Today we celebrate World Water Day — a day to recognize the critical importance of fresh, safe water. The idea for this special day was suggested to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, and on March 22, 1993, the first World Water Day was declared. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event.
One of the key purposes of the day is to educate people about water-related issues, including the problem of water scarcity in many parts of the world. For example, did you know that every 15 seconds, a child in a developing country dies of cholera or some other waterborne disease? This is because impoverished families are often forced to rely on contaminated water from tainted sources — polluted rivers, improperly dug wells or open cisterns teeming with bacteria.
Even when a village does have some access to a safe well, it can be a hardship to use. Women and children may need to walk for miles each day to collect the water, and returning with the heavy burden can be treacherous on rocky rural paths.
Fortunately, churches overseas are working hard to provide solutions, and with contributions from American Christians, positive changes are taking place. At Cross International, for example, we regularly empower such groups to build wells in needy villages, and many of those safe water sources have helped save children who might otherwise have fallen prey to waterborne illnesses.
These outreaches have an obvious, tangible impact, but Cross International also sees them as essential to its Christian mission.
In the story of Jesus in the New Testament, as the Lord completed His work on the cross, He said, “I am thirsty.”
Providing water for the needy was also a central theme in Jesus’ discourse about the Day of Judgement. How those with resources provide for those without reflects one’s treatment of the Lord:
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
At Cross International, we make it part of our work to research and fund fresh water projects. An important one is MEBSH Restavek in Haiti.
Struggling through life without access to clean water is an incredibly daunting and dangerous fate, and the people of Haiti – the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere – have seen those consequences firsthand. A sip of what appears to be drinkable water one day can lead to Cholera or a parasite infection the next.
Please – help Cross International bring lifesaving water to five villages in Haiti that were devastated by Hurricane Mathew and now desperately need a source of clean, safe drinking water. We are in need of compassionate Christians like you to be conduits of Christ’s love and help bring lifesaving water to those who — like Christ — cry out in thirst.