • The average North American uses 400 liters of water every day.
  • The average person in the developing world uses 10 liters of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC))
  • The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 40 pounds, the same as an airport luggage allowance.
  • 97.5% of the earth’s water is saltwater. If the world’s water fit into a bucket, only one teaspoonful would be drinkable
  • At any one time, half of the developing world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diarrhea
  • 1.4 million Children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. This amounts to around 4,000 deaths a day or one every 20 seconds. (World Health Organization)

Recently I heard a radio commercial for a local restaurant that boasted of a CocaCola “freestyle” Fountain with over 100 drink options. Wow! That really does sound tempting. We truly are blessed with abundance. I can see it in my own life and in the lives of those all around us. Now, what can we do?

Lord, Let us not be crippled with guilt or fear of scarcity. Rather, turn our hearts towards you. Embolden us to be who you created us to be. Help us be a presence of hope and to work for transformation. So let it be.