Today I started the day, as always, with a steaming cup of coffee. There’s nothing better than that first sip of coffee early in the morning. Clutching a hot cup of coffee just makes me happy!
Tomorrow I will not have my morning cup of coffee. In fact, I will not have it again for 40 days! That’s because tomorrow I am starting the Forty Days of Water. It is a fundraiser during the Lenten season for blood:water mission, which will build clean water projects for communities in Uganda. During this time I will drink only tap water and donate the money I save by not purchasing drinks to blood:water mission.
My oldest two children will do Forty Days of Water with me. Last year my daughter participated with me, but this year my son will as well. They will still drink milk at school each day, but other than that it will only be water.
My husband asked, while I was mourning my soon to be loss of coffee, why not just donate the money. But it’s so much more than just giving money. It’s realizing how much we take for granted here in the United States.
It’s realizing that a shower, let alone a hot one, is a luxury to many. It’s remembering that not everyone, at the first hint of thirst, can just open the fridge and have their choice of 5 or 6 different beverages to drink. A quick stop at the local convenience store offers hundreds of drinks for less than $2; an amount I don’t think twice about spending. I bring my bottled water to the gym and throw away what I don’t finish without giving it a second thought. But this is not reality for millions of people.
Forty Days of Water allows our family to stop and remember each time we give up a favorite drink in exchange for tap water. We say we sacrifice our favorite drinks so we can give to others. But it’s not really a sacrifice. Just a few minutes ago I was thirsty so I turned on my bathroom sink, stuck of head under the faucet, and drank the cold water, allowing the excess to run down the drain. I have more water than I need; more than I can ever use!
I am excited to use this time to teach my kids about Uganda and other countries like it, where kids just like them walk miles every day just to gather water that will most likely make them sick. It’s hard for a child whose greatest tragedy during the day is a dead iPod touch to comprehend! I feel blessed that this is their greatest issue, yet they need to know reality for others.
So, we watch the videos on blood:water mission’s website, talk about how that would feel, pray for the kids we see, and mourn the loss of our favorite drinks, knowing that soon we will go back to drinking whatever we want, whenever we want; but now with the knowledge that there are those in the world that won’t. And once you have seen that reality, you can never go back.
It’s not too late, you can join too! Find out more about blood:water mission and Forty Day of Water by clicking here.
You can also check out this video: