life’s most basic need

I was watching a video this morning from Charity:Water, a great organization committed to bringing clean water to those who do not have access.  The narrator stated “life’s most basic need is clean and safe drinking water“.  How many times a day have we stated I need something.

I need to go to the store, I need to clean the house, I need to shave my legs, I need a new pair of jeans.

Wow, I am not in need.  For I have life’s most basic need: water.  I can walk to any of the 4 faucets in my home, turn them on and out flows clean, safe water.  I put a hamper full of clothes into my washer, press a few buttons and can then watch as water pours onto my clothes.  I no longer have to spend an evening washing dishes at my sink; I can just load them into a dishwasher right next to me and listen to the water whirl around inside as it cleans all my dirty dishes.  I am not in need.

I need to remind myself of all the blessings around me.  The blessings that are truly life saving:

clean water that only takes me about 5 steps to gain access to

nutritious food that can be purchased (or grown) at any number of stores that surround my neighborhood

medical attention for fevers, the sniffles, diarrhea and even appendicitis

I am not in need.  However, there is still a whole world out there that is in need!  There is still a whole world out there that does not have life’s most basic need: clean and safe drinking water.

Have you heard the stories of women and children who walk three, four, even five miles to fetch water for their family?  Have you heard sometimes they have to make this trip twice a day?  Have you heard that it takes hours out of their day to walk there and back more than once?  Have you heard that instead of working to bring income for their family, instead of caring for their family members, instead of attending school, these women and children are lugging liters of water back to their home?

Have you heard about the water they are fetching, how dirty it is?  Dirty water they cook their food with, clean their clothes with; dirty water they drink.  Why do they drink it you ask?  Because they don’t have a faucet 5 steps away that brings clean water to them!

How important is clean and safe water?  Remember how I mentioned the blessing of medical attention for diarrhea?  You see, our children here in the states are all going back to school.  It’s an exciting time, full of school supplies, backpacks, new teachers and tearful moms.  On the other side of the world, in countries like Kenya,  Rwanda and South Sudan (to name only a few), instead of attending school, children are fetching dirty water.  Instead of attending school, children are home sick due to water-related illnesses.  Instead of attending school, children are dying because of water-born illnesses like diarrhea.

Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under 5 in the world.  It kills more children than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined.*

Another way to say it: every 21 seconds a child dies from diarrhea.  That’s about 4,100 deaths in one day.*

Doctors orders for diarrhea: plenty of fluids.  Oh wait…the water is causing the diarrhea.  Seems kind of hopeless.

There is always HOPE!

When you sponsor a child with Team World Vision, you are providing life’s most basic needs (and then some) to a child.  You are providing clean water, nutritious food, medical attention in case they get diarrhea or anything else.  You are providing LIFE, a chance to survive, a chance to celebrate another birthday.  You are providing HOPE!  You are their hope!

Would you consider changing one child’s life?

To learn more about what it is to sponsor a child, visit my Sponsor a Child page.

When you sponsor a child, you are also supporting me as I take on my very first marathon, the NYC Marathon!  Make sure to put my name in the athlete box so I know you sponsored a child, can pray for you both and thank you for your support!  I can’t do this alone!


* Estimated with data from The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)/World Health Organization (WHO). (2009). Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done.

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