The Denver, CO, team became a part of the Blood:Water story two years ago, when they fundraised for sustainable water access, sanitation, and improved hygiene for 6,709 people in the communities of Tauane and Copuito, Mozambique. This year, they are fundraising to support our partner, Drop of Water, in Me’kele, Ethiopia. Laurie Bolthouse reflects on their recent trip to Me’kele:
Along the dusty, dung-filled path down to an old rain catchment site, we met a local woman, carrying her twice-daily load of filthy catchment water on her back. She pleaded with us in the name of God to bring clean water to them, as those in our group reached to help her set down her heavy burden.
If that wasn’t convincing enough, we arrived at the almost dried-up catchment to see others filling up, including donkeys and cows. When it’s empty and the summer rains are still a ways off, it will be another two-hour, one-way walk to reach the river, which is contaminated as well.
How do you begin to solve this water crisis? It’s easy to forget the previous day’s celebration when in front of me stands one woman out of 900-plus people in the village who do not have clean water. There’s another village not far away with the same heartaches. Even more villages, just like these, dot the terrain as far as one can see.
Then, there are other regions, other countries, with the same plight. The problem, when you’re literally standing in it, feels like it demands a huge solution. What are the options? Do I really start with the one woman in front of me? Could reaching for her dirty jerry can and seeing what she feeds her family really make a difference? Does bearing witness to someone’s pain count?
Promising something I can’t guarantee seems cruel. Denying the magnitude of the problem will not ensure rest when I sleep. I’m left with the choice to be present, to grieve for this mother who can only dream, at best, of what could be, and to witness the reality of life for the majority of humans encircling me while pesky flies brush my lips.
My only option must be to trust in the Water of Life, who seems quiet and yet tangibly present, grieving, comforting, and noticing all the pain and destruction, because it matters to Him. None of it is in vain.
So I’m left with the imploring of the woman on the path, “In the Name of God, please bring clean water.” Our Denver group invites you to be a part of the answer by motivating your own community to provide many with water for life. Will you join?
Interested in funding a specific partner on a larger scale, like the Denver group? Email us for more information.