Some of you have been following my 12 tips for a more meaningful Christmas. As I worked on tip #4 I thought this is something I really want to share on a broader scale.
There are things you experience in life that stick with you. One of those things for me was when I went to Romania on a missions trip. We were working on a church in a small rural village and had a chance to meet some of the "gypsies" that were living there. It was truly heartbreaking. It was mid October and the temps were in the 30's. There were small children running around with no shoes or socks, some of them without pants. We were there dropping off some sweaters and sandwiches. Their homes were small shacks with dirt floors and no running water. When I inquired where they bathed or went to the bathroom our host pointed out a stream off to the side. These children were constantly sick because the water they were drinking was essentially coming from the same place they went to the bathroom. The village had a well but it was guarded by a different group because they were afraid the Gypsies would contaminate it. They lacked the education of how to get clean water and keep water sources safe.
Here in the US all we have to do is turn on a faucet to get drinking water. Pretty limitless water at that. We have no concept of what it means to not have clean water at our disposal. Even the homeless can walk into a McDonald's and go to the bathroom to access a faucet.
This Christmas our church is collecting money to buy Biosand filters for families in Zambia. These filters will provide clean drinking water for a family for 10-20 years! All for less than most of the gifts on my kids list this year...$85.00. Now there is a gift idea that will make a difference. This effort is part of a bigger goal to provide 1640 filters this Christmas. The guys in Jars of Clay are doing this as part of their Blood:Water Mission. We happen to know 2 of the guys personally so I am especially excited to help them with this goal. I have put a link in my sidebar if you would like to visit their site and learn more about the program. If you are looking for a way to impact someone this Christmas, maybe you will consider buying a filter.
Here is also a short video on the filters...