Sometimes the sheer size of the water crisis can be overwhelming and somewhat enervating. I’ve helped drill two wells, a paltry accomplishment compared to the number of people still without clean drinking water. Are we even making a difference? I know our efforts matter to the villages we’ve drilled in, but something in me wants to solve the global problem or at least know that we’re making a dent.
When researching the issue on the internet, I mostly get hits from other organizations trying to solve the same problem. There are a lot of organizations try to solve this problem in a variety of ways. Some organizations distribute filters, some drill wells with rigs, some drill by hand, and some distribute distillation systems. But all are trying to solve the same problem. Again, at times, this makes me wonder: does the world really need us?
I gained an interesting perspective on this last weekend while talking to an old friend, Rich Bledsoe, a pastor in Boulder, CO. We were getting caught up with each other, what God’s been doing in our lives, and where God’s taking us. I mentioned that I’m getting involved with Hydromissions and excited to see where it goes, but at times discouraged about the overwhelming need for clean water. He relayed his experience in the Philippines: “they poop, wash, etc. in the same water they drink and they wonder why they’re dying!” Then he made a profound prediction: he said that churches are really taking this issue to heart, and he believes that within 50 years everyone on the planet will have access to clean water. Wouldn’t that be awesome! What a vision!
We need to keep this vision in front of us: our goal is that in 50 years, everyone on the planet will have access to clean drinking water. And we need to remember what Jesus did with 2 loaves and a few fish, and the value of even the smallest efforts, e.g. a “cup of water” in Jesus’ name. I can’t remember any major battle in the Bible that was won by God’s people due to superior numbers or resources. By worldly standards, God’s people have always been overmatched. But God’s people always win in the end.
Instead of arguing about different methods or wondering if more organizations are needed, we need to welcome and cooperate with all comers. The problem is truly huge, but if everyone does their part, our 50 year vision will come true. Slavery used to be a societal mandate, but now it only exists in isolated pockets and on the fringes. With God’s help we can accomplish the same in the battle to provide clean water.