I’ve been back in the United States from Sierra Leone now for just a couple of days recovering from jetlag and catching up with friends in Newport Beach in the ‘OC’. The contrast from Sierra Leone, Western Africa is stark. You can catch up on previous posts here. Almost feels wrong to try and compare. I will admit though – I am the first to be grateful for ‘Western luxuries’… running water, hot LONG showers, flushing toilets, power not operated by a generator, GREAT roads, owning a car, being able to camouflage into the crowd, NOT being consistently asked for ‘small money’, being able to drink water from the tap….able to eat salad… and the list goes on. Not only am I grateful… I like these ‘normal’ luxuries. They make my life easy. They make it possible for me to pursue things I like and want. A career… relationships… adventure… new clothes… Think about it. Having the ability to jump in a shower in your house, grab some water from the tap, eat food from your fridge allows you to then jump into your car to go to the job you need to have to pay for all of the above! Luxuries more then most of the world don’t have.
We’ve all heard the poverty statistics. Actually, I think most of us have gotten numb to them. I might have even told you that out of 1000 babies born in Sierra Leone, 270 die before the age of five – http://www.unicef.org/india/media_3896.htm.
Let’s bring that stat home. The beautiful, smart little girl in the pic was adopted by ’mumma’ Ruth from LWI when her mother died at 18 days old. Her family didn’t want her to become another statistic. Already out of the ten children born to her mum, five had died! Staggering!
This past two weeks, I got to see the impact fresh water actually has on a community. The band I work for Alabaster Box partnered with the non-for-profit Global Benefit to raise funds. Below is a village that received clean water for the first time in 25 years. ’Glady Glady’ means happy! As you can see… this grandma is still VERY happy that they have clean water close walking distance to their house!
This was the well Alabaster Box helped restore. I don’t think I could lift that bucket…. let alone get it on top of my head without getting baptised!
America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England… comfortable. Even amidst an economic crisis. We are blessed beyond measure. So easy to commit the ‘sin of omission’ as spoken about by World Vision President, Richard Stearn in ‘A hole in our Gospel’.
Lets think about what we as individuals can do. An seed for thought… get a group of friends together and have a ‘House gig’ in your back yard. Invite your neighbours… (lets get to know our locals a bit!) and friends… get an acoustic artist to play. (I’ve seen it done with a hip hop artist before… didn’t go down to well with the locals who weren’t attending!) and throw a bit of a ‘party with a purpose’. Share the vision of a great need in the world. If you are interested in raising money for a well in Sierra Leone… PLEASE talk to me! Let’s get some more clean water for people who don’t have any.
If you’re passions are elsewhere raise funds for them. It’s a good start to become familiar with a country and a cause. We have a responsibility to do something. And how fun is it ‘having a party!’ YOU absolutely can make a difference in someone’s world!
Be blessed today friends!